Do a label check for these villains-in-disguise when you make your next makeup purchase.
Phthalates: It has been suggested that this group of chemicals can cause early puberty in girls and an increased risk of breast cancer. “Certain phthalates [such as DEHP (di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate)] have shown reproductive effects in animal studies; however, this link in humans remains unclear,” André Gagnon, Health Canada‘s media relations officer, clarifies.
Beware of: Nail polishes and perfumes.
Triclosan: Used to reduce the growth of mould and bacteria, this pesticide can interrupt your body’s hormone system, breast development, and metabolism function.
Beware of: Antibacterial soaps, deodorants, and toothpastes.
1,4-dioxane: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has ranked this petroleum-derived contaminant as a possible carcinogen.
Beware of: Body washes, shampoos, and children’s bath products.
Parabens: “These compounds are used as preservatives in many cosmetics. They have been found to weakly mimic estrogens in animal studies,” reveals Gagnon.
Beware of: Creams, lotions, and other cosmetics.
Ethylene Oxide: In addition to being a popular cosmetic ingredient, this chemical is also used to sterilize surgical tools, and can often leave trace amounts behind in your system.
Beware of: Shampoos and body washes.
1,3-butadiene: Inhaling this toxic chemical has been found to cause tumours in rats. “Canada’s Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist prohibits the intentional use of 1,3-butadiene in a cosmetic,” Gagnon notes.
Beware of: Shaving creams, foundations, and spray-on sunscreens.
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): Naturally occurring in oil, coal, and gasoline, research has found that some cosmetics are made with coal tar, which contains PAHs that have been linked to an increase in breast cancer risk.
Beware of: Mascaras.
Lead: Found in a wide variety of cosmetics, lead has been linked to fertility problems and learning difficulties.
Beware of: Foundation, lipsticks, and teeth-whitening toothpaste.
By Anna Redman