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4 Harmful Makeup Items: The Cosmetic Conspiracy

4 Harmful Makeup Items: The Cosmetic Conspiracy

Hannah Frison

Makeup is a revolutionary endeavour that has evolved throughout time. In this day in age, we have cosmetics made for all demographics and have created makeup to meet the specific needs of the people.

However, teenagers can’t afford everything makeup has to offer and end up settling for the cheapest makeup at the drugstore, hoping it will suffice. What they don’t know is that the makeup may be sufficient, but there are dirty little secrets in the making of those cosmetics just dying to be set free. So, what’s really in your makeup?

     Makeup is one of society’s most treasured accomplishments. Women across the globe appreciate the confidence boost, creativity, and stylistic range makeup provides. From lipstick to eyeshadow, cosmetics have developed into a statement of individualism and have concentrated on diversifying and designing makeup for specific populations such as 24-hour blush or water-resistant mascara. Unfortunately, these options are expensive, and many teens can’t afford the best of the makeup industry. Instead of spending astronomical amounts of money on the top makeup brands, most teen settle for the makeup at the drugstore, hoping that it will be an adequate alternative. The problem is that drugstore cosmetics may make you look fabulous, but the damage it does to your skin is toxic.

    In March 2020, Glamour magazine published an article called The Best Drugstore Makeup Products of 2020, which features 15 makeup products that are classified as the best of inexpensive makeup lines. Out of the 15, a few of these items were researched and by the end of the study, it was clear that many of the ingredients in these items have the potential to be harmful to your skin, body, and overall health. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Revlon PhotoReady Candid Natural Finish Anti-Pollution Foundation

Makeup

According to Glamour, this foundation is free of “oils, parabens, phthalates, synthetic dyes, and harsh fragrances” (Editors). Glamour also claims that it has “great medium coverage that stays on all day and doesn’t require touchups”, which is optimal for those who wear makeup regularly (Editors). However, there are other dangerous chemicals in this product that are not mentioned in the description.

One potentially harmful ingredient is Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate. This chemical could be contaminated  aluminum powder, which is a “flammable solid” (User). The foundation may include Titanium dioxide, which is used as a UV light absorber for sunscreens and other skin products. Studies have shown that “allowed workplace exposures [to this chemical are] restricted to low doses” because “when inhaled, titanium dioxide is considered possibly carcinogenic to humans” (EWG, Index).

     The worst of the ingredients was PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone. This chemical alone is not dangerous, but it can be contaminated with Ethylene oxide and 1, 4 Dioxane, (EWG). Ethylene oxide is a carcinogen recognized by the CDC. This chemical is flammable, a fumigant, and a sterilant for medical equipment. Acute exposure can cause irritation of the eye, skin and mucous membranes along with functional issues involving the brain and nerves.

Studies show that this chemical is linked to increased cancer incidents and even skin contact could cause burns or blisters. 1,4 Dioxane is recognized by the EPA as a likely human carcinogen. Light exposure to this chemical “[increases] the risk of cancer. Higher exposures over a shorter amount of time can damage cells in the liver, kidney, and respiratory system” (Index).

Covergirl TruBlend Undercover Concealer

This concealer has “cushiony yet lightweight texture [that] seamlessly mimics real skin and works beautifully on your entire face” (Editors). It’s also “available in 30 shades”, which means consumers are more likely to find makeup that matches their skin tone (Editors). Unfortunately, this product is concealing a lot more than your skin.

The product contains Laureth-7,  Laureth-30, and Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, which all have high chances of being contaminated with Ethylene Oxide and 1,4 Dioxane, just like Dimethicone (EWG). The concealer also has Acrylate crosspolymers and Chlorphenesin: chemicals that can give off a harmful dust that causes eye irritation, dermatitis, and disturbance of the respiratory tract (Ingredients, EWG).

Phenoxyethanol is a chemical that restricted in Japan but in the United States, its regulated to meet requirements by the FDA. Not only is it an allergen, but it is linked to urticaria (hives), eczema, anaphylaxis and adverse effects on the nervous system (Phenoxyethanol).  

Talc was also listed as an ingredient. This naturally occurring metal-face controversy in 2019 because Johnson’s Baby Powder was recalled after it tested positive for asbestos, a carcinogen.  When the FDA conducted a 2020 study on cosmetics containing talc, this product was not listed, and therefore, not examined. In other words, the FDA has not verified that this makeup product is free of asbestos or any other dangerous chemicals.

