The Dangers of Using Cosmetics

Cosmetics refer to substances that are added to the external part of the body in order to modify its characteristics and texture. Cosmetics are made up of a combination of various chemical substances derived either from natural sources or chemically manufactured ones. Cosmetics manufacturers aim at providing the best cosmetics to the consumers. There are numerous cosmetic products available in the market that can be classified into many sections.

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They include facial creams, lotions, moisturizers, sunscreens, shampoos, soaps, toners, exfoliators, body lotions, foundations, bronzers, lipsticks, eye shadows, mascara, eyeliners, mascaras, eye bags, and lip gloss. The cosmetic companies use various strategies to make their products successful. Some of the strategies are based on research and development, others on the marketability and profitability. Cosmetics manufacturers usually try to add some natural ingredients in their products in order to increase their shelf life. Natural ingredients are usually used to improve the texture of the external parts of the body such as the skin and the lips. However, natural ingredients also increase the risk of allergy or contact dermatitis

Cosmetics in the United States are required to display the FDA seal. Therefore, a product has to have a label stating “approved by the FDA.” The use of the term “minor cosmetic” is allowed if the product is intended for use only on the external parts of the body such as the lips, eyes, and ears. The cosmetic products are available in the form of gels, creams, lotions, pills, facial creams, body lotions, exfoliators, facial sponges, moisturizers, lipsticks, and eye shadow.

In addition, some cosmetics can be applied externally but contain therapeutic agents that may have undesirable effects on the consumers such as allergic reactions, rashes, depression, dizziness, paralysis, nausea, headaches, and stomachaches. Such cosmetics include soaps and shampoos, toothpastes, lotions, and ointments. Some cosmetics contain allergens, neurotoxins, and carcinogens that may cause skin irritation and allergy. Cosmetics that contain synthetic colorants and fragrances are considered as cosmetics that are not intended for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women. Some cosmetics contain alcohols, silicones, and petroleum-based ingredients that can be irritating to the skin.

Each cosmetic has a unique list of ingredients followed by the claim that the cosmetic contains an approved list of ingredients. For example, lipsticks may claim that they have ALA, an alpha hydroxyl acid that promotes lip smoothness and elasticity. However, ALA cannot legally be listed as an ingredient because it has not been approved by FDA. Lipsticks that contain hydroquinone have a greater risk of developing cancer than other lipsticks. Therefore, a lipstick with hydroquinone as an active ingredient should be avoided.

Cosmetics are made up of thousands of chemicals. Although some cosmetics may have a benefit in promoting skin health and having a longer shelf life, there are many harmful chemicals and other ingredients that may affect a person’s health. It is very important to read and understand the ingredients label of cosmetics before buying any cosmetic products. Always read the ingredients labels of cosmetics and pay attention to the warning signs of chemicals that may be present in cosmetics and make sure to avoid using cosmetic products that contain dangerous chemicals.

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