Foundation, toner, bronzer, kaajal, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, eye-shadow, blusher, lipstick, lip-gloss, powder, deodorant,nail polish…if you are in the habit of putting on at least ten of these every single day, whether at work, parties, picnics, dinners or walks, you are definitely an obsessive compulsive cosmetics user! Of course, they make you look pretty, but not forever. They make you look younger, but they don’t make you younger. Too much of a good thing can turn very nasty in the long run. Cosmetics today contain a wide range of chemicals which, if used in excess, slowly damage our skin and body until it is too late to mend. A study has found that the average woman exposes her skin to one hundred and seventy five different chemicals everyday in the form of make- up and beautification products. Dangerous chemicals like sodium sulphates, phthalates, parabens, triclosan and various reactive acids present in most popular cosmetic products today are absorbed by the skin into the bloodstream and lead to numerous lingering side effects, some of which are known to have serious repercussions for the user’s general health. Read on to discover more about how these so-called magic make up tricks can be little devils in disguise!
10. Skin Discoloration
A number of cosmetics, like fairness creams, skin toners, sunscreens and blushers can have bleaching and/or darkening effects on the skin, especially if the products are of inferior quality. Poor quality cosmetics when used without regulation can lead to marked discolouration of skin, including patches, redness, brown to gray pigmentation, blotches and unevenness. You surely don’t want your face to become dotted with brown, flecked with grey and look as red as if you’ve been pinched all over, then you would do well to use these synthetic skin care products as little as possible. Hence it is extremely important to use these products only while they are well within their date of expiry. Switching to natural remedies like preparing pastes from fruits and medicinal herbs, eating healthy and drinking plenty of water are always the wiser options.
There is a scientifically proven relationship between make-up and headaches. Surveys point out that most women who wear make-up for long hours daily are more prone to serious headaches at irregular intervals. Thick coats of make-up, especially on the face and forehead increases susceptibility to painful migraine attacks which may even lead to dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Harsh chemicals interfere with the skin and underlying muscles, triggering headaches, weakness and fatigue. So if you are getting headaches at odd hours for which you haven’t been able to pinpoint the cause, then ask yourself how much make-up and perfume you’ve been wearing lately, and try going through a week without them. You’ll definitely find your headaches reduced to near non-existent soon.
8. Itching and Skin Disorders
A number of oil-based skin foundations clog pores on the facial skin, leading to scary acne outbreaks. Blushers and bronzers contain ingredients which can lead to pimples, lead patches and long term skin irritation all over the affected areas. Salicylates found in a number of pain relief lotions and skin care creams can lead to severe itching especially among those who are sensitive to the chemical. And the next time you think about buying that new anti-ageing fairness cream, remember to collect thorough information about the ingredients, quality and side-effects as a number of poor quality skin care products contain chemicals which though temporarily may present you with a youthful glow, can in the long run lead to premature ageing of your skin. Sodium lauryl sulphate, a popular ingredient used by most of the modern cosmetic brands, is known to reduce the protective barrier of the skin by at least ten percent, thereby increasing the skin’s susceptibility to irritation by a host of chemicals. Heavy metals and ammonia in hair dyes can lead to abrasions in the skin and scalp, follicle damage and hair loss.
7. Allergic Reactions
A large percentage of health problems from cosmetics involve allergies. Commonly used chemicals contained in make-up products can produce allergic reactions in the skin, eyes and hair if used in excessive amounts. Parabens, (examples – ethyl-paraben, butyl-paraben, isopropyl-paraben etc.) which are chemicals used as preservatives to prevent bacterial growth in cosmetics, have been reported to cause allergic reactions including various kinds of skin irritation, blotches and blemishes on the skin of the users of these products. A lasting infection caused by the use of certain fragrances is photosensitization, in which the perfume reacts with sunlight to create brown patches on the skin. Salicylate sensitivity is another reason for increased allergic reactions including the outbreak of painful rashes or hives among sensitive users to products containing the chemical as one of the ingredient. Sadly, very few cosmetics in the market are completely free of salycilates.
