Toxins in Your Make-Up

Toxic Chemicals in Make-UpLead, formaldehyde, coal tar, petroleum, parabens, phthalates, titanium dioxide…these are just a few of the toxic chemicals hiding in your innocent-looking makeup. So, daily you rub these toxins on your skin, which absorbs
them and transfers them straight to your blood stream? The skin is your largest organ, be careful what you put on it.

Scientists that formulate makeup continually manipulate the chemicals used in our beauty products, making the particles both smaller and stronger. Although this makeup may “work” better, this means they’re more easily absorbed into the skin and past the protective layers that once served as a barrier to these toxins. Dozens of studies have shown that the toxic chemicals in our make-up (foundation, powder, eyeliner, mascara, blush, lipstick even chap stick — anything that’s part of your daily routine) can increase the risk of early menopause, asthma, learning disabilities, cancer, and infertility.

80% of the ingredients found in beauty products have not even been tested for safety. The bad news is that we are putting these items on our bodies day after day, year after year. And now your daughter wants to borrow your makeup? Our children’s generation may just be the first generation to live sicker and die younger than the generation before. The good news is that we control both what we put in our bodies and on our bodies! So know what’s in your products and make informed decisions regarding your makeup.

The U.S. has not passed a law governing the cosmetics industry since 1938! Although the European Union has banned over 1300 chemicals from skin care, the U.S. has only banned 11…. It’s up to you to research your skin care and makeup content, since the U.S. is so heavily under regulated. The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database is a good place to start. They have complied over 80,000 products and rate them on a toxicity scale from 0-9. It’s a non-profit organization committed to total transparency. Since the U.S. doesn’t require that all ingredients be listed on cosmetic labels, you can’t trust the labels entirely. There is no universal standard dictating that companies must share their ingredient lists with consumers.

What’s more, there is no legal standard governing marketing words such as “natural” or “organic”. Natural cosmetics are one of the fastest-growing sales categories, but it doesn’t actually mean anything. There is no criteria that companies developing products have to meet before being declared “natural” or “organic” or “herbal”. This standard is called “greenwashing” and it is very common in the personal care industry. But thanks to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, legislation is on the horizon.

The EWG has done some of the homework for you! They now have a free app, Skin Deep, that you can download to your smart phone. So, when you are out trying to discover which lipstick is “safe” the next time you are shopping, you can simply scan the bar code, and the app will let you know how it rates. Rumor has it that you consume 7 pounds of lipstick in a decade! So make sure it’s safe to eat…

Today’s guest blogger, Susan Whitehurst is an independent consultant with Beautycounter, a company dedicated to making beautiful skin care safe. For more info regarding skin care see her website or call (757) 784-1912.  

Sources: Beautycounter: Our Story

Image courtesy of niamwhan /


2 thoughts on “Toxins in Your Make-Up

  1. jaws4242

    Oh boy! I don’t wear much make up, but I am addicted to ChapStick and Burts Bees tinted lip balm…I need to check them out! I can’t believe there are not more strict requirements around make-up!

    1. Lisa Post author

      Me, too. Very disappointing. I don’t wear make-up very often. I never use extra “product.” I figure it saves money and my health. Check out Susan’s link for toxin-free lipstick. Also take a look at the wellness business resources. There are some great businesses listed there that have toxin-free products.

What do you think? We'd love to hear your comments!

%d bloggers like this: