Are You Absorbing The Toxins In Your Makeup?


You might find this proven neurotoxin in your lipstick or foundation. It’s been banned from gasoline and being added to paint in the US but it is still found in cosmetics under it’s many names. These include lead acetate, chromium, thimerosal, hydrogenated cotton seed oil or sodium hexametaphosphate.

Lead has been linked to learning and behavioural problems [1] and reduced fertility in both men [2] and women [3], as well as hormonal changes and menstrual issues. This toxin is banned and/or found unsafe for use in cosmetics in the EU, Canada and Japan. It’s only listed as restricted, for cosmetics in the U.S.

[1] Needleman, Herbert L.; Schell, Alan; Bellinger, David; Leviton, Alan; Allred, Elizabeth N. (1990). The long-term effects of exposure to low doses of lead in childhood. An 11-year follow-up report. New England Journal of Medicine 322 (2): 83–88.
[2] Wu, H. M., Lin-Tan, D. T., Wang, M. L., Huang, H. Y., Lee, C. L., Wang, H. S., … & Lin, J. L. (2012). Lead level in seminal plasma may affect semen quality for men without occupational exposure to lead. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 10(1), 91.
[3] Snijder, C. A., te Velde, E., Roeleveld, N., & Burdorf, A. (2012). Occupational exposure to chemical substances and time to pregnancy: a systematic review.Human reproduction update, 18(3), 284-300.
Information gathered from Safe Cosmetics Campaign


The fragrance industry is self regulated – meaning that often fragrances (mostly derived from petroleum) are not tested for safety before being added to your perfume, or pretty much any other personal care product. The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) lists 3,059 materials that are reported as being used in fragrance compounds.[1] Of these 3,059 ingredients, some have evidence linking them to health effects including cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies and sensitivities.

A 2016 study assessed the health effects from fragrance. This survey found that 99.1% of participants are exposed to fragranced products in one way or another. You might have experienced the same symptoms as the participants, which included migraines, asthma and even gastrointestinal problems when exposed to fragrance.

[1] IFRA. IFRA Ingredients, 2015. Available online:


Parabens are often found in your shower in the form of hair products or cleansers. They act as preservatives, but these endocrine-disrupting chemicals can be absorbed through skin, blood and the digestive system.[1] You might also find them labelled as ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben and other ingredients ending in ‘paraben’. Sadly, parabens are found in nearly all urine samples from U.S. adults.[2]

A 2004 UK study detected traces of five parabens in the breast tumors of 19 out of 20 women studied.[3] This does not prove a relationship between parabens and breast cancer, but it is important because it detected the presence of parabens. This shows the chemical’s ability to penetrate skin and remain in breast tissue. [4]

[1] Gray, J. State of the Evidence: The Connection between Breast Cancer and the Environment, 2008.
[2] Ye X., et al., Parabens as urinary biomarkers of exposure in humans. Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 114, pp 1843-1846, 2006.
[3] Darbre PD, et al., Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumors. Journal of Applied Toxicology, vol. 24, pp 5-13, 2004.
[4] see
Information gathered from Safe Cosmetics Campaign

Now what?

So what to do? Switch to natural! If you’re not ready to go 100% green then limit your use of toxic products. Cut down on what you use and how many products you apply, and let your body heal itself.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Shop now