Do you know anything about the ingredients used in your personal health care and beauty products? Do you care to know that some of the beauty products which you’re using are not really safe health wise? Personally, I try not to be too paranoid about the products I use but I still like to know which ingredients are really worrisome and downright dangerous.
For example, I’m glad that I don’t use much mascara because mercury, which has the ability to damage brain function at low levels are actually found in most mascaras and even eye drops. So women who apply mascara daily are actually getting themselves a little dose of that poison each day.
And strictly speaking, nail polish with phathalates are a big no-no for pregnant women because a growing number of studies are linking phathalates which are found in some nail polishes to problems in men and boys, including cases of sperm damage, feminization of baby boys, or even infertility.
Then there is the infamous petroleum, a chemical to make gas for the car also found in many of our face creams, lip glosses and lipsticks. This is an ingredient which is widely known to be a carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer.
But the worst has to be some skin lighteners with hydroquinone which I’ve highlighted in an earlier article before. This skin bleaching chemical can cause a skin disease called ochronosis, with “disfiguring and irreversible” blue-black lesions that in the worst cases become permanent, intensively black bumps the size of caviar all over the skin.
So if you like to find out if the brand of beauty products or cosmetics you’re using is safe, check out Skin Deep, which is a valuable online tool compiled by the researchers at Environmental Working Group for consumers to assess and compare the safety of personal care products.
I stumbled upon it some months back but didn’t recommend it because the website was loading too slowly then. However, things seems to have improved and according to the email message I received from them, the site currently provides safety ratings for nearly 25,000 personal care products — almost a quarter of all products on the market.
Of course we can’t be too careful but by finding out more about what we slap on our face or use on our underarms, we’re doing ourselves a great favour and taking the step towards making better informed choices in our next purchases.
And in the spirit of this blog, I say: let us all aim for beauty inside out.