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Is It Time To Makeover Your Makeup Bag?

Written by Brittany Wielgosz


Posted on December 10 2018

The average woman applies 515 synthetic chemicals on her body every day… do you?

In 2016, the Huffington Post published a shocking study about how the beauty product ingredients that most women use daily are scientifically linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and neurotoxicity. At Alter, our goal is to create awareness around our daily routines and the associated risks of uneducated product use. The average amount of synthetic chemicals people, particularly women, apply to their skin is frightening to say the least. Studies suggest that the average woman applies hundreds on synthetic chemicals onto her skin every single day.

Our goal is to share the risks of many of these legal, popular products, and provide holistic alternatives to skin health and overall wellbeing. We believe that self-regulation through education is the most powerful way to protect your body and your skin. Read on for our list of common ingredients to avoid in your beauty and wellness products and insights into alternative solutions that are safe and effective.

Ingredients To Avoid:

Parabens: Found in acne products, aftershave, and almost all cosmetic products, this estrogen like preservative has been found in all Americans bodies and is linked to reproductive and developmental disorders, increased risk of breast cancer, as well as disruptions in the endocrine system. 

Fragrance: Found in face cream, body wash, laundry detergent, hair products, deodorant and beyond, fragrance often includes hormone disruptors and allergens that may impact the reproductive system.

Phthalates: Found in perfumes, body sprays, deodorants, nail products and colognes, this chemical has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer and male and female reproductive birth defects.

Triclosan/Triclocarban: Found in soap, toothpaste, acne products, and shaving cream, this chemical harms thyroid functionality and disturbs reproductive hormones.

Retinyl Palmitate/Retinyl Acetate/Retinoic Acid: Found in skin and lip products, sunscreen, and makeup, these compounds are often celebrated on labels as Vitamin A. However, they are not meant to be applied directly to the skin and will increase skin sensitivity.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate: Found in over 90% of beauty and cleaning products, from body wash to mascara, SLS’s are at risk of developing carcinogens when interacting with other products. Moreover, these popular foaming agents are known to cause irritation to the skin, lungs, kidneys and eyes.

Formaldehyde: Found in nail products, hair products, and makeup, this preservative is a known human carcinogen, asthmagen, neurotoxicant, and developmental toxicant. 

Oxybenzone: Found in after shave and sunscreen, this chemical agent is linked to irritation, sensitization, and allergies. One study found that pregnant women with a high rate of oxybenzone birthed low-weight baby girls and high-weight baby boys.

Sunscreen: Avoid SPF over 50 and sunscreens that include retinal palmitate, aerosol spray and poweder sunscreen, oxybenzone and added insect repellent. [2]

Now What?

The use of toxic chemicals in mainstream beauty products is widespread despite being highly contested in the past few years. Keeping up with safe ingredients and finding alternatives that work can be a daunting task, but thankfully there are ample resources out there to help. 

The Environmental Working Group, based out of Toronto, Ontario, is a powerful database where users can search most personal care products and present a safety rating, potential health hazards including cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicity and other concerns.. Companies can also apply to be EWG VERIFIED, which is a trademark applied to products that meet their criteria and do not include toxic ingredients, poor manufacturing processes and beyond.

Today, in Canada, the Food and Drug Act and the Cosmetics Regulations Law requires that all cosmetic products include comprehensive labels that list all ingredients and additional compounds. Moreover, the Government of Canada has a publicly available “Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist” that regularly prohibits new ingredients that have proven problematic to human health. For example, in 2018, the use of more than 3% concentration of Pigment Red 4 was banned in all cosmetics and triclosan was added to the list of toxic substances.

Alternative Skin and Body Care Products

The high risks associated with many skin, body and beauty care products have inspired a movement towards natural, healing and healthful alternatives. Here at Alter, we celebrate beauty by using all-natural, safe and pure essential oil blends that are ethically sourced and effectively tested. Stay tuned to our website for next months blog on how to use essential oils to cure everything from cold and flu symptoms to anxiety to skin irritation.

Are you interested in learning more about what’s in your makeup bag? Are you ready to give your makeup bag a makeover? Contact us now to book your free consultation with Brittany Wielgosz, our inspirational leader and skin expert.

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