Many people are already aware that the medicine cabinet is frequently full of medications containing chemicals and compounds that make “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” appear easy to spell and pronounce. However, one group of chemical substances often overlooked that can be just as dangerous is cosmetics.
Have you looked at the contents of cosmetics? The list of chemicals is extensive and many of them are not tested for human safety. Not long ago I attended a demo of a major home sales cosmetics company. I was first curious if their cosmetics and other products were gluten free. Honestly, I was surprised when the sales rep was able to answer the question and provide company documentation that the products were gluten free. However, what shocked me was that the company rep said, “Our products are also humane. We don’t do any animal testing.” And then she added, “We test all our products on our reps.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not supporting animal testing or the torture of animals caused by testing cosmetic compounds on them. However, I should also point out that I don’t advocate using humans as test subjects! I certainly don’t want to be “testing” these products on myself. I certainly don’t want to add those chemicals to my body through absorption, or in the case of lipstick, by ingesting them.
Some examples of the chemicals commonly found in cosmetics and their health risks include:
- Coal tar – linked to bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma
- Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) – linked to skin damage and increased risk of skin cancer
- Phthalates (industrial plasticizers) – commonly found in moisturizers and have been linked to birth defects and reproductive impairments
I no longer wear any cosmetics. In fact, the last time I interviewed for a job I didn’t even wear cosmetics to the interview (a first for me.) I made a conscious decision that, since I never wear them any other time, I would present an accurate representation of myself at the interview by not wearing any. And yes, I got the job.
If you are interested in learning more about what is inside your cosmetics and the health risks you run, check out this site:
. The Environmental Working Group provides a host of information about the chemical contents of cosmetics in their cosmetics database.