Print This Page

Make-Up & Chemicals

If You Wear Make-Up, Your Body Could be Absorbing Up to 5 Lbs of Chemicals Per Year

  • Body Absorbs 5 Lbs of Make-Up Chemicals Per Year
    Mercola, June 22, 2007
Women who use make-up on a daily basis can absorb almost 5 pounds of chemicals into their bodies each year.

Some of the compounds present in make-up have been linked to side effects ranging from skin irritation to cancer.

One class of cosmetic chemicals which could be dangerous are parabens. Traces of parabens have been found in breast tumor samples.

Another chemical, sodium lauryl sulfate, can cause skin irritation.

Nine out of ten women also use out-of-date lipstick and mascara, which can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Many women use more than 20 different beauty products a day. The effects of these multiple combinations of chemicals are largely unknown.

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

Putting chemicals on your skin is actually far worse than ingesting them, because when you eat something the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help break it down and flush it out of your body.

When you put these chemicals on your skin, however, it is absorbed straight into your blood stream without filtering of any kind, so there's no protection against the toxin. The five pounds of toxic chemicals per year you may be absorbing from the use of toiletries and beauty products are largely going directly to your delicate organs.

It's no wonder that they have been linked to deadly side effects like cancer. Parabens, which may be listed on the label as methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, isobutyl paraben or E216, have shown particularly troubling links to cancer.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health stated nearly 900 of the chemicals used in cosmetics are toxic. Women are becoming more aware of this issue, and there are more natural cosmetics available today than in years past. But remember that labels do not tell the whole story. For more on how to select natural products, see Not All Natural Beauty Products are Natural.

There are no federal certifications or official guidelines for beauty products, so anyone can claim that such a product is natural or organic. Some "organic" beauty products contain only a single-digit percentage of organic ingredients.

If you want to stay beautiful, it is much better to do it by keeping yourself fit and healthy, rather than covering yourself with toxic chemicals. There are many great natural and safe cosmetic products out there. I hope to highlight some later this year, but in the meantime many of your health food stores are a good start to find them.

  Search Library Topics      Search Newspaper Columns