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Ten Makeup Ingredients You Should Avoid

Ten Makeup Ingredients You Should Avoid

The next time you're about to buy cosmetics, take a minute to look at the list of ingredients for the product. Many of the ingredients found in common cosmetic  brands may actually cause an allergic reaction to your skin. Because makeup and other beauty products are not going to go away any time soon, it’s important that you are informed about the potential dangers of the products you use daily. In this article, you can learn which makeup ingredients to avoid, and how to find alternatives that are healthy for your skin.

There are two types of cosmetic allergies:

1. Irritant contact dermatitis: The more common of the two cosmetic allergies, irritant contact dermatitis, occurs when an irritating substance damages the skin. Symptoms are itchy, scaly patches of skin or a red rash which can become festering blisters.

2. Allergic contact dermatitis: This affects those who develop an allergic reaction to a specific ingredient(s) in their makeup. Common symptoms are redness, itching, hives, swelling, and raw skin on the face, eyes, neck, lips, and ears, and possibly other areas on the body.

 

10 Harmful Ingredients in Make-Up:

1. Parabens

Commonly listed as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or benzyl hydroxybenzoate, they are used as preservatives to prolong the life of the product. While usually used in small doses for makeup, parabens can cause skin rashes and redness.

2. Pthalates

Also known as as DBP or di-n-butyl phthalate, pthalates  are mostly found in nail polish as a plasticizing ingredient for greater pliability. In recent years, there has been great concern over this chemical for it has been linked to birth defects, eczema, certain cancers, and allergic rashes. 

3. Synthetic Colors

Found in makeup and hairdyes, they are usually labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number. Some common examples are FD&C Red No.6 and D&C Green No. 6. They contain impurities that can cause cancers and allergic reactions to the skin. 

4. Formaldehyde

This chemical is not only used in makeup, shampoos, and nail polish, but also certain lacquers, antiseptic cleansers, and oxygenated gasoline. It has been known to destroy your skin’s natural oils, causing flakiness, rashes, blisters, and hives. Furthermore, it is a carcinogen, and respiratory irritant. Its releasers include imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea, preservatives commonly found in makeup products.

5. PPD

 Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is used in most permanent hair dyes. Allergic reactions include a rash around the hairline on the forehead, neck, and behind the ears. Already banned in Europe, it is also a suspected carcinogen and respiratory irritant. Even worse, these reactions often intensify with age.

6. Fragrances

Scents are the leading cause of allergic contact dermititis. Common allergy-causing fragrances are cinnamic alcohol (Balsam of Peru, cinnamon leaves, propolis), cinnamic aldehyde, eugenol (clove and cinnamon oils), geraniol (rose, palmarose, citronella, lavender, and jasmine oils), hydroxycitronella (lily of the valley), and oak moss absolute (extraction of tree lichen).

7. Toluene

A major ingredient in nail polish for its plasticizing, and antioxidizing properties, this toxic chemical is also used in gasoline, acrylic paints, and rubber cement, to name a few. It is a proven neurotoxin, respiratory irritant, and dermititis agent.

8. Triclosan

Triclosan is often seen in antibacterial products, such as antibacterial lotions and soaps. It can cause skin rashes and redness, and recent studies suggest that exposure to this chemical results in decreased fertility, birth defects, and cancer.

9. Petrolatum

Derived from mineral oil, petrolatum claims to be moisturizing, though it can actually cause chapping and dry skin because it disrupts the body’s own moisturizing system. Other risks of using this ingredient involve clogged pores, increased skin photosensitivity, and clogged pores.

10.  Stearalkonium Chloride

Typically used as in fabric softeners, it is also found in many hair conditioners and creams to reduce tangles and static electricity. Many beauty products have this ingredient because it is cheap to manufacture, despite the fact that it is proven to cause allergic reactions.

 

How to Find Healthy Makeup:

1. The less ingredients, the better

While having fewer chemicals may not prevent you from having an allergic reaction, you have a better chance at targeting the specific ingredient that is causing adverse effects to your skin should you have a reaction

2. "Fragrance free" and "Unscented" have different meanings

While both can be slightly misleading since these products may still contain traces of fragrance, the label “fragrance free” is the better option of the two because “unscented” usually means that the product still contains an undetectable scent used to mask the product’s chemical odours.

3. "Hypoallergenic" is meaningless

This label is meaningless because the FDA has no standards or regulations for this term. In other words, manufacturers can place this on a product without verifying this claim.4. 

4. Order of ingredients

Product ingredients are listed in the order of descending amount. It is difficult to find a product that is completely devoid of potential toxins, so the next best thing is to make sure that these chemicals are toward the end of the ingredient list, implying that they are used in smaller concentrations.

5. Applying perfume

Since perfume can cause allergic contact dermititis, try spritzing it on your clothes instead of your skin.