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Chemicals in Makeup

Running Head: DANGEROUS CHEMICALS IN MAKEUP

Dangerous Chemicals in Makeup


Regan Sherman
Mrs. Adams
Magnet Honors English 9
November 24

Fall
Chemicals in Makeup 2

Abstract
The essay explains how some mascara can contain some dangerous ingredients or
chemicals and safe solutions. While researching the many products in mascara and the
effects on the body, it was found that a lot of big name brands products contain harmful
chemicals that can cause serious health issues. The researcher used many health websites
and makeup websites to help find the information. This paper has information from
Lizette Borreli, the Environmental Working Group, the Personal Care Products Council,
the Breast Cancer Fund, and Nadia from Body Unburdened. According to Lizette Borreli
(n.d.), many of the chemicals in mascara can cause severe illnesses; The Environmental
Working Group (n.d.) said that many of these products could cause cancer. The Breast
Cancer Fund (n.d.) says that people should avoid many ingredients in beauty products
that can cause cancer and other dreadful diseases. After researching for many days on
this topic, studies show mascara can cause cancer and many other horrible ailments, so be
smart and choose the right mascara.

08

Chemicals in Makeup 3
Dangerous Chemicals in Makeup
The European Union has banned 1,100+ chemicals from cosmetics, The United
States has banned only 10 said Malkan (2007). Many chemicals in makeup are very
dangerous and can harm your health in very serious ways. Many of these products are
causing illnesses such as cancer and other diseases like it. Manly chemicals in makeup
products are very dangerous and can cause serious illnesses.
Parabens
One example of these dangerous chemicals would be parabens. These
preservatives are used in cosmetics to prevent bacteria from growing. The hygienic
preservatives have been linked to mimic or disrupt estrogen in the body, also known as an
endocrine disrupter, says the Breast Cancer Fund (n.d.). High concentrations of parabens
have been found in human breast tumors by Dr. Darbre (2004). In a study that mimics
Dr. Darbres original study, Darbre and her research team found one or more types of
parabens in 99% of the tissue samples, and all five were measurable in 60% of the
samples. Some of Mascaras with Parabens: LOreal, Cover Girl, Avon, Bobbi Brown,
Clinique, Maybelline, Neutrogena, Revlon, Chanel, and Lancme.
Aluminum Powder
Aluminum powder is another dangerous chemical in Mascara. It is a metallic
substance is used as a cosmetic colorant and is a neurotoxin, rated as a high concern by
the Environmental Working Groups (EWG). This neurotoxin is considered to be worse
than mercury because it has been linked to interfere with cellular and metabolic processes
in the nervous system and other tissues, says a study published in the journal of

Chemicals in Makeup 4
Pediatrics. Long-term exposure of aluminum powder, can impair the bodys capability to
remove mercury and therefore, can make whatever amount of mercury in your system
more poisonous. A few Mascaras with Aluminum Powder include Cover Girl and Estee
Lauder.
Propylene Glycol can cause severe skin irritation and sensitization. People who
may be sensitive to this product can be exposed to a special form of irritation, allergic
contact dermatitis. According to Dermapproved.com, this allergic reaction will show up
as a red, inflamed rash that is accompanied by itching and minor pain. In extreme cases,
painful blisters may form on the skin and could potentially spread to other parts of the
body. A couple Mascaras with Propylene Glycol: LOreal, Mineral Fusion, Rimmel,
Avon, and Maybelline.
Retinyl Acetate
Retinyl Acetate also known as Vitamin A Acetate, This harmful mascara
ingredient is ranked as a high concern by the EWG because it can cause biochemical or
cellular level changes. Retinyl acetate can produce a surplus of reactive oxygen species
that interfere with cellular signaling and can even cause gene mutations. While there is
restricted use in cosmetics where beauty companies must meet recommendations or
requirements in the U.S., the use it is prohibited in Canadian cosmetics. Some Mascaras
with Retinyl Acetate: Elizabeth Arden, Almay and Revlon.
Ammonium acrylates copolymer
Ammonium acrylates copolymer is another chemical that can harm ones health.
Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates this chemical a two and it has a low to
moderate overall hazard. Ammonium acrylates copolymer is used as a binder, film