The worst ingredient listed was urea. Not to be confused with urine, urea is a “colorless crystalline compound excreted in urine (Urea).” This compound was also listed as a good product and that only synthetic urea can be found in cosmetics (Paula). However, putting a supposedly “synthetic” compound on your face that has derived from some organism’s urine still seems unethical.

Physicians Formula Natural Defense Setting the Tone Finishing Powder

This groundbreaking powder “went the extra mile and added blue-light and pollution defense—with a side of a blurring effect” (Editor). Sometimes makeup can be affected severely by the environment, but this powder has claimed to be resistant to uncontrollable environmental factors.  This seems to be a reliable cosmetic, but once again, the ingredients say otherwise.

This finishing powder contains Octinoxate and Oxybenzone, which are chemicals that can be found un your urine and blood. “Octinoxate increases cell proliferation in cells that grow in response to estrogen exposure” and prolonged estrogen exposure is “is an established risk factor in the development and progression of breast cancer” (Octinoxate).

This chemical also reduces “thyroid hormones in blood serum. Thyroid hormones are critical for metabolic functions in the body including mammary gland development” (Octinoxate). Oxybenzone is an irritant and can cause acne, skin rashes, and dermatitis (Common). Acne is the ghost that haunts teenage girls across the globe. Makeup that is worn to cover blemishes might make them more prevalent.

Maybelline the Falsies Instant Lash Lift Look Lengthening Voluminous Mascara

     The amazing mascara “coats each and every lash, making them so thick, full, and gorgeous (Editors)”. Thick and full eyelashes are a highly demanded characteristic in society and a lot of people don’t have thick eyelashes naturally due to genetics or health. The mascara claims to be the best way to get gorgeous eyes, but the truth is in the details.

      One ingredient was paraffin; this compound is a “a wax-like solid that is a mixture of saturated hydrocarbons which are created by the distillation from petroleum” (Oliver). However, paraffin clog pores and doesn’t break down easily. This makes makeup stay on your face, even after you wash your face multiple times. Overtime, this creates buildup on your face and creates a breeding ground for bacteria.

Ethylene VA/Polymer, another ingredient in the mascara, is also known as Ethylene vinyl acetate. This chemical “has caused skin irritation and blisters in workers who accidentally spilled it on their skin” and “one in nine volunteers who breathed air containing [a small amount] of vinyl acetate for 2 minutes had throat irritation” (Toxic).

      The most surprising ingredient was rayon. Rayon is a fiber made from natural sources that are regenerated as cellulose fiber. Rayon can mimic materials such as silk, wool, cotton, and linen. Apparently, “Lengthening mascaras add material to the ends of your lashes to make them appear longer” (Brown). In this mascara, rayon strips “stick to the end of the natural lash and extend it artificially, sort of like shingles sticking off the edge of a roof” (Brown).

ColourPop Just a Tint Lip Crayons

Lip crayons are great for adding “a natural flush or just-bitten vibe to your look (Editors).” “Dabbing the product on with your fingers or directly applying the stick” can give you the look you desire (Editors). The versatility of this product is outstanding, according to Glamour, but its ingredients are even more diverse.

    Saccharin is synthetic sugar that is 200 times sweeter than normal sugar. However, when saccharin or any other type of flavoring is in your lipstick, it makes lipstick taste good, causing you to lick your lips. Though licking your lips moisturizes your lips at first, repeatedly licking your lips makes them more chapped and crackedYellow 5 and Blue 1 Lake was also incorporated in the lip crayon. Yellow 5 is an extreme allergen causing blurred vision, migraines, fatigue, anxiety and asthma (Health). Blue 1 lake is a lot more dangerous than Yellow 5.

Blue 1 Lake “can actually enter the bloodstream via the skin or through the digestive tract” and unfortunately has “been linked to ADHD, allergies, and asthma. In 2003, when [blue dye] was used…in feeding tubes, the FDA issued a public health advisory because of side effects like blue-tinged skin, urine, and feces, as well as hypotension and death” (Magazine). The dye especially penetrates damaged skin. For instance, using blue-colored lip crayon after your lip has bled or cracked will create an opening for more dye to enter your body.  

The Takeaway : What’s in Makeup?

Cosmetics are amazing, but it’s important to understand some makeup is made from items that aren’t necessarily safe. These dangerous ingredients are slowly being added to your body and could be gradually corrupting your health. So, the next time you visit the local drugstore, check the ingredients label and begin to know what’s in your makeup.

