Toxic Cosmetics: Ingredients and Contaminants to Avoid in 2021

Style Magazine Newswire | 6/1/2021, 11:25 a.m.

Especially these days, you may be looking for new ways to keep yourself healthier. Throughout 2020 and 2021, we all heard about the importance of keeping our hands clean and not touching our faces.

But could we be doing more to keep our skin clean and healthy? And can the products we choose affect our overall health?

In a word, yes.

Many of the beauty products we use every day, from shampoos to makeups to soaps, contain toxins and contaminants that could cause adverse health effects well beyond our bodies' surfaces.

Read on to learn about 11 of the most dangerous cosmetic ingredients and contaminants, as well as other potentially risky things that may be lurking in your products. You'll also find information about what ingredients and contaminants to avoid, including when pregnant or breastfeeding, what laws surround the cosmetics industry, and what the real deal is with organic, natural, and clean cosmetics. Finally, we'll introduce you to some companies and influencers striving to make our bodies and worlds a bit healthier.

Why Should I Avoid Toxic Cosmetics?

Toxic cosmetics contain ingredients or contaminants that could have adverse effects on your health—and we don't just mean rashes. Some can cause lifelong health conditions, cancer, endocrine issues, reproductive problems, and more.

The Federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA) defines cosmetics as "articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance." The definition doesn't cover soap, though it does include shampoos.

We'll also discuss personal care products in much of our list, such as soaps and other items not strictly considered cosmetics but serve similar purposes. In some cases, these are regulated differently than cosmetics.

In most cases, typical cosmetic use—even if you wear makeup daily—doesn't pose a huge risk. However, if you work in the beauty industry, you should be doubly aware of the risks. This is particularly true for cosmetologists, barbers, hairstylists, nail technicians, or those in manufacturing (including large-scale operations and homemade products). Makeup artists who work with a lot of powders should be careful of inhalation.

Whether you're a consumer or professional, you can help mitigate risks by wearing personal protective equipment like masks and gloves, washing your hands frequently, taking breaks outdoors, and, if in your power, ensuring your environment is well-ventilated. It also helps to rinse all makeup removal products from your skin, even if not indicated in the instructions, so none is left on your skin.