// What Is The Cost To Our Health Of Being Beautiful?

How much do we really know about the products we apply to our bodies? Unlike what we choose to eat and drink, we tend to be a whole lot less picky about beauty products - but the fact is, they are absorbed into the body just the same. Plus, the market is a whole lot less strictly regulated, so the margin for error is much larger. We should be a lot more concerned about what we are using when it comes to the pursuit of beauty and self-indulgence. Chemicals, bacteria, trace elements of metals, bleach and other toxic ingredients regularly crop up in products we apply to our skin or our hair, and have resulted in serious illness. From the scandal around harmful skin lightening creams popular in some communities, to injuries from talcum powder, the contents of our bathroom cabinets are rapidly becoming the subjects of some of the most concerning consumer lawsuits seen in years. So what should we be concerned about when it comes to grooming and beauty products?

Look Out For Lipstick
When you’re feeling down, a slick of bright lipstick is a guaranteed shortcut to looking and feeling great, right? In fact, data shows that when the economy hits a recession sales of lipstick go up. But new studies into the contents of many common brands of lipstick are now uncovering worrying evidence of heavy metals like lead. The Food and Drugs Administration in the US has uncovered lead of up to 3 parts per million (not a small amount) in almost all of the brands they tested, including globally popular makes like L’Oreal, MAC and Revlon, and even brands marketed as natural, such as Burt’s Bees. The problem comes because lipstick gets ingested when we lick our lips or eat and drink. So although it may technically be safe sitting on top of the lips, it's likely to be having effects that we don’t fully understand yet.

More About Minerals
It’s even more worrying when a product that is marketing as a less chemical-filled, more natural cosmetic alternative turns up some concerning ingredients, and one of the worst offenders is mineral powder makeup. These powders contain mica, which can be extremely harmful if inhaled enough. In fact, if you were to be a construction worker, using a product containing mica, you would be required to wear a protective mask. Although the exposure of the average person or even a makeup artist, is much lower, it's certainly something to be considered, and not much is known about the effects from this form of use yet.

Wary Of Hair StraightenersChemical hair straighteners can definitely cause deadly effects. Most, when tested, were found to contain the dangerous chemical formaldehyde, even when they were expressly labelled as NOT containing it. This chemical is a known carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent, and should be taken very seriously. If you’re a regular home user or a stylist using these chemical straightening products on hair, you have every right to be concerned about your health - after all, what really is the price of looking good?

// this contributed post was written for this charming life.

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HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB