Know Your Beauty Products

Submitted by Amisha Upadhyaya

As women, we are more aware if not necessarily following the pitfalls of giving into beauty trends and perceptions.  Some of these pitfalls are unknown to us. As consumers, we have knowledge at our fingertips to bypass those dangers not in our control, like the chemicals found in the products we rely on for hygiene and beauty.

Many of our food and beauty products contain carcinogenic properties (cancer causing agents) like parabens or phthalates in lipsticks, nail polish, and other make-up which can, in addition to causing cancer, penetrate the placenta barrier making it harmful for pregnant women. Or, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) leading ingredients in shampoos, that mixed with other ingredients increases their carcinogenic properties.

In case you don’t want cancer or renal failure from hiding the bags under your eyes, there are a host of resources now to alert you as to ingredients and their hazards.  For a full list go to Skin Deep, a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products brought to you by researchers at the Environmental Working Group.  GoodGuide is a Web site and iPhone application that gives consumers a product’s health, environmental and social impacts.

Actress/musicians Sarah Carter, Kestrin Pantera, and make-up artist Victoria Rowe delved into these dangers with “Operation Ugly,” where you find out tidbits like of the over 1,100 chemicals that are banned from beauty products and food in the EU, only 9 are banned in the US.  They may be slow in international peace initiatives but the EU countries are definitely up on the safety of their citizens.  Maybe that’s why they don’t have an obesity problem and are healthier (the US has the highest rate of breast cancer in the world)…just a thought….


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