They say that ignorance is bliss, and we gotta agree with that. Before searching the internet for some answers, we were not aware of the many chemicals (yes, chemicals) that go in our makeup; and evidently, onto our faces.
Sure, it’s not like you’re eating and ingesting the products (or you are, we know those Lip Smackers smell AND taste like heaven), but the hundreds of chemicals that are inside your products can be absorbed into your body. And joke’s on you if you thought the FDA actually did something to regulate it (LMAO- they barely do a good job when it comes to the food WE EAT), then you will be appalled, maybe more, once seeing just how terrible their cosmetic regulation is. These lovely cosmetics companies are basically allowed to use any ingredient or raw material without the need for review and approval from the government.
What they don’t tell you about the ingredients they’re using is that many of these synthetic chemicals are skin perpetrators, irritants, endocrine, and carcinogenic. But before you panic, and throw your makeup away, we found the top offenders on that list.
A savage (yes, savage) endocrine disruptor that can harm the thyroid and reproductive hormones, triclosan is a widely used antimicrobial that’s found in toothpastes, antibacterial soaps, and deodorants.
Ah, yes the ever-so-famous parabens. They’re used widely throughout the cosmetics and personal care industry as a preservative. It does the job of preventing the growth of backers, mold, and yeast in cosmetics products… But, the same chemicals that keep the bacteria- all bacteria- can be absorbed into your body, through your skin. You can find parabens in almost anything; body wash, makeup, shampoos, deodorants, facial cleaners, etc.
Yes, fragrances can be bad too (We know. The horror). If it smells like flowers or cinnamon candy apple, 9 times out of 10, it’s there to mask the smell of something else… Something… sinister… DUN DUN DUUUUUN. Sadly, these sweet smells do nothing but harm to your body (surprise, surprise). By using products with strange fragrances, with a list of chemicals you can’t pronounce, you’re more prone to getting dermatitis and allergy flare ups. This can also attack your respiratory system with potential effects on the reproductive system. Now we know it’s not halloween, but can we take it easy with all the scary stuff? Sheesh!
Take a look at your product label. If you see FD&C or D&C, they represent artificial colors. F representing food, and D&C representing drug and cosmetics. These letters precede a color and number (e.g., D&C Red 27 or FD&C blue 1). These synthetic colors are derived from petroleum. Coal tar, basically. TAR >:( They’ve been linked to human carcinogens and ADHD in children (yikes), so rightfully, the Euorpean Union has banned it. Meanwhile, all of us over here at the US are just waiting patiently for the ban… It’s fine. We’re fine!!
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
This surfactant is found in OVER 75% of all personal care and cleaning products. It’s a foaming agent that can cause irritations I the skin, lungs, and eyes. When mixed with other carcinogens, it can cause a host of damages directly aimed at the kidney and respiratory system. You can find this terrible chemical in shampoos, washes, mascara, and acne treatments. YEE BE WARNED.
This hard-to-pronounce chemical is used to prevent the growth of bacteria. And while that sounds like a good idea, the effects it has on the body, are not. It’s been linked to occupational-related cancers in the nasal and nasopharyngeal areas. It can cause allergic reactions, and it’s incredibly harmful to the immune system. If you find this in your nail polish, washes, hair products, cleansers, eye shadows, or anything like that, THROW IT OUT.
While you may think that chemicals used to absorb damaging ultraviolet light are a good thing, think again. They can actually cause cellular damage to the body, and are easily absorbed, affecting your endocrine system. So make sure to really read the list of ingredients the next time you browse around for sunscreen.
There are hundreds more, and to list them all, we’d need a book deal and a whole lotta time. But you get the picture. The next time you come across an ingredient that you’re unsure of, look it up! The great thing about technology, is that you’re able to read about something in seconds. So go out there, be informed! And inform others, too. Because as we all know, if there is one thing we all love here at PIAM, it’s education.
You’re doing amazing, sweetie.