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Benefit Cosmetics LLC

ingredients_main.jpgTalk about a phrase that doesn't roll right off the tongue... "Pretty Products For Healthy People Minus Many Lousy Chemical Substances" is something a company called Best in Beauty would like you to remember. Their mission it is to increase awareness about potentially harmful ingredients in cosmetic products, and each word in the phrase is supposed to remind you of a sketchy chemical. We ran their list by independent cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer and dermatologist Jeannette Graf to see what's really worth worrying about:

"Pretty" is for "Phthalates":
"Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) has been found by the FDA to be safe and effective in making nail polish flexible and resistant to chipping," Graf says. "However, since DBP has been banned in some countries, most polish manufacturers no longer use it."

"Products"is for "Propylene Glycol":
This is widely used as a humectant (a substance that draws water to the skin), and at the very worst, "may cause some skin irritation," Hammer says. Otherwise, the FDA has found that the levels used in cosmetic skin-care products are well within the safe range.

"For" is for "Formaldehyde":
"Formaldehyde is a carcinogen, but most issues come from breathing its fumes," Hammer says. In beauty products, like nail hardeners, the liquid form is used--and formaldehyde is far less toxic in that form, adds Graf. "The FDA and CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review) have concluded that, in the levels used in nail-hardener products, it is safe for the vast majority of consumers." The one beauty use it isn't necessarily safe in, Graf says, is Brazilian hair straightening treatments.

"Healthy" is for "Hydroquinone":
"This is a very effective skin-lightening agent, widely used in many products," Hammer says. "However, based on some evidence in rodent studies that it may cause cancer, the FDA has proposed a ban on its use in over-the-counter products." Graf adds that most dermatologists believe hydroquinone is safe at the levels used in cosmetic products. "The rat studies were done with intravenous hydroquinone--not topically, as humans use it--and the doses were very high," she says.

"People" is for "Petroleum": "The most widely used petroleum products in cosmetics are petrolatum and mineral oil," Hammer says. "Petrolatum is safe for use, but has a negative stigma attached because it's derived from crude oil, and seen as harmful to the environment."

"Minus" is for "Mercury": Mercury has antibacterial properties that can help prevent eye infections. "But it can be toxic, so according to the FDA, it can only be used in trace amounts in certain eye products, including mascaras and eyeliners, when no other preservative can be used," Graf says. "It is otherwise outlawed in any cosmetic product."

"Many" is for "Mineral Oil": "Mineral oil has received a very bad rap. It was vilified in the 1950s when the mineral oil was industrial-grade and extremely pore-clogging," Graf says. "Today, cosmetic-grade mineral oil is quite elegant and non-irritating as well as non-clogging." Adds Hammer, "It is a very good moisturizer because it forms an occlusive covering over the skin."

"Lousy" is for "Lead":
"The FDA has looked at the lead levels in lipstick and found that they are well within non-toxic levels," Graf says. According to Hammer, "If any trace lead is present from the use of other minerals, the amounts are small enough not to worry about."

"Chemical" is for "Colorants":
"Cosmetic colorants are strictly regulated by the FDA and have been determined to be safe for use at the levels found in cosmetics," Hammer says. "Some individuals may experience particular sensitivity to certain ones, for example FD&C Yellow #4"

"Substances" is for "Sodium Lauryl Sulfate":
"It's just internet paranoia," says Hammer. "This is a very effective surfactant, in many cases derived from coconut, used in shampoo, body wash, even in toothpaste. " Graf adds that, despite the rumors, sodium lauryl sulfate "is not linked to cancer."


Source:  Allure

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