Makeup Is Fun:
The beauty world and community has skyrocketed in the last few years. With the rise of social media and platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, everyone is particularly aware of what everyone else looks like - and like it has before, even during recessions, the beauty industry has prevailed and continued to be a lucrative business.
With the increased capability of knowing HOW to apply makeup, or do your hair, or dress fashionably - stores like Sephora and Ulta have blown up. Accessible makeup, ranging from cheap to luxury - the opportunity to learn how to be an amateur ‘makeup artists’ is at the tip of any girl, boy, man or woman’s fingertips who can afford it.
The truth is that makeup is fun! It’s a form of expression. It brings confidence to many, and it’s a creative avenue that artists can get lost in - whether you’re killing your smokey eye for a night out, or you’re the make-up artists for the next Lord of the Rings or Star Wars.
But there’s a catch; makeup can also be incredibly terrifying. Why? It is no secret that the regulations for consumable goods such as food, are more than questionable. Most governments implement laws surrounding the safety of products being used or consumed by humans - but only to a certain extent; after all, what could be more important than cashing in the green?
Read your Labels:
Everyone is so aware of health - not only because of the visible health issues in countries like the United States, Mexico and Canada, but because of the availability of information. In recent years, the rise of veganism was a product of this information getting viral attention worldwide - it has become second nature to read food labels before purchasing them...so how come this doesn’t happen in beauty and makeup? I mean if we think about it, we’re putting a concoction of chemicals on our skin for hours on hours on end… so should we be caring a little bit more?
The answer is yes.
THREE Compounds You Should Be Looking Out For:
Parabens have been used as a preservative in cosmetics for decades - they are commonly the ones who stop bacteria and mold from growing - and for the most part, they are very successful at doing just that. The catch? Parabens have estrogen-mimicking properties that are directly linked to increased risk of breast cancer. They have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors and studies found that the skin absorbs them and they accumulate in the body. The tricky thing with parabens is that they are also used as a fragrance ingredient- much like a restaurant's ‘secret recipe’, beauty companies are not required to disclose what chemicals they use to make their products smell the way they do. A study shows an estimated 75 to 90 percent of cosmetics contain parabens.
Very much like, parabens, Triclosan is a type of sanitizer - it has anti-bacterial agents that get absorbed by the skin. Although it is present in makeup, it’s also present in deodorants, garbage bags, toys, linens, clothes, and other household items. Why does it suck? Well, also like parabens, it disrupts reproductive hormones and can be a strong skin irritant. Taking it a step further, this compound is particularly harmful to sea life. It does not degrade and is very toxic - Canada has completely banned this compound from all products to protect its marines environments.
It even sounds dangerous. Formaldehyde is a colorless gas utilized to disinfect. Present in nail polish, hair products and color cosmetics, this human carcinogen stimulates tumor formation. There was a study in 2009 that linked formaldehyde to leukemia - the study showed how these two were intricately connected through the occupational use of the compound. This compound can be inhaled or it can be ingested - whether it’s soluble in the skin or not is still a matter of study.
Regardless, the second whammy behind this chemical is that it is highly irritant - a high concentration could chemically burn the skin or create severe rashes. A 2015 study showed that up to 11.9% of the population is allergic to formaldehyde when exposed to a 2.0% formaldehyde patch test - so stay far far away, just in case.
Before purchasing a beauty product, make sure that you check the ingredient list! You’ve heard it a million times; if the list is long and you can’t pronounce everything you see, put it down, and make the better choice. Not only for your skin, but also for your health.