Many makeups include additives and ingredients that aren’t always good for us. Some of these ingredients only cause mild rashes, but others are known carcinogens. Here is a list of 10 nasties commonly found in makeup that should be avoided because of their harmful effects on the skin and body.
**Lanolin** A moisturising agent which comes from sheep sweat, nice! The ingredient is extracted from wool because of its effectiveness as a moisturiser and is used in skin products, lotions, creams and baby oils. In most cases it can be used safely on the skin but it is poisonous when its ingested. Although not common some people experience allergic reactions from coming into contact with lanolin.
**Alcohol** Used as a solvent in skincare products and shampoos, it can have a drying effect on skin and hair.
**Petroleum By-Products** Petroleum by-products are used in just about every type of product conceivable, in skin care products it often appears as petroleum jelly or parafin wax. Petroleum by-products have been found in breast tumours and has been shown to cause premature skin ageing and acne. It is also known to have an occlusive effect on the skin, not allowing skin to breath normally and decreasing its ability to absorb oxygen into the bloodstream.
**Mineral Oil** Found in lipsticks, lotion, makeup removers, liquid foundation and the main ingredient in baby oil. This oil is derived from petroleum and it coats the skin clogging the pores and stopping the skin from ridding itself of toxins.
**Sulphates** These come in many different guises: sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, and sodium C14-16 olefin sulfate, surfacants or surface active ingredients. Phew! They’re used in shampoos and face washes because they’re excellent at cleaning things. Unfortunately, they strip hair and skin of natural oils, leaving them dry and damaged. Many people find that using sulphates can cause skin irritations or even give them an allergic reaction.
**Talc** Talc is found in blushes, powdered foundations and of course talcum powder. Talc is a carcinogen when inhaled.
**Laquer** Added to mascara to make it waterproof and make eyelashes appear fuller. Can cause fainting, fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or palpitations. Can also cause burning, itching, redness, swelling, or other signs of irritation.
**Alpha-hydroxy acids** Widely known as being good for our skin, alpha hydroxy acids can be found in skin cleansers, masks and moisturisers. This ingredient exfoliates the skin. However, it takes off the natural protective layers as well. Alpha hydroxy acids can make the skin 50% more vulnerable to the sun’s harmful U.V. rays, thus expediting the sun’s ageing process and even increasing risks of skin cancer.
**Collagen** Natural collagen helps our skin retain it’s elasticity. However, collagen in cosmetics is made from ground up chicken feet and animal skin and can also clog pores.
**Parabens** A common and widely used preservative found in cosmetics and skincare products. They are used to kill bacterias and fungus that can form in products causing them to spoil. They are commonly found in everything from shampoos, toothpastes, makeup, spray tans and are even used as food additives. Parabens, or to give them their scientific name – esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid, are thought to cause problems because they mimic the estrogen hormone and have been found in breast cancer tumours. It is also thought that they may cause early puberty in girls.