It’s no secret that switching to a plant-based diet, swapping out harsh cleaning products for natural ones, and changing out synthetic skin care products for organic ones are all part of changing your life for the better. However, one of the easiest to overlook areas is the makeup we ladies apply nearly every day! From the mascara that takes your eyelashes to a whole new level to the foundation that seems to erase time, modern beauty products can have a high cost to your health.
Currently, the FDA does not require cosmetic companies to conduct safety assessments on their products. Toxic chemicals are labeled in disguise as “fragrance” or nearly impossible to pronounce names like methylisothiazolinone.
The products sitting on your vanity or bathroom sink may or may not contain these toxins, but how would you know? It’s not like makeup companies warn anyone about what they put into their products. Here are some of the awful chemicals I found out were in my beauty products.
These nasty toxins mimic estrogen, effectively disrupting the endocrine system. They can lead to reproductive issues including abnormalities in unborn babies and premature delivery.
You can find phthalates in everything from deodorant to nail polish and scented lip balm under the ingredient “fragrance”. Since fragrances are considered trade secrets by makeup companies, they get away with not having to tell us what lies inside of them.
This one hasn’t been an issue since lead paint the 50’s, right? I wish. The truth is that lead can still be found in foundations, lipsticks, and even whitening toothpastes!
The worst part is that we as a nation know lead is bad for us. It leads to miscarriage, delays puberty, and is poisonous when ingested. You won’t find it any ingredient list, but over 400 popular brands were found to be contaminated with it nonetheless.
Formaldehyde Releasing Preservatives
Formaldehyde is classified as a human carcinogen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Researchers, as well as the International Agency for Research on Cancer. You will most likely find this toxic gas resulting from the breakdown of Quaternium-15.
Q-15 is found in everything from pressed powders to eyeliners. While a company could choose rosemary, tea tree oil, or even vitamin E instead, they stick to this tried-and-true poison instead.
Just the Tip of the Iceberg
I could get into parabens, butylated compounds like BHT and BHA, and PEG compounds, but I think it’s more important to talk about safe alternatives for a moment. While nothing is ever 100% toxin free, there are products you can buy to decrease your exposure risk.
Just like with food, look for organic ingredients like almond oil, rice, and hemp. There are organic, cruelty free, toxic free, and vegan-friendly alternatives out there. What would you recommend?