Choose Cosmetics Carefully

Choose Your Cosmetics Carefully

Beauty products runs a multi-million dollar industry. The vast variety of cosmetic and self-grooming products available in the market and online are still growing and adding to the consumer’s confusion of what to choose and how, But have you ever wondered what effect these beauty products will have on your skin? They might claim to maintain your skin quality but many of them can potentially have a range of harmful effects either on the skin or your health in general.

The skin is the body’s largest organ and absorbs whatever is put on it. Therefore, we should be careful because chemicals, heavy metals, bacteria and other hazardous Ingredients are being used in make-up, skin creams and hair styling products.

Effects On The Skin

  • Excessive Oiliness: Oil-based foundations and creamy powders can give a sticky appearance. Instead, stick to water-based foundations and loose powders.
  • Dryness: Sometimes, a foundation or powder may dry your skin and make it look flaky and dull. It may also cause cracks and fine wrinkles which could cause an infection. Dryness also makes your skin itch. To combat this, apply a moisturizer about live minutes before a hydrating foundation or powder.
  • Cosmetic Acne: Some people have a tendency to get clogged pores, acne and blemishes after using certain kind of oil-based makeup products.
  • Allergies: Fragrances and preservatives trigger allergIc reactions, including contact dermatitis.

Other common adverse effects of cosmetics Include, photosensitivity, acneiform eruption, pigmentation, folliculitis, and infections in the skin, granulomas, hair breakage and dryness and also discoloured and brittle nails. Allergic reactions to dyes can cause burning, hair loss, breathing difficulty, itchy scalp, facial swelling and redness.

Toxic Ingredients

  • Aluminium
  • Pthalates
  • DEET
  • Dioxins
  • Para-aminobenzoic Acid (PABA)
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Toluene
  • Camphor

There are a few studies and instruments to measure a particular cosmetic products safety profile. Cosmetics and their ingredients must be tested for safety as there is a list of chemicals that are not permitted for use in cosmetics and maximum concentration restrictions on others. Each product/chemical must undergo the following studies, as appropriate.

Safety Studies

  • Skin irritation
  • Photosensitization and phototoxicity
  • Comedogenicity
  • Skin-lightening/ fairness
  • Antiperspirant
  • Deodorant
  • Moisturizer
  • Anti-dandruff shampoo studies – whole and half head
  • SPF – for sunscreens
  • Acne
  • Nail products – for nail growth, discoloration etc.

Tips To Avoid Harmful Effects

  • Use vegetable oils and essential oils instead of mineral oil based products like in moisturizers, eye shadows, kajal, non-sticky hair oils etc.
  • Look for organic herbal extracts or home-based natural products including natural fragrances.
  • Look for milder surlactants and detergents like ammonium cocoylisethionate instead of harsher ones like SLS and SLES.
  • Avoid darker shades of nail paints and lipsticks. Use lighter shades for shorter periods to avoid yellowing of nails and darkening of lips.
  • Avoid make-up use for long hours so that the skin and nails can breathe and regenerate.
  • Frequently change your beauty products if they have crossed the best before date.
  • Remove make-up thoroughly using proper cleansers.
  • Avoid cosmetics on damaged or sensitive skin.
  • Understand your skin type and allergies. Always read the ingredient labels and know what’s in the products. Get knowledgeable and avoid harmful, hazardous and toxic substances.

Harmful Ingredients

Ingredient Found In Side Effects
Formaldehyde As a preservative in water-based products like shampoos, shower gel, hand wash etc. Allergies, carcinogen, asthma, headache.
Colour pigments  and synthetic  colours made from coal tar, contain heavy metal salts In coloured cosmetics. Deposit toxins in to the skin causing skin sensitivity and irritation, carcinogenic.
Synthetic fragrances In almost all beauty products. Headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing, vomiting and skin irritation.
Alcohol,  Isopropyl (SD – 40) Skin and hair products fragrance, antibacterial hand washes. Skin irritation, skin dehydration, increased susceptibility to infections and premature skin ageing.
Ethanolamines(MEA,DEA,TEA) Shampoos, shaving creams and bubble baths. Convert to carcinogens related to cancer.
Mercury Rouge, eye shadows, skin lightening creams. Cancer
Lead Lipstlcks, nail paints, kajal sticks, eye shadows. Premature aging and cancers.
(Methyl, Ethyl,  Isobutyl, Propyl) Parabens Preservatives in cream- based products like moisturizers, sunscreens and deodorants. Cancers, hormonal disturbances.
Mineral Oils Oil and cream-based makeup products Clogged pores, acne, skin Irritation and premature aging.
PPD (para  phenylene,  diamine), ammonia, heavy metals, hydrogen peroxide Hair colours Skin allergy, cancer, asthma, irritant contact dermatitis, dry and weak hair.

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