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6 Crazy Facts about the Toxins in Makeup

Written by Dr. Group, DC Founder
A variation of makeup and brushes laid over a light blue background.

Just about all of us use some type of personal care product, but did you know that many of these items contain toxic compounds? Sometimes using a product simply to improve your appearance can do more harm than good. That’s why I want to go over these 6 crazy facts you might not know about your makeup.

6 Facts about the Toxins in Makeup

The toxins in your makeup are hiding, waiting for their opportunity to attach themselves to your skin and ultimately make their way into your body. These toxins can interfere with hormonal health, which is a huge issue considering that hormones regulate practically everything. Here are some of the crazy facts about the toxins that might be lurking in your makeup cabinet.

1. Cosmetics Contain Brain-Poisoning Aluminum

While people have long since known about aluminum poisoning, a recent report claims that toxic deposits of the metal could also lead to an increased risk for Alzheimer’s.[1] Many personal products, like cosmetics, sunscreen, antiperspirants, and even certain medications can contain aluminum. It’s not just these things, though; aluminum might even be added into your food. For example, manufacturers use aluminum sulfate in water for better clarity.

2. Talc May Contain Asbestos

Common in cosmetics, talc can become mixed with asbestos during mining and manufacturing. Recently, scientists were actually able to track the route of asbestos and talc from origin to exposure. Over the course of a year, the team traced it from the mines to the product to the lung tissue of a deceased mesothelioma patient who had used the body powder for years.[2]

3. Swimming Pools Accumulate Cosmetic Toxins

Pools are normally a place for exercise or relaxation, but a report from late 2014 suggests a possible health risk.[3] In the first study of its kind, researchers noted many personal products were present in pool water samples. As swimmers don’t normally shower before swimming, toxins from the products wash off their skin. Many don’t break down in chlorination as originally thought. These chemicals form an ultra-concentrated toxic soup that can be swallowed, breathed in, or absorbed.

4. Makeup and Lotion Can Contain Parabens and Phthalates

Personal products aren’t well regulated, so a lot of nasty stuff can make it on the shelves. Many moisturizers and lotions can contain endocrine-disrupting phthalates or parabens, and, what’s worse, some "green" products are even guilty.[4] Not only toxic to reproduction, these chemicals are linked to an increased risk of cancer. Studies also suggest the more products you use, the higher the concentrations of phthalates and parabens in your body.[5] Consider using an all-natural facial cream like Luminous, with vitamin E, aloe vera, and hemp seed oil scented with neroli, frankincense and rose.

5. Cosmetics Can Contain Bacteria

It’s not just chemical toxins — bacteria can also be present in cosmetics. Usually, when that happens, a recall takes place. Thousands of products are recalled each year due to this type of contamination, but thanks to lax industry regulations I mentioned earlier, those are usually kept quiet. It might surprise you, but the FDA doesn’t have the authority to order a company to pull a personal product.[6] While it can make a request, it’s the manufacturer that has to take that step.

6. Beware of Microbeads

Unfortunately, we also have to worry about microbeads in the environment. Manufacturers have been adding these tiny plastic beads to body washes and toothpaste for years, and now they’re washing down our drains into our lakes and rivers where they’ll collect toxins and get eaten by fish.[7] The magnitude of this concern is absolutely astounding. Luckily, many states are limiting or banning them, and there could even be a federal ban on the horizon.

Homemade Baking Soda Deodorant Recipe

Fortunately today, there are some ways you can avoid these poisons. Never feel like you can’t take control of the personal care industry. After all, two huge firms recently announced their plans to disclose all fragrances used in their products. Traditionally, the term "fragrance" could be just about anything — usually toxic — so this is a huge win for consumers.

Someone here at Global Healing, fed up with the nasty toxins in conventional antiperspirants, even made her own powerful deodorant using four pretty common ingredients. Not only is there no aluminum, but, so far, it really works! I’ve even provided her easy natural deodorant recipe for you.

  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons coconut oil

Optional: 8 to 10 drops essential oil(s)

On the stovetop over low heat, combine both powder ingredients in a small saucepan. Add the coconut oil one tablespoon at a time, gently stirring, until the consistency is much like dough. After removing from heat, add drops of essential oil(s) to your mixture, continuing to stir. Finally, spoon your mix into a small glass container and allow to cool.

The mix will remain hard under most temperature conditions, so before applying, you might want to remove the lid and briefly heat the container to soften the contents. A small pan of boiling water will work. When applying, a light coating to your underarms should be fine. Baking soda can be abrasive to some, so you might want to substitute arrowroot powder or adjust your amounts.

Points to Remember

In today’s world, consumers are finally becoming more aware of the toxins in their favorite personal care products. More women are demanding toxin-free makeup options, and manufacturers are slowly beginning to feel the heat. Some organic, paraben-free, and natural cosmetics are available both online and in some stores.

Look out for these cosmetics and test them out on your skin to see if they're a good fit. Also, it may help to write to your favorite cosmetic brand asking for a formula that is health-friendly.

References (7)
  1. Exley, C. Why industry propaganda and political interference cannot disguise the inevitable role played by human exposure to aluminum in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. Frontiers in Neurology.
  2. Gordon, RE. et al. Asbestos in commercial cosmetic talcum powder as a cause of mesothelioma in women. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. 20 (4).
  3. Weng, S. et al. The Presence of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in Swimming Pools. Environmental Science & Technology Letters. 1 (12).
  4. Brody, JG, et al. Endocrine Disruptors and Asthma-Associated Chemicals in Consumer Products. Environmental Health Perspectives. 120 (7).
  5. Braun, J. et al. Personal care product use and urinary phthalate metabolite and paraben concentrations during pregnancy among women from a fertility clinic. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. 24.
  6. Federal Drug Administration. FDA Recall Policy for Cosmetics. U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
  7. Koelmans A. Plastics in the marine environment. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 33 (5).

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.


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