Is your make up killing you?

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- Is your make up killing you?

Post by Christ is My Life! on Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:27 pm

Is your make-up killing you?


By NATASHA COURTNAY-SMITH

Women
absorb 5lb of chemicals from cosmetics every year - from cancer-causing
compounds in face cream to arsenic in eyeshadow. We tested two beauty
junkies to reveal the shocking toll on their bodies...

Charlotte Kohl and her sister Emma are attractive young women. Their
looks, they admit, are very important to them, which is why, between
them, they use more than 70 different beauty and cosmetic products
every day.

Take Charlotte, 27, an estate agent from East London. Each evening,
after slathering her face with a concoction of night creams, she sleeps
with a dental bleaching kit on her teeth and fake tan all over her
body.





Wake-up call: Emma, left and Charlotte were shocked by their results

Every morning, she uses an array of products in the shower,
ranging from shower gels and exfoliating scrubs to 'body building'
lotions to give life to her fine hair. Her make-up regime includes
blusher, bronzer, eyeliner, eye shadow and mascara, and she never
leaves the house without covering her head in a thick cloud of
hairspray. Her 24-year-old sister Emma, a personal trainer, follows a
similar routine, but she also has an obsession with lipgloss: she owns
60 different ones and touches up her lips every few minutes. In a bid
to ensure she always has fresh breath, Emma also cleans her teeth seven
times a day and carries a tube of toothpaste in her handbag, which she
rubs into her teeth and gums at almost hourly intervals. Between them,
the two girls get through four cans of deodorant a week, and spend
1,000 a month on cosmetics. "We have been into cosmetics since we
reached our teens," says Emma.



"We're the sort of people who rush out to buy a new mascara just
because it claimed to do more for our eyelashes than any other mascara
previously.



"I'm a complete sucker for anything that says it can make me look or
feel better, or that is endorsed by a celebrity." And Charlotte and
Emma are not alone. Last year, Britons spent 6.4billion on cosmetics
and grooming products, with the average woman applying 12 toiletries
every day. But here's the rub - these toiletries can bring with them at
least 175 chemical compounds. A recent study found that British women
are one of the heaviest users of cosmetics in Europe and, as a result,
we ingest through our skin, and occasionally through the mouth, up to
5lb of chemicals a year. Take Emma's favourite fuzzy peach lipgloss for
instance: she loves its colour and the fact it 'tastes nice', but
according to the list of ingredients, it contains 28 manmade chemicals.
Her deodorant contains 26 chemicals and Charlotte's hairspray has 23.
Of course, the manufacturers would say these chemicals and resulting
products are safe, but a growing school of thought begs to differ. As
part of a new television documentary, presented by Sarah Beeny (who for
the past two years has been on a personal mission to remove as many
chemicals from her lifestyle as possible), Charlotte and Emma agreed to
have their blood and urine tested for a selection of chemicals found in
their cosmetics. They were then challenged to live without their beauty
products for eight days, swopping everything for natural chemical-free
varieties.



They also stopped using domestic cleaning products. The results will
surprise even those who find it hard to believe that everyday cosmetics
could really be doing us any harm.



Certainly, both sisters did not think there would be anything
potentially dangerous in their make-up bags. "The ridiculous thing is
that I've always tried to avoid chemicals whenever I can," says Emma.



"I always buy organic food. "I never in a million years thought I could
be exposed to chemicals which could damage me through my make-up.



"Make-up makes me feel good and it wouldn't have even crossed my mind
that it could be doing me harm." Cosmetics contain many different kinds
of chemicals, but of particular concern are a group of preservatives
called parabens, which by some estimates are found in 99per cent of all
'leave on' cosmetics, and 77per cent of 'rinse off' cosmetics. These
are known hormone disruptors: evidence suggests they can mimic the
female hormone oestrogen, and a lifetime of increased exposure to
oestrogen is linked to a heightened risk of breast cancer. One study
found parabens present in 18 out of 20 breast cancer tissue samples
(though it is important to note that the study did not prove they'd
actually caused the breast cancer). Parabens are also thought to
adversely affect male reproductive functions. Another troubling
chemical is the antibacterial agent and pesticide triclosan, which is
used in toothpastes, soaps, household cleaning products and body
washes.



