The beauty products industry is booming today thanks to women’s need to look good at any cost. There are many products in the market that claim to do anything from giving a flawless skin to improving skin tone. The hair care industry is not too far behind. Hair colour today is used not just to hide grey hair. It is also used to highlight and give a different colour to your normal hair colour. But have you ever paused to ask yourself the health ramifications of using these products?
Most of these beauty products contain harmful chemicals that can have serious adverse effects. In fact, some products can also increase your risk of a disease as serious as cancer. According to a study in Environment International, chemicals used in cosmetic and personal care products can lead to changes in reproductive hormones. This study was in George Mason University. Researchers say that women need to be more careful when they choose their beauty products and take the time to read the ingredients list. They say that commonly used chemicals like parabens may increase oestrogen levels. This may increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
Let us take a look at some commonly used chemicals in beauty products and their effect on health.
These are basically preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mould, fungus and parasites. This is a common ingredient in most cosmetic products. However, when you use such products, your skin absorbs the paraben and it enters your bloodstream. But parabens are known to imitate the oestrogen hormone. This can cause hormonal imbalance. Besides, as the study mentioned above says, it can increase your risk of breast cancer.
This chemical is present in nail polish, shampoos, creams and moisturisers. But experts say that phthalates may increase your risk of infertility, asthma, ADHD, breast cancer and diabetes. According to a study at Uppsala University, there is a connection between phthalates found in cosmetics and plastics and the risk of developing diabetes among seniors. Even at a modest increase in circulating phthalate levels, the risk of diabetes is doubled. This was published in the journal Diabetes Care.
Most anti-bacterial beauty products contain triclosan. Another name for this is microban. It is a preservative usually present in anti-bacterial soaps and hand-sanitisers. But the problem is that triclosan kills off both good as well as bad bacteria. This chemical may cause hormonal imbalance besides weakening your immunity
This is a common ingredient in lipsticks. It is present mainly as a colouring dye. If you use cheap lipstick, you may be at risk of an overdose. The skin can absorb this chemical and you may also unconsciously lick your lips. It can cause blood, brain and nervous system disorders. The safest thing to do here is to just reapply lipstick not more than once or two during the day.
This is there as a disinfectant and preservative in many beauty products like nail polish, soap, shaving cream and shampoo. Hair straightening formulas contain it too. It can cause breathing difficulties, irritation of the eyes and even cancer.