Chemicals in Makeup 5
former, and a viscosity-increasing agent. Magnesium Silicate was rated a one, it has a
low risk in overall hazard even though there is a low to moderate risk for causing cancer.
Magnesium silicate is used in makeup as an absorbent, anticaking agent, bulking agent,
and an opacifying agent. It is also known as magnesium salt silicic acid; silicic acid
(h2sio3) , magnesium salt (1:1) ; silicic acid, magnesium salt; silicic acid, magnesium salt
(1:1).
Alcohol Denatured
Alcohol Denatured was rated a four, moderate overall risk and a low to moderate
risk for causing cancer. Some concerns (from high to low) Multiple, additive exposure
sources; Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive) and greater skin absorption. Denatured
alcohol is a combination of ethyl alcohol with a denaturing agent. Ethanol is broadly
toxic and associated to birth defects following excessive oral ingestion. Possible risks
from ethanol in personal care products are smaller than the risks presented by the
ingesting of alcohol. This chemical is used as an antifoam, antimicrobial, astringent,
masking and solvent. It is also called alcohol, completely denatured; denatured alcohol,
designated by the government; denatured alcohol, not designated by the government;
designated by the government denatured alcohol; not designated by the government
denatured alcohol.
Propylene Glycol
The Environmental Working Group rated propylene glycol a three, it has a
moderate overall risk and a moderate risk for allergies. Some other concerns for
Propylene glycol inclubeirritaton of they eyes, skin, or lungs, Organ system toxicity (nonreproductive), and Increased skin absorption. Propylene glycol is a small organic alcohol

Chemicals in Makeup 6
frequently used as a skin-conditioning agent. It has been linked with aggravation and
allergic contact dermatitis. It is also used as a Fragrance Ingredient, and a Humectant. It
is also known as 1,2-dihydroxypropane; 1,2-propanediol; 2-hydroxypropanol; methyl
ethyl glycol; propane-1,2-diol; 1,2-dihydroxypropane; 1,2-propylene glycol; 1,2propylenglykol (german) ; alpha-propylene glycol; dowfrost; methyl ethylene glycol.
Avoiding Dangerous Chemicals
To avoid all these dangerous chemicals in Mascara, make one, by following the
simple DIY attached on the next page.
The Breast Cancer Fund (n.d.) says that one should Avoid Things to avoid: Antiaging creams with BHA on the label, Hair dyes, which can contain hormone
disruptors like resorcinol, Liquid hand soaps with triclosan/triclocarban Nail
polish and removers with formaldehyde, DBP or toluene (which can be
contaminated with benzene), Skin lighteners with hydroquinone, Heavily scented
products Moisturizers, ointments and skin creams with petrolatum (which can be
contaminated with PAHs), Fungicides, shaving creams, hair gels and hair coloring
containing nonylphenol, Hair spray, gel, mousse or shaving cream that contains
isobutane, a propellant that can be contaminated with 1,3-butadiene, and
Sunscreens with UV filters that mimic estrogen.
Conclusion
Many chemicals in makeup are very dangerous and can harm your health in very
serious ways; they can cause different types of cancer and other illnesses like it. Many of

Chemicals in Makeup 7
these chemicals have been banned in many countries but the US still allows them to be in
makeup products.

Chemicals in Makeup 8
DIY Mascara
1. Ingredients:
a. 2 teaspoons of pure aloe Vera gel.
b. 10 capsules of activated charcoal opened and emptied
c. less than 1/4 of a teaspoon of bentonite clay
d. Empty mascara tube
2. The aloe gel is used for the base, activated charcoal for the pigment, and bentonite
clay to keep the mascara from smudging.

References

Alcohol Denatured. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from


http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700215/ALCOHOL_DENATURED/

Ammonium Acrylates Copolymer. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2014,


from
http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700356/AMMONIUM_ACRYL
ATES_COPOLYMER

Borreli, Lizette. "4 Common Mascara Ingredients That Can Harm Your
Health." Medical Daily. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
<http://www.medicaldaily.com/4-common-mascara-ingredients-canharm-your-health-safe-alternative-natural-mascara-253297>.

Chemicals in Makeup 9

Choose Safe Cosmetics. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2014, from


http://www.breastcancerfund.org/reduce-your-risk/tips/choose-safecosmetics/

Isopropyl Myristate. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from


http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703206/ISOPROPYL_MYRIST
ATE/

Magnesium Silicate. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from


http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703707/MAGNESIUM_SILICA
TE/

Malkan, S. (2007). Summary. In Not Just a Pretty Face: The ugly side of the
beauty
industry. Gabriola, B.C.: New Society Pub.

Mascara. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from


http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/products/mascara

N. (n.d.). DIY all-natural eye-emphasizing mascara. Retrieved November


18, 2014, from
http://bodyunburdened.com/diy-all-natural-eye-emphasizingmascara/

Chemicals in Makeup 10

Propylene Glycol. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from

http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/705315/PROPYLENE_GLYCOL/