It belongs to the chlorophenol class of chemicals, which are suspected
of causing cancer in humans and taken internally, even in small
amounts, can cause cold sweats, circulatory problems and - in extreme
cases - coma. Also of concern are phthalates, a substance that gives
our lotions that silky, creamy, texture, but which are also a
'plasticiser' used to make plastics flexible. Certain phthalates are
known carcinogens, and studies have suggested they damage the liver,
kidneys, lungs and the reproductive system, as well as affecting the
development of unborn baby boys. The list goes on. Sodium laureth
sulphate, a frequent ingredient in shower gels and shampoos, is a skin
irritant; Propylene glycol, found in soap, blushers and make-up
remover, has been shown in large quantities to depress the central
nervous system to make it function less effectively, and aluminum in
deodorants is linked to breast cancer by medical research. And did you
know that certain eye shadows contain arsenic? One thing is for sure:
few of us would want to rub any of these chemicals into our eyes, far
less ingest them in liquids by drinking them.



Yet, every day, we rub them into our skin, and allow them to enter our
bodies. Given the facts, it's hardly surprising that a growing number
of experts believe these substances have a cumulative effect on our
bodies.



They think the 'chemical cocktail' inside us is contributing to the
increased frequency of a host of illnesses ranging from eczema to
cancers as well as developmental problems such as autism and dyslexia.
"It's difficult to see the link between chemicals in cosmetics and
damage to health unless you stand back and look at the wider picture,"
says Dr Paula Baillie-Hamilton, author of Toxic Overload and supporter
of the campaign group Chemical Safe Skincare. "Man-made chemicals first
emerged 100years ago, and every decade since, the overall production of
these synthetic chemicals has doubled. "We are surrounded by chemicals:
in the air, in our food, in our water and especially in our cosmetics,
and the fact is that our bodies can't break many of these substances
down.





Natural beauty: TV presenter Sarah Beeny has been without make-up for two years[/size]


"Our systems are becoming more polluted and we are beginning to see the
results of that in terms of increased illnesses and even birth defects,
especially in boys.



"There is no doubt that one of the ways we are exposing ourselves to
these chemicals is through our cosmetics." Dr Baillie-Hamilton also
thinks that absorbing chemicals through our skin is more dangerous than
swallowing them. "At least if you ingest chemicals through your mouth,
your digestive system can do something towards dealing with them," she
says.



"If they go through your skin they hit your blood stream immediately
and are then transported to vital organs such as kidney and liver,
where they may be stored for many years." So how did Emma and
Charlotte's chemical detox pan out? Before they started, both girls had
to get rid of all their old products.



The contents of their make-up bags and bathroom cabinets filled a black
bin liner, and they were given alternative products, from ranges
including Elave, Skin Shop, Aubrey Organics, Jane Iredale, Burts Bees
and Purenuffstuff. Household cleaning products came from Ecover. "At
first, I really missed my own cosmetics and our new make-up didn't seem
that good," says Charlotte.



"The chemical-free mascara I was using didn't seem to hold onto my
lashes and the hairspray felt as if I was spraying my hair with water.



"I had to reapply the natural lipgloss so many times because it kept
rubbing off." Emma agrees: "We went out one night with our new make-up
on and it was hopeless, the hairspray didn't hold, the lipgloss kept
rubbing off and I ended up less than fragrant, too, because the natural
deodorant wasn't powerful enough." During the experiment, perhaps to
encourage them not to go back to their old products, the girls were
given information about their usual make-up. For instance, the average
woman eats, albeit unwittingly, five lipsticks a year, which in her
lifetime is the equivalent volume of 1.5 blocks of lard. But Emma's
lipgloss obsession means that she'll eat 54 lipglosses a year - the
equivalent of eight blocks of lard during her lifetime.



And that's on top of all the chemicals it contains. Charlotte's obsession with hairspray is just as troublesome.



"I was shown that when its sprayed onto a smooth surface, hairspray
solidifies into a clear plastic that you can actually peel off in solid
form," says Charlotte.



"Not only had I been putting this onto my head all day, but I'd also
been unwittingly breathing it in. I was effectively-clogging up my
lungs with plastic."



