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Benefit Cosmetics LLC

A recent British study has found out that there are many toxic chemicals in our makeup products, with some potentially leading to infertility!

Some of the research suggests that it is responsible for things such as allergies and cancer as well! if this isn’t shocking or heartbreaking enough, make-up is a billion dollar industry a lot of us turn to on a daily basis. Dawn Mellowship, a journalist is actually going further in the investigation writing a book called TOXIC BEAUTY.

Let's look at it from this perspective:

It's early morning and the shower is hot, soothing, relaxing. Reach for the Pantene shampoo bottle and lather up; spread the fragrant soap all over your head. Then comes the conditioner; it penetrates the hair shaft and sends glossy shine all the way to the roots. Dove body wash is next, filling the bathroom with a soft, sweet almond scent. The water streams down, rinsing away all the dirt of the previous day. Step out of the shower and grab a towel. Don't forget the Coppertone sunscreen and the Lubriderm lotion for total skin protection!

By this point, you have now exposed your body to 24 toxic chemicals. Good morning!

The average American woman uses up to a dozen personal care products daily, including but not limited to makeup, according to the Environmental Working Group, a national nonprofit with offices in Oakland that aims to protect public health and the environment; and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, co-founded by San Francisco–based Breast Cancer Fund, a coalition of health, women’s, environmental and business organizations dedicated to phasing dangerous chemicals out of health and beauty products.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2000 began a project using a scientific tool called “biomonitoring” to measure the level of artificial chemicals present in the bodies of thousands of typical Americans. The CDC is measuring the so-called “body burden” or total amount of toxic chemicals, both natural and synthetic, present in the human body at a given point in time.

Using blood, urine and breast- milk samples, it’s a snapshot of the level of chemicals to which a body has been exposed through inhalation, ingestion or absorption through the skin. The Environmental Working Group reported that “the blood and urine of the adult group contained 432 of 528 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals tested, including chemicals linked to brain and nervous system toxicity, reproductive toxicity and fertility problems, and birth defects and developmental delays.” Some of these chemicals are present in products we not only assume are safe, but use to enhance our health and appearance.

Here is a list of some of the nastiest chemicals:

-Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) is found in 90 percent of all shampoo. It penetrates the skin very easily and once inside the body, it collects in the heart, liver, lungs and brain. If SLS mixes with other chemicals, it becomes carcinogenic. Salon Selectives, Neutrogena Clean Shampoo and Clairol Herbal Essences contain SLS.

-Propylene glycol is highly toxic and causes brain, liver and kidney damage. It is found in deodorants such as Degree for Men, and hair products like L.A. Looks Gel and Dep.

-DEA, MEA and TEA are hormone disrupting chemicals, which can form cancer-causing nitrosamines. They are found in shampoo and body wash, including Flex, Pantene and Finesse Color Care. A study at the University of Illinois shows a link between repeated skin applications and liver and kidney cancers.

-Dibutyl phthalate is banned in Europe because it has been linked to cancer. It is most commonly found in nail polish, such as OPI, but since it is used to hold scent in a product, it sneaks into hairsprays and deodorant. Many companies do not even include it in the ingredient list, making it even harder to spot and avoid.

-Artificial colors like Blue 1 and Green 3 are carcinogenic. Colors with FD & C pigments are made from coal tar, which is also banned in Europe and studies have shown that it is carcinogenic. Dove Body Wash, Clearasil Body Wash and Dark & Lovely have these color additives.

-Formaldehyde is a preservative that damages the respiratory system, weakens the immune system and can cause cancer. OPI Nail Treatments and nail polish contain high levels of formaldehyde. And this list is just the beginning!


Makeup composed of inorganic pigments, such as mica, zinc oxide and iron oxide, is hugely popular, and is frequently being touted as a 'natural alternative' to conventional products.

But there is a lack of industry regulation on mineral make-up and the term 'natural' can be a bit of a misnomer, too, as the minerals have to go through stringent chemical and purification processes to be included in cosmetic products.

Other controversial issues surrounding mineral make-up are the use of ultra-fine particles in some brands, which are 'nano-sized' (once inside the body, there are concerns that nano particles seem to have unlimited access to all tissues and organs, including the brain, and may cause cell damage that we don't yet understand) .

Some mineral make-up brands may also use potentially toxic minerals such as talc, aluminium and bismuth oxychloride - a by-product of lead and ore refining that can cause skin irritation and scratch the surface of the skin.

Having said that, if you are determined to use mineral make-up - particularly the more ethical brands - you will be exposing yourself to far fewer synthetic chemicals on your face than if you use conventional make-up.

So just be careful, be aware and hopefully we will all be safer with thsi little bit of knowledge.
K. Singh
Sources:Toxic Beauty, CDC, DailyMail UK

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