Can these cause health problems?

They say beauty is pain, but what happens when the make up you use can actually cause different kinds of painful health problems? Are we really willing to go that far for a flawless face? Many of us aren’t aware of the dangerous chemicals that could be lurking in the make up we use everyday, and it’s time to get educated and get healthy.

While there are numerous books, magazine articles, and documentaries on what’s really inside all that we eat and drink, there are very limited resources on what’s inside the cosmetics we use just as often. Although it may seem like cosmetics aren’t that dangerous since we don’t physically consume them, the effects of the application of these dangerous chemicals to our skin, eyes, and lips can be harmful since they are often done continuously for most of our lives.

It is a common belief that if a product is on the shelf the government, meaning the FDA, (The Food and Drug Administration) has approved its safety. However, according the Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” an online cosmetic database, this is a myth. Skin Deep is not only a site for information on the policies of safety in the cosmetic industry, it is a search engine for over 69,000 products and over 2,000 brands.

At Skin Deep you can search the brand or name of any of your cosmetics and it will rate them on a scale of one to ten based on the amount of harmful chemicals they contain that have been linked to cancer and other diseases. It even lets you know whether the company tests on animals. Armed with this information you can avoid products that contain those same dangerous ingredients.

However, it’s not just important to shop smarter it’s also important to recognize the need for better industry procedures and standards. At The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics you can get involved and learn all about the pledge they have created that companies can commit to. In doing so they are promising to follow certain standards that will enable them to produce safer products. As consumers, we can say a lot through the choices we make about which companies we give our money to. However, we can also do more by being involved with a political reform that can demand more from every company, ultimately giving us more choices that we will know are safe.

In the meantime, check out The Good Guide, a site that lets you know which of the products we see in our stores everyday are the safest. It provides lists of the safest products in terms of how they affect your health and how their production affects the environment. There you can find smart products that include everything from cosmetics to cars. You might be happy to know that certain products from companies like L’Oreal and Maybelline rank pretty highly on the list.

The cosmetic industries are not going to stop using these dangerous chemicals unless it’s consumers demand it from them. As young women, we are a very large and powerful part of that consumer base with the ability to effect change. It’s time to stop supporting companies who are willing to sacrifice our health in the name of beauty, and start supporting the idea that beauty and health really are more than skin deep.