We, as women, love cosmetics, don’t we? Some of us more than others (hint!) but I personally don’t know a woman that wouldn’t be using absolutely anything. My grandma was loyal to just one cream and used it for everything but that was more to do with the fact that nothing else was available and then, when it was, she still stuck with what she knew best and worked for her. I have to admit that for a woman her age her skin looked amazing.
As I briefly mentioned in this post, I have noticed a long time ago that majority of the mainstream cosmetics contain a lot of chemicals and even if they claim to be “eco”, “natural” or contain natural ingredients those are usually at the very end of the ingredients list. Lots of the chemicals that are used in the mainstream cosmetics aren’t beneficial for our skin and quite a few of them are actually harmful. So today I will touch on that. To mention absolutely everything that is wrong with the cosmetic industry would probably need hundreds and hundreds of posts but let us at least begin. After all, one of the main reasons behind me making my own cosmetics is trying to avoid harmful ingredients.
USA v. Canada/ Europe
Those of you who live in the USA are probably well aware that there are a lot of food and cosmetic ingredients that are allowed in the USA but banned in Canada or Europe because they are proven to be harmful. I never quite understood that and I think I never will. WHY? Why would a developed country such as the USA allow harmful ingredients to be used? Funny enough, I remember watching a documentary in which they showed community shops in the USA being shut down because they sold raw milk and FDA found it “dangerous” for human consumption. REALLY? I mean REALLY? If any of you reading this post understand the logic behind it, please help me because I don’t. And to be blunt, I am so grateful I was born in Europe!
But now let’s cut to the chase and try and see what’s wrong with the cosmetic industry in Europe. So…
Everything that’s wrong with the cosmetic industry
If you do a quick internet search for harmful ingredients you will discover different length lists: 10, 12, 17, 20 harmful ingredients so surely I won’t be able to cover them all here but I hope that my post will inspire you to discover the truth for yourself and dig in a bit deeper. There is lots of research out there, some more believable than other and some more independent than other, therefore the results might be different. But if you look at the resources online there are some harmful ingredients that get mentioned over and over again.
Found in: nail polish, nail products, eyelash glue, body and hair products.
Why harmful: it is considered to be a human carcinogen, irritant, might be harmful to the immune system and cause allergin skin reactions.
2. SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)
Found in: foaming products such as body washes, face washes, shampoos, toothpaste
Why harmful: irritates skin, disrupts natural skin balance, may cause eye damage.
Found in: exfoliants, perfume
Why harmful: possibly carcinogen, can cause skin depigmentation, interferes with hormone function
Found in: antibacterial products, toothpaste, deodorant
Why harmful: skin irritant, may cause hormonal disruptions, bacteria resistance, cause allergies
Found in: chemical sunscreens
Why harmful: may disrupt the hormone system, acts like estrogen in the body, is linked to endometriosis in women
Found in: perfume, skin and body care, hair products, makeup
Why harmful: fragrance isn’t just one ingredient but even up to 100 ingredients hidden behind “fragrance” label. Some of those are linked to cancer, hormone disruption, allergies, respiratory problems, asthma.
(And I always loved beautifully smelling comsetics!)
7. Mineral oil/ petroleum/ paraffin
Found in: skin care, hair care, mascara
Why harmful: possibly carcinogen, impairs skin ability to remove toxins
8. PEGs – Polyethylene glycol
Found in: body wash, scrubs, toothpaste, makeup
Why harmful: skin irritant, often contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane which are known carcinogens. It is also harmful to marine life – all those tiny exfoliating plastic beads made from polyethylene once washed down the pipes find their way into rivers and seas and are consumed by fish and marine animals.
9. And everyone’s favourite PARABENS
Found in: parabens are used as preservatives therefore they are found in majority of products
Why harmful: linked to cancer, hormone disruption, may also cause reproductive problems
I am going to stop here. Yes, I could go on for much longer but this surely gives you an idea on the mainstream cosmetic industry. I would suggest to take just one tub/ jar/ bottle of a cosmetic you normally use that isn’t really natural or organic and do a little research of the ingredients on the list. I bet you are going to be surprised.
If you would like a little bit more info I suggest you read this article by one of my favourite bloggers.
And if you aren’t already doing it, from now on keep checking the ingredients lists of the products you buy. And for your own sake try and avoid the harmful ingredients as much as you can.