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22 March 2017

Cutting chemicals out of cosmetics

The inexplicable rise of certain health conditions along with research conducted on the health impacts of chemicals raises concerns about the safety of ingredients in chemical produced personal care products. Beauty is one industry where the use of chemicals in the production of personal care products is unsystematically monitored and tested.

The beauty industry selects from a palette of approximately 12,500 chemical ingredients to produce a range of products with the average chemical produced beauty product containing between 15 to 50 ingredients. Each product formulation varies slightly, however, most cosmetics contain a concoction of ingredients including water, fragrances, emulsifiers, emollients, colouring agents, preservatives, thickening agents, and pH stabilisers. Most of the chemicals used in beauty products have previously never been tested for their health effects and the ones that have been tested are allocated a safe dose due to low usage levels, however this does not account for the thousands of other chemicals a person is exposed to throughout the day.  

The main chemicals of concern used in the production of cosmetics include Phthalates, Parabens, Talcum powder, Nanoparticles, Formaldehyde and formaldehyde donors, Lead acetate, Coal tar, UV filters, Triclosan, Resorcinol, Toluene and Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) due to their links to cancer and hormone disruption. Furthermore, the production and disposal of these chemicals affect our environment with most beauty waste being washed down the drains, threatening marine biodiversity and the quality of our oceans and waterways.   

Research has uncovered women use around 9 and 15 beauty products daily, applying approximately 515 chemicals to their skin through the use of cosmetics, beauty products and perfumes. Making your own natural beauty products at home is an easy and affordable way to significantly reduce your daily exposure to chemicals. Using a small selection of natural ingredients, you can make your own chemical free deodorant, mascara, face mask, body scrub, toothpaste and more. Switching to a natural alternative is better for your health and the environment.
Related: What is in your sunscreen?; Looming health hazards of synthetic chemical repellents; Natural toxin free deodorant

Author & Editor

Tracey Bailey is the founder of Biome Eco Stores and mother of two. After working in corporate communications and starting a family, she made a choice to be part of the solution to our planet's future and started Biome Eco Stores. Tracey is passionate about educating the community about living eco-friendly and sustainable lives through her extended product, chemical, health and environmental knowledge.


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