Scary cosmetics

Pay attention to the ingredients


Brooke Knight

According to the Environmental Working Group, “595 cosmetics manufacturers have reported using 88 chemicals, in more than 73,000 products, that have been linked to cancer, congenital disabilities or reproductive harm.

Story by Katey Pappas, staff writer

There has been a massive growth in the number of clean beauty products on the market in the last few years and with good reason. According to the Environmental Working Group, “595 cosmetics manufacturers have reported using 88 chemicals, in more than 73,000 products, that have been linked to cancer, congenital disabilities or reproductive harm.” Many of these chemicals are hidden in everyday beauty products, from mascara to lotion. 

According to Byrdie, the “toxic twenty” ingredients of cosmetics include Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Releasers, Synthetic Fragrances, Phthalates, Parabens, Mineral Oil, Polyethylene Glycol (PEGs), Siloxanes, Triclosan, Ethanolamines, Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Homosalate, Toluene, Talc, PFAs and PFCs, Teflon, Resorcinol, Retinyl Acetate and Carbon Black. Cancer, reproductive health issues, birth defects, acne, premature aging, irritation and issues in estrogen level are all potential effects of using these chemicals, especially over time. 

These chemicals are found in many beauty products, and many of these products are best selling. Some examples include the highly popular L’oreal Telescopic Carbon Black, Lancome Dual Finish powder foundation and the Too Faced Sweet Peach eyeshadow palette. They are just a small portion of the many cosmetic products that use the unsafe ingredients in their formulas.                                                                                                                                                                                   

Many harmful ingredients are hidden from people in fancy packaging. However, the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetics Database is a great place to check in on your beauty products’ safety. Some of the best selling products are rated very high on the unsafe spectrum, and many would be surprised to find out that their cosmetics have actually been doing them more harm than good by absorbing the ingredients in these products into their skin. 

“Makeup is no doubt a huge part of many people’s lives,” Lila Pappas, family practice and telemedicine doctor, said. “However, any amount of chemical that you use or put into your body can be harmful. It is always the best choice to minimize the number of chemicals in any product you use. The less artificial ingredients and chemicals, the better.” 

Cosmetics do a lot more than changing something on the outside of the body. They can affect the inside of the body as well through absorption and consumption. Lipsticks are a common culprit, with the average user consuming four to nine pounds of product a year. Four to nine pounds may not sound like much, but it must be remembered that only a small coat of lipstick is applied during an average day. Lipstick is just one example of the absorption and consumption of cosmetics. Products like foundation and lotions can be absorbed through pores in the skin. Though ingredients in clean products can also be absorbed, the ingredients can be less harmful over time. 

It is important not to panic when you discover the danger of your beauty products. It would be best if you instead looked into safer, more natural brands of cosmetics. A common misconception about natural makeup and cosmetics is that they do not work as well as other brands, but that is not the case. There are many great natural brands. Some of the most highly recommended brands are Saie, Rituel de Fille, Kjaer West, Ere Perez, RMS Beauty, ILIA, cocokind, W3LL PEOPLE, Beautycounter, Jane Irendale, Kosas, Vapour Organic Beauty, Kari Gran, EcoBrow and Fitglow.

These are just a few of the natural and organic beauty brands out there. There are enough products here to cover almost all bases of your beauty routine. All of these brands have marvelously beautiful products that can not only benefit your beauty and health but Earth as well. Limiting toxins in the ingredients of beauty products helps keep the Earth clean by not putting more chemicals into the environment when the products are thrown away. 

After hearing the numerous benefits of natural products, why would you not switch to clean beauty? Your skin, body, mind and the Earth will thank you for it.