How to Look Beautiful Without Harming the Earth (or Yourself!)
The average woman uses about 12 different beauty products a day – from her shampoo to body lotion to lipstick. That is a lot of stuff we’re slathering on our bodies! It’s hard to resist when society dictates a certain standard of beauty and personal appearance. Depending on the trends, we strive for shiny straight or curly hair, bronzed or pale skin, thin or bold eyebrows.. the list goes on.
But do the majority of us understand the list of ingredients on the back of all these products, let alone even look at them?
If human health isn’t a top priority, then what about the environmental side-effects? As with most items we buy and consume today, there are excessive amounts of unnecessary packaging – which usual ends up festering in a landfill for several lifetimes. There is all the energy and fuel used in the transportation of the materials to your local drugstores across the country. And hey, what happens when you wash all those chemicals off your hair and body and flush them down the drain? (That is, the chemicals which aren’t already absorbed directly through your skin) They flow into the wastewater and can disrupt all sorts of micro-ecosystems out there.
Although a number of cosmetics claim to be ‘natural’ or even ‘organic,’ there isn’t currently strict standards on what those terms denote. A crucial example of hypocrisy in the industry is the pink ribbon cancer-fighting product which actually contains ingredients which have been proven to cause cancer in the first place (called ‘pinkwashing‘).This is a brief overview of the appalling risks involved in using all these beauty products which is second nature to most of us.
Ever wondered why that Chinese nail polish dried up so soon? That is just one of the few flaws found in cheap cosmetics. Here are some of the reasons why you should not opt for attractive looking cheap cosmetics….
- Manufacturers of these cosmetics compromise on the quality, longevity and stability test. During these tests the products are put under extreme conditions and observed with regards to quality.
- Manufacturers also use extra perfumes to make the product attractive for the consumer. And excess perfume causes acne.
- Using cheap eyeliner or kohl can make your eyes water. Sometimes these products even cause irritation.
- Besides drying very fast, the cheap nail polishes start smelling and even changes colour.
- Sometimes these cosmetics don’t suit your skin and cause allergies.
- Some of the fancy looking nail polishes that you get at throwaway prices don’t have a date of manufacture on the bottle. Most of these cosmetics have crossed their expiry date.
- Manufacturers also use a creamy base to sell the product. If you have oily skin, this creamy base blocks the oil glands and results in breakouts.
- A cheap skin-lightening product may contain lightening agents that haven’t been tested and may cause pigmentation. It may also leave dark patches on your skin.
- Most of these products don’t mention the ingredients used in them. In case of any side effects, this makes it difficult for a dermatologist to treat your skin.
- Foundation and blushes contain zinc oxide, which is not harmful for skin. But a cheap brand might use eccess colour in these products, which may cause allergies.
- Lipsticks that have passed their expiration date could cause discolouration of the lips, swellings or peeling of the skin.
- Severe rash and redness are some of the most common skin problems caused by using untested cosmetics.
Avoid these Side Effects
- Always use good quality brands.
- Make sure the products have been tested.
- Always check the date of expiry, irrespective of the brand.
- Always conduct a patch test on your forearm to ensure that you are not allergic to the product.
Expired cosmetics are a danger for your health
Only one in four women consider the expiration date of her cosmetic products, according to research. Other women put their health at risk by using cosmetics for several years, even if they start to smell funny or discolor.
At some point, aging cosmetics lose their effectiveness to fight bacteria no matter how careful you are when using it. But there are steps we can take to extend the shelf life of our cosmetics and protect ourselves from infections, like pink eye and skin breakouts.
Toxic Chemicals to Avoid in Makeup (cosmetics and personal-care products)
Here are the 12 toxic chemicals you should avoid when buying make-up, which put you at the highest risk of biological mutation, reproductive complications, acute toxicity, tumors, skin and eye irritations.
Toxic 12 Chemicals to Avoid in Makeup
1. Benzoyl peroxide
2. DEA (diethanolamine) and MEA (monoethanolamine) and TEA (triethanolamine)
3. Dioxin 4. DMDM hydantoin and imidazolidinyl urea
5. Synthetic colors and pigments
6. Parabens (methyl, butyl, ethyl, propyl)
7. FEG (polyethylene glycol)
8. Phthalates (xenoestrogens)
9. Propylene glycol and butylene glycol
10. Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate
11. Sunscreen chemicals like avobensone, benzphenone and PABA
The following tips lessen the contamination of makeup and extend its use:
– Use common sense.
– Basic hygiene is key: Before applying makeup, wash your face and hands with soap.
– Instead of directly touching your makeup by placing your fingers in the product, pour a little into your palm or scoop a little out with a disposable spoon or applicator.
– Don’t share your makeup with others.
– Keep makeup containers tightly closed when not in use.
– Throw makeup away if the color changes or an odor develops (makeup has preservatives, similar to that in food, which can break down over time).
– Don’t use water or, even worse, saliva, which could introduce bacteria that could easily grow out of control. If makeup has lost its original texture or consistency, the preservatives have probably broken down.