There are thousands of anti-aging creams, moisturizers, lotions, serums, lipsticks, hair products, mascaras, cleansing products available on the market, and you can spend a lot of money on luxury brands or just a few bucks on the most affordable ones. Many products that are considered to be cheap work just as well as luxury ones, because they contain almost the same ingredients. The problem is that several health-damaging substances have been discovered in cosmetics, skin care creams, and styling products.
Chemicals, heavy metals, and even bacteria have been identified by FORBES magazine, which made a short list of the most problematic products used in makeup, but it also offers a number of tips to avoid the risks.
Mercury in anti-aging products
This was the news that recently brought public attention in the United States when the FDA discovered that some imported creams contain toxic levels of mercury and other heavy metals, presenting a major risk of contamination.
The list of dangerous creams is quite long, but so far only contains products imported from Latin America, Asia or the Middle East. The most dangerous creams are those for illumination or whitening of the skin and anti-aging products.
If you used a train care cream made in China, India, Mexico or another exotic location, check the label for mercury content.
The ingredient may also appear as mercurous chloride, mercuric, or mercurio.
Symptoms of mercury intoxication include tremor of the body, memory problems, irritability, changes in vision or hearing.
Such creams have been discovered in seven states in America so far, where some serious cases of mercury poisoning have been reported.
The main adverse effect of inorganic mercury contained in these products is the destruction of the kidneys. It can also cause rashes, skin discoloration, and it can reduce skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections.
Furthermore, mercury-based creams produce an inverse effect, namely blackening and wrinkling the skin.
Other side effects include anxiety, depression or psychosis, and peripheral neuropathy.
Mercury from soaps, creams and other cosmetics is finally discharged into the waste water. It then enters the food chain, being extremely toxic. For example, fishes with high-mercury content which is dangerous for pregnant women who, when consuming poisoned fish, are at risk for fetuses malformations or neurological deficits after birth.
An EU Directive provides that mercury compounds are forbidden as ingredients in cosmetics, including soaps, lotions, shampoos, and skin bleaching products.
The US Food and Drug Administration allows mercury compounds at concentrations of 65 mg/kg in makeup products for the eye area. All other cosmetic products must contain mercury in a concentration of less than 1 mg/kg.
Mercury is a special threat to the baby’s development in the uterus. The mercury intoxication has caused various toxic effects, including destruction of the nervous, digestive, and immune system in fetuses. Mercury also has a devastating effect on the lungs, kidneys, skin, and eyes.
Lead in lipstick
Although many women believe this is just a rumor, the news that some lipsticks would contain lead has been proven by a FDA test on hundreds of lipsticks. The alert was issued by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Thus, in the two consecutive surveys, specialists found lead in 100% of the lipstick tested, and in all cases in significant quantities.
Brands that have tested positive for lead have included respectable US brands – L’Oreal, Revlon, Avon, Cover Girl, as well as brands such as Dior and M.A.C.
Five of the most contaminated 10 lipsticks were manufactured by L’Oreal United States. Since the safety level for lead is zero – in other words, a product is safe if it does not contain lead – the problem turns out to be very serious.
However, the FDA has issued a list of questions and answers, saying that lipsticks are not a danger if used correctly.
In translation: if you do not lick your lips, you do not ingest anything; if you do not kiss anyone after you put lipstick, everything will be okay.
Bacteria in the mascara
This stage can be achieved if the mascara is kept on the eyelids longer than necessary. According to a study by the Optometry Journal publication, bacteria that are naturally present in the eye can be transferred to the mascara via the wand.
In 33% of tested products, staphylococci, streptococci and fungi were found. Normally, mascara contains preservatives that prevent bacterial reproduction and is considered safe for three months.
It is important that women who keep their mascaras in their purse know that a factor in bacteria multiplication is heat. It is good that the mascara to be kept in a cool place, and after a few months to be replaced.
Applying it is an important factor: stop in two layers, otherwise it could affect the glands on the eyelid.
Formol in hair products
Although most product labels say they do not contain formol, many of the keratin-based hair products, especially the straighteners, have been found to contain this substance, known as carcinogen.
The levels of formol found were rather low and should not be a hazard if you straighten your hair several times a year, but often the frequency is higher.
Stylists who use the products on their clients regularly are generally the most affected.
Cosmetics contain toxic substances and that’s a fact, as it has been proven in official tests. However, this doesn’t mean that you should not use cosmetics anymore, but it means that you should read the labels more carefully in the future in to choose only those cosmetics that doesn’t contain mercury, lead, or formol.
Mercury in anti-aging products, lead in lipstick, bacteria in mascara, or formol in hair products are just the most common toxic substances and harmful microorganisms that have been found during FDA tests. Be safe by buying only those products that does not contain these substances.
I am a young woman, a mother of two beautiful kids, and I am passionate about reading and writing. I am a flexible writer, with huge experience on topics related to health, babies and kids, lifestyle, fashion, IT&Tech, relationships, and world’s mysteries.
Armed with my articles as weapons against wrongness, I hope to help people living a better and healthier life, and I’ll always be a militant for justice, trying to teach people about what is good and what is wrong.