<a href="https://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/rebecca#">Home, Garden and Planet</a>

Home, Garden and Planet

Rebecca Blackburn on the trials, and triumphs of being green around the home.

How safe is your makeup?


Credit: iStockphoto

- Advertisement -

Have you ever wondered if your makeup is safe? It’s worth thinking about because surprisingly few of the ingredients have been properly tested.

The safety of ingredients in cosmetics is an unknown quantity. It seems that many ingredients haven’t been tested and we don’t really know much about the effects of long-term accumulation of chemicals in the body. None of this has been categorically proven but the evidence is mounting up.

Of course, the cosmetic industry assure us that their products are safe but if you’d prefer to err on the side of caution you might want to have a look at look the research by the Environmental Working Group, an American not for profit.

Based on information from publicly available databases on toxicity, they have analysed 37,356 products with 8,109 ingredients.

Their conclusion is we should avoid these top nine nasties:

  • placenta
  • mercury
  • lead
  • hydroquinine skin whitener
  • nano-particles (found in sunscreen and foundation)
  • animal parts
  • phthalates
  • petroleum by-products

They also suggest choosing fragrance-free products, using fewer products, and if you are pregnant avoid using nail polish that often contains phthalates.

If reading products labels seem like a drag (and sometimes they are incomprehensible!) – an easier approach is choose products using their Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety database.

The database ranks products according to hazard – products with 0-2 are considered to be low hazard while 7-10 is high hazard.

(Mind you the score does not consider gaps in the data – and sometimes this might be up to 85%). The database also tells you if the company conducts animal testing.

While the database is American, it does list many products you can find in Australia. If you have trouble finding something look up the hazard rating of individual ingredients. It also helps to play around with search terms – I found that the search mechanism was a bit clumsy.