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Toxic Makeup

August 5, 2008

Today I decided it would be fun to see how toxic the makeup and hair care products I use daily are. I limited my research to just what I use on a regular basis. I went to Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database to get the news.

They rate products based on the ingredient list. 0-2 is low, 3-6 is moderate, and 7-10 is high. I hoped all my products would be in the low range, but I just wasn’t sure how they would rate.

I wash my hair with Suave shampoo, which is a 6. My makeup is Bare Minerals foundation, which I could not find on the site at all. They had eyeshadow, lipstick, and eyeliner from this company, but nothing on the foundation. The eyeshadows all rated a 5. I use CoverGirl eyeshadow and eyeliner which rated a 7 and 4 respectively. For a little lip color, I use Burt’s Bees Lipshimmer, which rated a 3.

I thought the Burt’s Bees product would have been a 0-2 because all their marketing suggests they are such a natural product. Everything is relative, so compared to everything else I use, it is the least harmful. I was planning to finish out my current products before switching to less or ideally non-toxic options, but I’m thinking the eyeshadow needs to go.

There is a lot of information on the Skin Deep site, about the products they cover, and how they arrive at their ratings. In particular, they list the toxic chemicals, why they are toxic, and how that toxicity affects humans. I am not a chemist, so I won’t be trying to explain all the analytical detail here, but if you want that level of information, it is all on the site.

I am not sure what I will use to replace my current eye shadow. I will explore the options and of course let all you know what I decide on.

If you discovered your favorite makeup product has a high level of toxicity, would you give it up, replace it, or keep using it?

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