In a world where your life is judged by how great you look in your Facebook posts and Instagram pics, there is a constant expectation to look your best all the time. Wanting to be always selfie-ready, however, comes at a price. The makeup industry has been telling women for years how a little foundation and dash of mascara can liven up your face instantly. While that may be true, applying makeup every day can have several harmful side effects on your skin and body.
Chemicals like Diazolidinyl urea and DMDM Hydantoin, both of which are tend to release formaldehyde, are a common ingredient in many cosmetic products and are used as an antimicrobial preservative. These chemicals have been known to cause headaches, irritation of the mucous membranes, and cause damage to the eyes. If you have been suffering from headaches and can’t figure out why, try going easy on the makeup for a few days to see if the headache goes away.
- Hair Problems
With changing trends in fashion, there is also a wave of hair trends that comes along. Hair products like hair gels, hair serums, shampoos, conditioners, and hair sprays contain several harmful chemicals which set your hair the way you want but end up damaging your hair in the long run. Extensive use of chemical based hair products could lead to dandruff, scalp redness, thinning of hair, and even loss of hair. Long term use of hair color could also lead to hair discoloration.
This is common side effect of makeup that most women would have expereinced. Your skin is as much a part of your body as any other organ. It also needs to breathe and grow. When you cover your skin with makeup, you also end up clogging it. Some types of makeup which are in the form of liquids and creams clog the pores in your skin. This leads to the formation of blackheads, which when not cleaned regularly can form acne. So make sure you clean your makeup thoroughly with a natural cleanser before going to bed.
- Skin Allergies
Chemicals known as Parabens which include ethyl-paraben, butyl-paraben, and isopropyl-paraben are used as preservatives to prevent bacterial growth in cosmetics. Parabens can cause various allergic reactions like skin irritation, blotches, and blemishes on the skin. Another common allergen in cosmetics is Salicylate which can cause an outbreak of painful rashes or hives if you have sensitive skin. In many cases, the allergic reaction is not apparent until the symptoms becomes severe. Read the label for parabens before you buy.
- Eye Infections
Eye makeup is used extensively even by women who don’t use heavy makeup. But it’s important to remember that your eyes and the skin around them is the most sensitive area of your face. Layers of eye makeup can be damaging to your eyes as it also slips into your eyes through the corners causing irritation. Too much mascara and eyeliner inhibits the growth of eyelashes and also becomes a breeding ground for bacteria which could lead to irritations and infections.
Skincare products and deodorants are directly absorbed by your skin, so it’s very likely that the chemicals used in these products also seep into your body. A study conducted on rats found that butyl paraben adversely affects the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system. Though the consumers of cosmetics are majorly women, it’s still important to note the adverse effects parabens can have on the reproductive system. Parabens are widely used in the skincare industry and even products labelled natural could have parabens.
- Premature Ageing
When you use skin products for a longer period of time, the chemicals present tend to permanently damage your skin. With time, you could begin to see skin ageing signs likes wrinkles or patchiness on your face and body. While makeup does help you hide or cover flaws in your skin, the long term effects could be counterproductive. Also, considering how big the anti-ageing products market is, cosmetic companies have no incentive to reduce the ageing effects of makeup.
- Hormonal Imbalance
Prolonged use of cosmetics can have an impact on your endocrine system and interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland. Triclosan is a commonly used chemical compound and can be found in products like acne-removal scrubs and deodorants to keep them free of germs. With regular use, triclosan gets absorbed and accumulated in your body and affects the thyroid gland causing an imbalance in the hormonal secretions. This could lead to thyroid related conditions like headaches, weight gain, and depression.
Many of the chemical based cosmetics available in the stores today contain toxic ingredients that could cause cancer. With regulations in place, there is testing being done on the ingredients before the products can be sold. However, cosmetics companies need only prove that there will be no immediate harmful results. So there is no conclusive research done on the long-term effects of all the ingredients. Try and avoid products with the following ingredients.
- Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol)
- Coal tar
- Untreated or mildly treated mineral oils
- Ethylene oxide
- Cadmium and its compounds
- Crystalline silica (or quartz)
- Skin Discoloration
Skin products like sunscreens, moisturizers, toners, and creams contain agents that bleach or darken the skin. Cosmetic products that use poor quality ingredients which have not been regulated can lead to skin discoloration. The effect could be patches, pigmentation, uneven skin tone, redness, and freckles. Though your skin is meant to protect you, it is also very sensitive and needs to treated with care. So avoid using chemical products for your daily skincare routine.
Using chemical based cosmetics regularly can have adverse effects on your skin and could even lead to permanent damage. The best way to avoid these side effects of makeup is by reducing the use of cosmetics and switching to natural or herbal products. And always remember to read the label for harmful chemicals before you buy.