Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Reblog] The Chemicals Women Wear with Additional Resources



We think it’s a treat for our skin when we exfoliate, moisturize and polish, but are we actually making ourselves sick? A recent study estimates that the average woman wears 515 chemicals a day — from eye shadow ingredients linked to cancer to perfume ingredients linked to kidney damage.

The average American uses 10 products every day, and chances are, they don’t know what’s in them. Recently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found extremely high levels of lead in lipstick. In addition, recent research from the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group (EWG) showed that teenage girls are exposing themselves to potentially hormone-altering substances by engaging in that seemingly innocent coming-of-age tradition of applying makeup. Yet, despite the dangers, women need to bathe and groom — and most women like a little extra color on their faces. So what can you do to stay healthy and still look good?

“It’s simple: Read the labels and be a smart shopper,” says Leann Brown of EWG. “Buy from companies that disclose their formulations.” Since producers aren’t required to make their ingredients public, many choose not to. “A company that discloses all ingredients will have lower risk than cosmetics with mystery ingredients,” says Brown. These products are likely to be equally effective — your hair will be just as smooth, your cheeks just as bright — but without the lurking health hazards.


When shopping, there are a few key ingredients to be avoided. However, due to lax regulation, you may find them in products marked “organic” and “all-natural,” so be on the lookout. Here is a list of common toxic ingredients to avoid:

  • FD&C Color Pigments
  • Fragrance
  • Alcohol (Isopropyl)
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Parabens

This research information is for informational and educational purposes only. Please consult a health care professional regarding the applicability of any opinion or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and no statement should be construed as a claim for cure, treatment or prevention of any disease.

Compliments of Kshamica Nimalasuriya MD, MPH

Preventive Medicine & Public Health

Kshamica Nimalasuriya MD, MPH is a Preventive Medicine Physician involved with merging Media with Health, Open-Source Education, Herbal Medicine, Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness, and Love. She works on many initiatives bridging the global digital divide of health care education.

Related Resources

From the Library guide Cosmetics, Esthetics and Fragrances by Librarian Rhonda Roth

Cosmetics Dictionary (with ratings)

Cosmetics Database
From their About Page
“It’s our mission at Environmental Working Group to use the power of information to protect human health and the environment. EWG’s Skin Deep database gives you practical solutions to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals. We launched Skin Deep in 2004 to create online safety profiles for cosmetics and personal care products. Our aim is to fill in where industry and government leave off. Companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish. The U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of products before they’re sold. Our staff scientists compare the ingredients on personal care product labels and websites to information in nearly 60 toxicity and regulatory databases. Now in its eighth year, EWG’s Skin Deep database provides you with easy-to-navigate safety ratings for a wide range of products and ingredients on the market. At about one million page views per month, EWG’s Skin Deep is the world’s largest personal care product safety guide.”

David Suzuki  Icon
Search for “cosmetics from an environmental angle”

It’s Your Health – Cosmetics and Your Health Canadian content
        Government of Canada website. Health Canada’s cosmetic and personal care site regulates manufacturer labelling, distribution and sale of cosmetics.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration – Cosmetics
           Safety information from the FDA on various cosmetic products provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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