Toxic makeup: the truth about what you’re putting on your face

Julia Rasor

An endless aisle of shimmering makeup to choose from: glimmering lip glosses, intoxicating perfumes and an overwhelming supply of cosmetics. These poisonous traps of “perfection” appear to be flawless, but this façade has left consumers bare and defenseless because the cosmetic producers have been hiding a treacherous secret.

In America, there is an overwhelming number of women, along with a smaller percentage of men, who purchase enormous amounts of makeup. While many cosmetic companies claim to be “all natural and organic,” consumers may not be aware of the dangers that makeup and other products are inflicting upon their health.

An article written by Bijani Mizell provides evidence that is lacking to the public eye. The U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act have published articles that define cosmetics as “cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or altering the appearance.” She then used a comparison from the European Union Cosmetics Directive that stated cosmetics to be defined as “any substance in contact with the external parts of the human body with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance, correcting body odors and/or protecting them.” This shows that Europe has a greater awareness of the products that consumers are putting on themselves and have refrained from publicizing any false accusations. Have these supervisors in the U.S. even taken into consideration the negative effects that makeup is having?

Mizell stated in her article, that “the EU has banned 1,000 chemicals in cosmetics; the Food and Drug Administration in America has banned only 10.” This reveals a shocking and horrifying conclusion that American companies are putting harmful chemicals into makeup and the FDA is not restricting their use.

Many chemicals found in cosmetics have shown to cause cancer, birth defects, genetic mutation and organ damage. People go to extra lengths to protect themselves from harmful preservatives, stay away from dangerous activities and live healthy lives. However, people don’t realize that makeup can be harmful and use it every day without knowing what might happen as a result.

After further research, I found an article written by Elina St-Onge, an author for the website Collective Evolution, where she identified 17 of the most common chemicals found in cosmetic products that are harmful to human health including Parabens, Dibutyl Phthalate or DBP, synthetic fragrances and Parfum and Polyethylene glycols or PEGs.

These chemicals are only a few among the many endangerments we face with cosmetics.  How is it that U.S. agencies which control cosmetics allow such harmful chemicals into the products when Europe has gone to such lengths to protect its population from harmful products?

If the people who oversee the production of cosmetics are allowing harmful chemicals in makeup, how can we be sure that our health is safe? My best advice to give you: look at the bottle before you apply the makeup at your own risk. I don’t ever want to buy another cosmetic without carefully looking at the ingredients that product contains.