Cosmetics refer to any cosmetic that is designed for application on the skin. Cosmetics are comprised of a combination of synthetic organic compounds derived from chemical sources or naturally produced ones. The term ‘cosmetics’ was first used in the twentieth century, referring to all products that bear the name, including creams, lotions, soaps and cosmetics. Cosmetics have come a long way since then.
Beauty products are becoming more concentrated on natural ingredients. Many cosmetic companies are now using plant extracts and other natural substances as their main makeup components, in addition to animal derived ingredients. The beauty industry is no longer solely focused on synthetics and chemicals as ingredients. Natural ingredients have become more popular in recent years, partly because they are safer for consumers to use and also because they tend to be more effective at treating skin disorders, improving complexion and nourishing the skin. However, despite this focus on natural ingredients by beauty products manufacturers, many consumers still choose to purchase chemical-based cosmetic products.
A large number of beauty products sold today contain ingredients such as formaldehyde and parabens. These two ingredients are considered to be known carcinogens, and have been linked with the development of cancer in various parts of the world. Some manufacturers claim that their products are ‘hypoallergenic’, but it has been shown that these claims are false, because parabens and formaldehyde can remain suspended in the final product and are not always immediately absorbed into the skin when applied.
Another class of ingredients used in beauty products that are not healthy for the consumer’s health are phthalates and sulfates. Phthalates are commonly used as ingredients in hard plastic laminates and as plastic wraps. These chemicals have been linked with the development of endocrine system disorders and higher incidence of lower respiratory tract illnesses such as sore throat, cough and flu. Sulfates are commonly found in hand and body cream products, facial washes, deodorants, hair sprays, hair dye and styling gels. It is not known whether these chemicals are harmful or not, but it is believed that they could possibly cause hormonal problems, nervous system disorders and cancer.
An alarming trend that has emerged over the past several years is the increase in cancer cases among users of beauty products. This is particularly true among people who are using chemical-based skincare and skin care products. Cancer has been known to develop in areas where parabens and other chemicals have been used in the skincare industry. Many people who have developed this condition later developed breast cancer, rectal cancer and other forms of cancer.
The best way to ensure that your cosmetics are chemical-free is to purchase them from a company that does not use any synthetic chemicals as a primary preservative. You should also look for a company that develops all of its products in the United States. A large number of cosmetic companies continue to use parabens and other artificial preservatives because they are inexpensive and widely available. It is up to us, the consumer, to make sure that the products we choose do not contain artificial preservatives and synthetic chemicals that could possibly be harmful to our health.