The girls' monthly trips to the hairdresser to have their hair coloured
are fraught with hidden dangers. People who use permanent hair dye are
more than twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as those that
don't.



Both ammonia and paraphenylenediamine (PPD) - chemical substances used
in dyes - can cause allergic reactions, too. As the experiment
progressed, Charlotte and Emma began to grow accustomed to their new
products, and to discover brands they felt were comparable to their old
make-up. "I began to realise it was just a question of getting used to
using different brands," says Emma.



"After a week, we'd both completely forgotten that we weren't using our
own make-up and were putting on the chemical-free alternatives as
though nothing had changed." So AT the end of the eight days, had such
a detox really made a difference to the chemical levels found in their
bodies? The highest reading of parabens found in humans is 730mg per
litre of urine.



Tests taken at the beginning of the experience had revealed that
Charlotte had 650mg, which is in the higher range. Her reading fell
dramatically to 21mg at the end of the experiment. Her level of
triclosan - found in toothpaste and body washes - fell from 490mg per
litre to zero. "I was shocked at the results," says Charlotte. "I
hadn't believed we'd see such a dramatic difference in such a short
time, let alone as a result of something as simple as changing our
cosmetics. "Once I understood what our old cosmetics contained,
psychologically it felt better to be using chemical-free alternatives.
We both noticed our skin seemed brighter and smoother.



"Our eyes were also brighter and our hair felt softer." Emma's results
showed an equally dramatic fall in triclosan levels, which fell from
90mg per litre to just 2mg per litre. Her paraben level was more
surprising - it actually increased from its initial level of 7mg per
litre of urine, though medical experts point out that parabens can be
taken into the body through eating dried and snack foods, in which they
are used as preservatives, and medicines, so Emma's diet during the
experiment may have had a bearing. "What really hit home to me was that
the way we go about our daily life really does have an instant impact
on chemical levels in our bodies," she says. "It made me realise that I
am being bombarded with chemicals from all sorts of directions, many of
which I can't avoid. Anything I can do to cut back, can only be a good
thing." Since the experiment finished, both girls have continued to use
natural make-up where possible and switched to natural cleaning
products. Charlotte has reduced her use of hairspray and Emma now
cleans her teeth a sensible twice a day.



Both girls use a natural deodorant, which contains no chemicals.



"We don't want to get fanatical about it, and the fact is that certain
chemical-free cosmetics don't work as well," says Emma. "We've yet to
find a chemical-free mascara that is as good as my normal one, and
chemical-free hair dye isn't that great either.

"But for pretty much everything else there is an excellent chemicalfree
alternative. "Given what we've learned, it would be madness to go on as
we were." BEAUTY Addicts: How Toxic Are You?, Thursday, October 11,
Channel 4, 8pm.


informationliberation - Cover-Up/Deceptions

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- Re: Is your make up killing you?

Post by Glory to God on Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:02 pm

Scary isnt it that if we use any kind of product on our skin, it is absorbed..... Shocked

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- Re: Is your make up killing you?

Post by Christ is My Life! on Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:13 pm

reallyy scary!!!!

I read about moisturizers too, shampoos etc. I changed from shampoos to what is called "Green soap" here, which is all natural made from olive oils. It feels harsh after washing it...super squeeky clean, but my hair is fuller from it...I do use a small amount of conditioner, only because it is hard to comb through afterwards, and I use one that is made by a family here who has their own business, and they use natural resources in everything.

Make up, I barely wear....only if I am going out somewhere special....or my cheeks are super rosy for whatever reason...and the other thing about makeup is this...they proved, from Clinique to the 1.00 cheapie stuff, the ingredients are the same...add or take a few minor items...what a scam!

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- Re: Is your make up killing you?

Post by Glory to God on Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:08 pm

Yeah, its all a scam as far as one being better...you are paying for the name on the product. Most shampoos have all the same ingred. too. Yeah I have seen the healthy shampoos and face creams and all that....they are expensive too...once again we are paying for a name. What is a girl to do?
help

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- Re: Is your make up killing you?

Post by Christ is My Life! on Sun Nov 11, 2007 8:00 pm

Test...

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