A dab of foundation, a smooth flowing eyeliner and a tint of lipstick can instantly bring your face alive.
But at what cost?
Skin irritation, acne, discolouration and early skin ageing are the price we pay, thanks to the harmful chemicals in our make-up.
The ingredients used to make most make-up products are insidious. They enter into our systems through our skin, and gradually begin their destruction from within. Some of these ingredients harm our skin more than help.
Let’s have a look at the ingredients in some of the most commonly bought make-up products and make an informed decision about them.
Used in adhesives, construction materials and even pesticides, Phthalates have made a home in the beauty and healthcare industry too. They are used in nail polishes to increase their shelf lives as well as in hair sprays so they don’t dry up.
What is appalling is that this industrial chemical has been linked to asthma, type II diabetes and even metabolic disorders. These health issues don’t appear immediately but prolonged and frequent exposure to phthalates puts you at a health risk.
This harmful chemical is used in sunscreen lotions to protect you from potential sun damage. Oxybenzone has been linked to hormonal problems but also, severe coral destruction despite being a naturally-occurring chemical found in flowering plants.
The irony is that people depend on sunscreens the most when on the beach, and this very protection threatens our marine life. But worry not, there are some excellent Oxybenzone-free options available for your next trip that damage neither your skin nor the environment.
To be fair, lead is not added directly to your lipsticks. The red, orange and brown shades of lipstick are made using synthetic iron oxide. Since the iron oxide is procured from natural sources, “impurities” like lead can make their way into your cosmetics.
Even when the product is washed off, some elements of this harmful metal remain in our skin. The use of lead and other arsenic compounds as colourants has been prohibited under the Indian Rule 145 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules and the permitted synthetic colouring (even as a by-product) of the heavy metal is 20 parts per million.
But lipstick is easily ingestible and the constant use of the beauty product can result in the accumulation of the heavy metal, in severe cases, resulting in lead poisoning.
Why risk your health when you can have a make-up product that is safe for you? Check out these subtle and bold shades of lipstick and lip cream by Disguise Cosmetics.
4. Benzalkonium chloride:
Commonly used in your eyeliner and mascara, the chemical Benzalkonium chloride (BAC) is, ironically, an irritant which may lead to retinal toxicity. BAC is known to adversely affect the epithelial cells in your eyes – the cells that are on the surface of your cornea, protecting it from dust, water and bacteria. Ensure your make-up is of good quality and does not contain BAC to keep your eyes healthy and protected from this harmful chemical.
In fact, why not choose a kajal that promises safety to your skin and eyes? Check out this amazing cosmetic and look gorgeous without worrying about BAC toxicity!
5. Sodium Laureth Sulfate:
Our skin absorbs about 60 per cent of whatever we put on it and that enters into our bloodstream. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is one such chemical that is used in the manufacture of toothpaste, shampoos and face creams. It is a foaming agent that, in some cases, leads to skin irritation. Frequent irritation of the skin by harmful chemicals like SLES leads to discolouration, acne and rashes. You want to stay safe from them. Try out Mirah Belle’s amazing collection of creams and other cosmetics that are skin-friendly.
Another common chemical found in soaps, toothpaste, as well as some cosmetics, Triclosan is associated with endocrine disruption. Another scary fact about the synthetic chemical is that it is lipophilic. This means it bioaccumulates in your fat cells and in some severe cases, is also detected in urine, blood samples as well as breast milk.
Try switching to handmade soaps instead that are free of harmful chemicals and safe for your skin. Click here to browse through a range of such planet-friendly bath soaps.
One of the most commonly used chemicals in cosmetics and make-up items, Parabens are added to increase the shelf-life of the products. Research claims that Parabens pose only a “negligible” risk to the endocrine system. But why would you take that risk?
Methylparaben, a type of paraben used as an antifungal agent in our make-up products, is known to react with UVB rays leading to early skin-ageing and even DNA damage!
Make sure your make-up items and skincare products are not doing more damage than good. Switch to natural, organic cosmetics that are safe on the skin and the planet! Check out such amazing products by clicking on this link.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)