Unfortunately, these options are expensive, and many teens can’t afford the best of the makeup industry. Instead of spending astronomical amounts of money on the top makeup brands, most teen settle for the makeup at the drugstore, hoping that it will be an adequate alternative. The problem is that drugstore cosmetics may make you look fabulous, but the damage it does to your skin is toxic.

Unfortunately, these options are expensive, and many teens can’t afford the best of the makeup industry. Instead of spending astronomical amounts of money on the top makeup brands, most teen settle for the makeup at the drugstore, hoping that it will be an adequate alternative. The problem is that drugstore cosmetics may make you look fabulous, but the damage it does to your skin is toxic.

Unfortunately, these options are expensive, and many teens can’t afford the best of the makeup industry. Instead of spending astronomical amounts of money on the top makeup brands, most teen settle for the makeup at the drugstore, hoping that it will be an adequate alternative. The problem is that drugstore cosmetics may make you look fabulous, but the damage it does to your skin is toxic.

Unfortunately, these options are expensive, and many teens can’t afford the best of the makeup industry. Instead of spending astronomical amounts of money on the top makeup brands, most teen settle for the makeup at the drugstore, hoping that it will be an adequate alternative. The problem is that drugstore cosmetics may make you look fabulous, but the damage it does to your skin is toxic.

See Also

Unfortunately, these options are expensive, and many teens can’t afford the best of the makeup industry. Instead of spending astronomical amounts of money on the top makeup brands, most teen settle for the makeup at the drugstore, hoping that it will be an adequate alternative. The problem is that drugstore cosmetics may make you look fabulous, but the damage it does to your skin is toxic.

Unfortunately, these options are expensive, and many teens can’t afford the best of the makeup industry. Instead of spending astronomical amounts of money on the top makeup brands, most teen settle for the makeup at the drugstore, hoping that it will be an adequate alternative. The problem is that drugstore cosmetics may make you look fabulous, but the damage it does to your skin is toxic.

Cosmetics are amazing, but it’s important to understand some makeup is made from items that aren’t necessarily safe. These dangerous ingredients are slowly being added to your body and could be gradually corrupting your health. So, the next time you visit the local drugstore, check the ingredients label and begin

Cosmetics are amazing, but it’s important to understand some makeup is made from items that aren’t necessarily safe. These dangerous ingredients are slowly being added to your body and could be gradually corrupting your health. So, the next time you visit the local drugstore, check the ingredients label and begin

Cosmetics are amazing, but it’s important to understand some makeup is made from items that aren’t necessarily safe. These dangerous ingredients are slowly being added to your body and could be gradually corrupting your health. So, the next time you visit the local drugstore, check the ingredients label and begin

Cosmetics are amazing, but it’s important to understand some makeup is made from items that aren’t necessarily safe. These dangerous ingredients are slowly being added to your body and could be gradually corrupting your health. So, the next time you visit the local drugstore, check the ingredients label and begin

Cosmetics are amazing, but it’s important to understand some makeup is made from items that aren’t necessarily safe. These dangerous ingredients are slowly being added to your body and could be gradually corrupting your health. So, the next time you visit the local drugstore, check the ingredients label and begin

Cosmetics are amazing, but it’s important to understand some makeup is made from items that aren’t necessarily safe. These dangerous ingredients are slowly being added to your body and could be gradually corrupting your health. So, the next time you visit the local drugstore, check the ingredients label and begin

Cosmetics are amazing, but it’s important to understand some makeup is made from items that aren’t necessarily safe. These dangerous ingredients are slowly being added to your body and could be gradually corrupting your health. So, the next time you visit the local drugstore, check the ingredients label and begin

Cosmetics are amazing, but it’s important to understand some makeup is made from items that aren’t necessarily safe. These dangerous ingredients are slowly being added to your body and could be gradually corrupting your health. So, the next time you visit the local drugstore, check the ingredients label and begin

Cosmetics are amazing, but it’s important to understand some makeup is made from items that aren’t necessarily safe. These dangerous ingredients are slowly being added to your body and could be gradually corrupting your health. So, the next time you visit the local drugstore, check the ingredients label and begin

Cosmetics are amazing, but it’s important to understand some makeup is made from items that aren’t necessarily safe. These dangerous ingredients are slowly being added to your body and could be gradually corrupting your health. So, the next time you visit the local drugstore, check the ingredients label and begin

Cosmetics are amazing, but it’s important to understand some makeup is made from items that aren’t necessarily safe. These dangerous ingredients are slowly being added to your body and could be gradually corrupting your health. So, the next time you visit the local drugstore, check the ingredients label and begin

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