The popularity of makeup continues to increase. According to Business Wire, in 2014 the global cosmetics market reached $ 460 billion alone. Experts predict that the global beauty market will continue to grow by 3.8% per year over the next five years.
We are all witnesses of the beauty sector. Just think of all the beauty products we see today everywhere. The beauty is even present on social media like YouTube which has accumulated no less than 123,164,115 subscribers in the beauty sector in 2015. These figures speak for themselves, and what they tell us is that we are becoming a makeup-addicted company.
Humans have been using makeup for at least 5000 years to improve features that are considered attractive and to hide perceived flaws as the first signs and symptoms of wrinkles.
And although there is nothing wrong with wanting to beautify you occasionally, makeup becomes a problem when it creates a psychological addiction.
A study by the Renfrew Center Foundation found that almost half (44%) of women reported feeling unattractive without makeup. More and more doctors, scientists and consumers are increasingly concerned about how makeup affects our physical health.
The dangers of makeup
All makeup products, contain many chemicals, some of which can even be dangerous to your health. The way certain makeup chemicals interact with our skin can lead to dry skin, flaking, and even allergic reactions.
Makeup has become a real danger for quite some time now. A study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science found that the bones of Japanese children in the Edo period contained twelve times more toxic metals than the safety threshold.
The researchers said the cause was the use of powder by lactating women that contained dangerous levels of lead and mercury. Another study from 1991 collected kohl make-up samples from third world countries and found that many samples also had dangerous levels of lead.
These chemicals can penetrate the deepest layers of our epidermis and enter our bloodstream. If these chemicals turn out to be toxic, then they pose a significant health risk.
A recent study published by the Breast Cancer Fund (BCF) for their project The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that nearly half of Halloween makeup products of all children tested contained banned harmful chemicals.
However, most of these toxic chemicals have been found at very low levels and as such should not have immediate adverse health consequences.
In addition, makeup can be bad for the condition of your skin and those who wonder how to get rid of acne often face a dilemma of wearing or not wearing makeup because makeup clogs the pores.
Here are some of the harmful chemicals found by the BCF study
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Studies have associated this bluish white metal with kidney failure, bone disease, and even cancer. The researchers believe that cadmium becomes toxic at levels well below the limits set by the World Health Organization.
The FDA has conducted a test of heavy metals found in popular cosmetics (see here). Cadmium has been found in several products like Estee Lauder, Jafra Cosmetics, L’Oreal, Yves Rocher, Revlon, Proctor and Gamble, Mary Kay, and Jane & Co products, in shadows for powdery eyes, eye shadows in cream (sources).
Studies suggest that it can damage the nervous system and cause neurological disorders such as dementia. Toluene is present in several nail products, as well as some hair dyes (more information here).
They are used in products such as the base to protect against UV rays. An article published in Dermatitis, states that benzophenones can cause allergic reactions such as rashes and even anaphylactic shock. Benzophenones are found in lip balms, foundation, nail polish, perfumes, shampoo, and sunscreen for babies (more info here).
These chemicals are added to cosmetics to prevent the growth of bacteria. Parabens are potential endocrine disruptors and one study even found the presence of these chemicals in breast cancer tissue raising new concerns. Parabens are commonly used in perfumes and colognes, but may also be present in shower gels, shampoos, conditioners and lotions (more info here).
A heavy metal found in a large number of make-up products, especially those with more pigment, such as eye shadow, lipstick, and eyeliner. Lead is very toxic when it enters the bloodstream and causes neurological disorders, but also infertility and cancer.
Lead is most often present in lip products, including lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip pencils. It is also found in hair dyes, mascaras, eye shadows, and blushes. In the FDA laboratory study, lead was found in measurable amounts or traces in every product tested, except for baby powder and most lotions (see full results here).
It is used in make-up powder like powder foundation and blush, but also in liquid foundation. This mineral often contains asbestos which is a known carcinogen. Many studies have associated talcum powder with ovarian cancer, according to a review published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention.
Talc is present in baby powders, but it is also present in deodorants, feminine hygiene products, powder eyeshadow, lipsticks and masks (more info here).
Chronic exposure to toxins from daily makeup use may be a cause for concern as explained by Julia R. Barrett for Environmental Health Perspectives.
If you want to protect your health and good looks, read the labels carefully and reduce the amount of makeup you use can protect your health!
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This fantastic article was written by Sophie Addison, an expert blogger in skin care. We encourage you to go on his Facebook and Pinterest.