6. Eye Infections
Use of excessive make-up on and around the eyes can lead to serious infections, accompanied by redness, watery eyes and stinging sensations. Applying too many coats of eye shadow creates considerable damage as the glittery dust which makes your eyes shine also slips through the corners and ends of the eyelids to cause redness and itching. Too much mascara can lead to the stopping of eyelash growth or falling of eyelashes. Mascara also attracts bacteria for breeding, as a result causing severe eye irritation potentially resulting in blindness. Same goes for too much kaajal and eyeliner. Our eyes are one of the most important and sensitive organs of our body – it would be a shame if we destroy them in our attempts to beautify them.
A most recent study by international scientists has linked cosmetic use with depression and mood swings. They claim that women who tend to wear heavy make-up including foundations, toners, lipstick, blushers and dark mascaras tend to feel more gloomy and depressed more often than those who use minimal or no make-up. Triclosan, parabens and other damaging chemicals in skincare products and perfumes disrupt lead to hormonal imbalances The prevalence of such negative feelings leads to loss of concentration, determination and optimistic outlook, which can have immensely adverse effects on one’s professional, social and personal lives. So if you want to stay happy throughout the day, throw out those countless tubes of fairness creams, wrinkle lifts and hair colours!
4. Disruption of Thyroid Systems
Damaging chemicals in cosmetics over a long period of time, can wreak havoc with your endocrine system, particularly the thyroid gland. A prominent example is Triclosan – a chemical used to keep many of your skin care products germ free. It is commonly found in deodorant sprays, make-up, and acne-removing scrubs. Absorption and accumulation of triclosan and perfluorinated compounds within the body due to daily cosmetic application has an extremely detrimental effect on the thyroid gland, leading to severe after-effects occurring from hypothyroidism i.e. insufficient secretion of the thyroid hormone. Sudden headaches, shivering bouts, depression and weight gain are some of the adverse consequences resulting from the hyposecretion of the thyroid gland.
3. Damage to Reproductive Systems
The allergy-causing parabens present in cosmetics in the form of antimicrobial ingredients have been proven by medical research to be toxic to the reproductive cells and system. Butyl paraben in particular was linked to DNA damage in men’s sperm, according to a study that compared the levels of this compound to several reproductive measures in men. If the DNA of reproductive cells are damaged, it can lead to a terribly adverse impact on reproduction processes and reproductive hormones. Moreover, since women are the dominant consumers of cosmetics, these toxic chemicals tend to put them at even greater risk. Skincare products and deodorants have been linked to some very complicated reproductive irregularities, which could even lead to infertility and I am sure you don’t want that to happen to yourself. So stop wondering and just be careful. Don’t overdo your make-up. It won’t change who you are!
2. Breathing Disorders
Chemically reactive beauty products can not only ruin your healthy physical appearance and cause painful allergies, they can go so far as to interfere with your respiratory system, causing serious breathing disorders. For example, salicylates and lead-containing lipsticks can lead to breathing difficulties that are similar to asthmatic attacks. Even the seemingly harmless bubble bath you buy for your little boy or girl can be a potential cause of respiratory disorders, especially if it contains the foaming agent alkylarylsulphonate. What is the use of beautification if it results in our being unable to breathe properly? Hence it only makes sense to be extremely careful while choosing the cosmetics we purchase and limiting their use altogether.
1. Increase Susceptibility to Cancer
If nothing else can make you control the use of cosmetics, this definitely will.The most pressing reason to minimize the use of cosmetics and toiletries is to protect yourself fro cancer risks, in other words, almost certain death. A majority of chemical cosmetics available in the market today contain toxic ingredients that, with prolonged use, can cause multiple kinds of cancer – breast cancer, skin cancer and blood cancer.Fragrances containing phthalates, synthetic shampoos and deodorant sprays and nail polish contaminated with benzene in particular can be the causes of the worst kinds of cancer. And the worst part is, since companies try their best to make these products look as innocent as possible, and because of the lack of consumer awareness regarding the their toxicity, people hardly suspect them to be the cause of their health troubles, until it is too late.
So now that you know, better be safe than sorry. Some of the chemicals you should especially look to avoid are: Butylene Glycol (sprays and lotions), Zirconium (nail polish), Tartrazine, Nickel Sulphate (hair dyes and astringents), Potassium Bromate (mouthwashes and toothpaste) and Resorcinol (lipstick and hair dyes).