Is your lipstick killing you?

Are you a victim of beauty overload?

Sometimes as a blogger, you stumble across some research information that not only changes your life but could save your life. 

For years my mother used to comment on the amount of highly scented deodorant I used (or was it the queue of unsuitable men at the front door she was commenting on?) Anyway, it seems, that mother was right. There are environmental as well as personal health reasons to limit or avoid the use of synthetic cosmetics, which includes personal hygiene products.

Toxic makeup

Hoping to read about the ill-effects of  lipstick? Hoping to give your ex the kiss of death with a smear of your latest rouge brilliante? I’m getting to that, but while you’re here, you need to know that it’s not just lipstick or deodorant that can contain harmful chemicals, it’s most of the stuff in your bathroom cabinet, shelves or drawers.

“But I need to look good and smell good right?!”  Of course you do, but as a consumer you have right to know exactly what’s in your lippy, deodorant, shampoo etc.

 “But why should I care?” you say eyes rolling, just like I used to when confronted with uncomfortable truths.  Here’s why:

Whatever is in your make up, lipstick, body lotion etc,  goes directly into your blood stream via that huge protective organ that you shields you every day – your skin! 

Whatever you put on your skin, your skin let’s it right in!!!! 
Relax, this isn’t about reverting to being unwashed with blemished skin and bad teeth, although if that’s your thing, I do not judge you. This is about understanding the impact of industrially produced cosmetics (and that includes shampoos, conditioners, serums, hairsprays etc.) on your health. 
I discovered many of the hair and beauty products we use daily contain chemicals to lengthen their shelf lives, usually parabens. They also contain chemicals to ensure that they work i.e. make you, your hair, your skin: shinier, glossier, easier to manage, wrinkle-free, you get the gist. And here’s the rub – oh you can have that pun if you want to – they also contain chemicals to mask the smell of the other chemicals. WOW. No wonder some of the ingredients are unpronounceable.

Quote from the Daily Mail:

Many of those (ingredients) are also used in products such as household cleaners, and have been linked to a number of health problems from allergies and skin sensitivity to more serious hormonal disturbances, fertility problems and even cancer.

So the issue isn’t just the chemicals used in your lipstick like – lead? – yes lead – it’s the accumulation of chemicals used in all of the products you use every day. It’s a toxic build up.

Whats making you blush?

But in spite of this toxic build up, cosmetic manufacturers will assert that their products are perfectly safe and extensively tested. This may be true for occasional use, but many people use large quantities of these products over many months, years, lifetimes. And not just one product, but a whole battery of pharmaceuticals, literally made by the men in white coats.

A few final thoughts: what happens to the chemical waste products? Are they safely disposed of? Where? In the sea or buried underground? What is the impact on the environment of these complex chemicals?

It’s a huge area and easy to ignore when you’re doing the weekly shop – you scoop up your regular brands almost without thinking.

But we do need to think about this.

Handy hints for health and beauty safety:

1. Start by reading ingredient labels more carefully

2. Explore natural, organic hair and skin products

3. Try alternative products for a short period of time

4. Eliminate one or two products each week, see which ones you can use less of or live without

5. Stick to the same brand across all of your personal care products

6. Talk to family and friends about what products they use and why

Please share your thoughts…

Further reading:

Daily Mail article:

Daily Mail article:

© Suzy Rigg


2 thoughts on “Is your lipstick killing you?

  1. Great article Suzy:) Over the last few years, I’ve been trying to cut down on the number of products that I’ve been using with chemicals, including beauty products. It’s hard, but I think it’s worth it!

    1. Glad you liked it Olive, good work on the make up amnesty; “it’s worth it!!” I love the ‘Faith in Nature’ range from Oxfam – quite brilliant and reasonably priced.

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