We understand it: when it comes to makeup, the colours, textures, and overall appearance and feel of the formulations take centre stage. Reading the ingredient list thus appears to be similar to deciphering a synthetic cosmetic soup, which appears to be more than a little frightening. However, doing so may do wonders for your skin and wellbeing. Those opulent-appearing goods frequently include questionable substances connected to anything from allergies to skin irritation, reproductive difficulties, tumours, cell mutation, and endocrine disruption. So, what should you avoid? We asked the pros to clear up any cosmetic misunderstandings regarding what’s hiding in your makeup.
Formaldehyde, which is used to prevent bacterial infections and extend the life of cosmetics, is a recognised carcinogen as well as an eye and skin irritant. Cancer has been related to low levels of this. If you’ve ever had your eyes burn while getting a professional hair straightening treatment, you may blame it on this chemical. In cosmetics, the impact is more gradual and long-lasting
Synthetic fragrance and colour
One of the primary reasons a business may opt to employ a synthetic scent over a natural one is because it lasts far longer. Natural perfumes have a shelf life of one to two years, but synthetic fragrances have a shelf life of up to five years. They are also more difficult to dissolve. “It also assists to mask the odour of other unpleasant substances, which may deter customers from purchasing the goods,” explains Dr. Kiran Sethi, MD, Integrative Skin and Wellness Physician and author of Skin Sense. Of course, it also provides for an excellent marketing strategy, as we all know the ability of fragrance can transport us back in time or to instil a sense of luxury or well-being. When synthetic colour is added to the mix, you have a formula for skin disaster. “Products containing synthetic perfumes and colours have a poor tolerance, making them more likely to cause allergies, irritation, and skin issues such as acne. They clog pores and cause irritation by disrupting the skin’s natural moisture and oil balance. In addition, it can induce allergic reactions and contact dermatitis in those with sensitive skin. People who have eczema, rosacea, or hyperpigmentation should avoid them as well, since they might worsen these conditions “She gives advice. Another thing to keep in mind is that synthetic-fragranced items keep their scent for extended periods of time, so check the expiration dates before using them. Instead, Sethi advocates using mineral-based cosmetics.
This commonly used cosmetic component has recently come under intense criticism. “Parabens are harmful because they can disrupt your sex hormone, i.e., oestrogen, resulting in lower sperm count, and their usage has also been related to breast and skin cancer,” says Dr. Karishma Kagodu, Cosmetic Surgeon and Founder of Dr. Karishma’s Aesthetic. “It is better to stay away from these goods as much as possible. An suitable option is Sodium Benzoate (and Benzoic Acid), maybe in conjunction with Potassium Sorbate. Alternatively, a safer paraben concentration, such as ethylparaben: 0.4%, methylparaben: 0.4%, butylparaben + propylparaben: 0.19%, or total paraben concentration (i.e. a blend of them): 0.8%, might be chosen “She continues.
Because lead is a naturally occurring mineral, it is a frequent element in cosmetics. “The maximum allowable lead content is 10 parts per million, and goods are intended to keep below this level. However, numerous manufacturers tend to exceed this limit, which is when it becomes a concern “Dr. Renita Rajan, MD DNB, Chief Consultant Dermatologist and Founder of RENDER Skin and Hair, concurs. She claims that traditional eye preparations, such as kohl or kajal, frequently contain more than 70% lead, as do more mainstream cosmetics. Lead is commonly discovered in lipsticks as a result of the extraction process of certain colouring chemicals, mainly red. When high quantities of lead enter the body, they can induce poisoning symptoms that begin with seemingly harmless consequences such as weariness and irritability. Because lead is not an irritant or allergy, it does not cause acute skin responses. “The main source of worry is systemic toxicity,” warns Rajan. For pregnant and nursing mothers, she recommends looking for lipsticks that employ organic colourants and avoiding standard eye cosmetics.
Silicones’ numerous advantages range from smoothing to giving a velvety feel and adding lustre, making them one of the most extensively used cosmetic chemicals. They make foundations, creams, primers, and lipsticks apply smoothly and leaving your skin soft and silky. “Silicones are tough to get rid of and build up on your skin over time. Their occlusive characteristics work as a barrier for acne-prone skin, trapping oil, debris, and dead skin cells inside the pores, causing acne to worsen. It also disrupts the cell renewal process, preventing skin regeneration “Dr. Niketa Sonavane, Celebrity Dermatologist and Ambrosia Aesthetics founder, believes She recommends avoiding cosmetics with chemicals ending in “-cone/methicone” or “siloxane. If you can’t avoid silicone in all products, choose silicone-free foundations and primers that moisturise and nurture your skin. Water-based foundations may fade faster, but they are better for your skin. “However, if you must use silicone-based products, double-cleanse while removing your makeup to keep your skin clear,” she advises.
This component improves the smoothness of creams and lotions, avoids stains from oil-based makeup, and enhances colour and aroma. “It has been linked to cancer and an increased risk of asthma, allergies, and other chronic health concerns,” says Dr. Charu Sharma, Head of Dermatology at Cureskin. Certain groups may be more vulnerable than others. “Acne sufferers may be more vulnerable to their negative effects, as these compounds may aggravate pre-existing skin disorders or create breakouts. Furthermore, because to their increased sensitivity, pregnant women and children are at a higher risk of exposure. “It’s safer to use organic cosmetics products manufactured with plant-based materials and free of toxic additives,” she advises.