There is no law in the US that requires the Food and Drug Administration to approve cosmetics. This means that other than color additives, cosmetics can contain a number of dangerous chemicals with no regulation. When a person uses cosmetics, their skin absorbs chemicals, which can then enter the bloodstream. People might also inhale powders or ingest some cosmetics (using lip products etc.) Here is a list of the top chemicals you need to avoid in makeup.
- Talc can be found in blushes, eye shadows and bronzers. It poses a health risk due to possible contamination with asbestos (a known cancer-forming chemical).
- Lead, which is a harmful heavy metal, can be found in eye makeup products. Lead can also be labeled as kohl, kajal, al-kahal, surma, tiro, tozali, and kwalli.
- Parabens, preservatives in cosmetics, can enter the body through the skin and mimic estrogen which can cause breast cancer cells to grow. Parabens may appear on labels as methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben.
- Carbon black is present in mascaras, eye liners and lipsticks as it gives products their coloring. This chemical is linked with cancer and carcinogens.
- Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl substances are found in foundations, concealers, and eyeliners. There are more than 4,000 chemicals classed as PFAS that can cause cancer, harming a fetus, affecting the immune system and hormone balance.
Just because a product is labeled natural and organic, doesn’t mean that the cosmetic doesn’t contain synthetic chemicals. In 1998 the FDA tried to establish the official term for natural but nothing was ever determined about it. Being organic doesn’t mean anything either unless you see the USDA organic seal. I’ve done some research on cosmetic companies and have compiled a list of brands with the most toxins and the least.
Makeup brands with the most toxins:
- IT cosmetics
- Smash Box
- Urban Decay
- Wet N Wild
- Estée Lauder
Makeup brands with the least toxins:
- Bare Minerals
- Alima Pure
- Haus of Gaga
- Juice Beauty
- Burts Bees
- Real Purity
- Cover FX
- RMS Beauty
- 100% Pure
- Pacifica Beauty
- W3ll People
- Physicians Formula
- Vapour Beauty
- Hynt Beauty
- Au Naturale
Many of the brands above are available in a wide range of prices in stores and online. This makes it easier to choose a healthier makeup brand that is also an affordable alternative to what you may be using right now.
“Foundation should unify tone, but it shouldn’t take away the individuality of the skin.” -Francois Nars