It is a medically recognized fact that our body absorbs significant amounts of what we put on our skin. Yet, one third of all personal care products contain one or more ingredients classified as possible human carcinogens. Women are unknowingly exposing themselves to some 100 chemicals every morning when applying make up. In fact, many lipsticks, creams, eye shadows, foundations, nail polish and perfumes have been regularly found to contain toxic chemicals known to cause infertility and cancer.
Did you know? 89% of 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have NOT been evaluated for safety.
Yet, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Handbook, which is the "bible" of regulations and standards laid down in the United States for the manufacture of food and drugs, including cosmetic and skin care products, cosmetic manufacturers are not required to register with the FDA. The result is that nearly all commercial makeup products are contaminated with a variety of harmful ingredients.
1,4-Dioxane is a petroleum-derived contaminant, which is considered to be a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a clear-cut animal carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. Also, it is on Californias Proposition 65 list of chemicals known or suspected by the state to cause cancer or birth defects. Because it is a contaminant produced during manufacturing, the FDA does not require it to be listed as an ingredient on product labels. (read more)
Cosmetics contain many different kinds of chemicals, but of particular concern are a group of preservatives called parabens, which by some estimates are found in 99% of all "'leave-on" cosmetics, and 77% of "rinse-off" cosmetics.
Parabens are known hormone disruptors, which evidence suggests can mimic the female hormone oestrogen, and a lifetime of increased exposure to oestrogen is linked to a heightened risk of breast cancer. One study found parabens present in 18 out of 20 breast cancer tissue samples (though it is important to note that the study did not prove they'd actually caused the breast cancer). Parabens are also thought to adversely affect male reproductive functions.
"I never in a million years thought I could be exposed to chemicals which could damage me through my make-up. Make-up makes me feel good and it wouldn't have even crossed my mind that it could be doing me harm." -- Charlotte Kohl (read article)
A recent study by the Women's Environmental Network in conjunction with the Swedish Study for Nature Conservation found that four out of five popular beauty products they tested contained chemicals called phthalates - pronounced 'thalates'.
Phthalates have been found to harm the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system, especially developing sex organs in males. It can also cause premature breast development in girls, low sperm counts in men and cause the testicles to waste away.
Two phthalates are already banned in the European Union from being used in chewable plastic toddlers' toys because of the risk to developing reproductive organs. But women could still be absorbing a range of different phthalates through their beauty products and risking the health of their unborn children. An American study found that every single man and woman they studied contained traces of dibutyl phthalate. The levels of this phthalate were particularly high in women between the ages of 20 and 45, largely due to the fact that they use more cosmetic products than men. (read article)
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that a significant proportion of lipstick manufactured in the United States and used by millions of American women contains surprisingly high levels of lead. According to new product tests, 61 percent of brand-name lipsticks tested contained detectable levels of lead, which can be toxic if ingested. (read article)
Did you know? The FDA grants approval to some lead-containing colorants used in most lipsticks.
Here's what the FDA's handbook on mercury in cosmetics states:
"Mercury compounds are readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tend to accumulate in the body. They may cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, or neurotoxic manifestations. The use of mercury compounds as cosmetic ingredients is limited to eye area cosmetics at concentrations not exceeding 65 parts per million (0.0065 percent) of mercury calculated as the metal (about 100 ppm or 0.01 percent phenylmercuric acetate or nitrate) and provided no other effective and safe preservative is available for use."
And this from the FDA handbook:
"Cosmetics containing as ingredients amines or amino derivatives, particularly diethanolamine or triethanolamine, may form nitrosamines if they also contain an ingredient which acts as a nitrosating agent as, for example, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (Bronopol, Onyxide 500), 5-bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane (Bronidox C) or tris(hydroxymethyl)nitromethane (Tris Nitro), or if they are contaminated with a nitrosating agent, e.g., sodium nitrite. Amines and their derivatives are mostly present in creams, cream lotions, hair shampoos and cream hair conditioners. The nitrosation may occur during manufacture or during product storage.
"Many nitrosamines have been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals. They have also been shown to penetrate the skin. Nitrosamine contamination of cosmetics became an issue in early 1977. In a study of 29 cosmetic creams and lotions, N-Nitrosodiethanolamine (NDELA) was determined in 27.
"FDA has urged cosmetic manufacturers to voluntarily remove from the cosmetic any ingredient which may combine with others to form NDELA and to conduct additional testing to determine why cosmetics become contaminated with NDELA."
In other words, cosmetic manufacturers can do as they please. But wait, there's more harmful chemicals that the FDA suggests manufactures should avoid, but doesn't require them to eliminate:
"Because of its neurotoxic effect and ability to penetrate human skin, hexachlorophene (HCP) may be used only when an alternative preservative has not been shown to be as effective."
The FDA handbook lists more hazardous chemicals that are prohibited as cosmetic ingredients EXCEPT when unintentional contamination occurs due to the manufacturing process, yet there is nothing in place to regulate the manufacturing process to prevent the contamination:
And that's just a small sampling of what you are putting on your face every day.
There are things you can do to protect yourself from the hazards of cosmetic contamination. For starters, here is additional reading to help you know what you are really putting on your face every day:
At last, there is a non toxic, chemical- and lead-free make-up choice. Miessence Organics includes chemical-free, non toxic, all natural make up made with certified organic cosmetic ingredients. Miessence make up is an organic alternative to the undesirable toxic ingredients in most cosmetics. Miessence make up is energized with the vitality of clean (pesticide-free) and potent ingredients, using only certified organic cold-pressed and unrefined oils and therapeutic grade herb and flower extracts freshly pressed from certified organic fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and flowers, retaining all the vitamins, minerals and other bioactive nutrients. Miessence "all natural" cosmetic products contain absolutely NO synthetic detergents, artificial preservatives, colors or fragrances, petroleum by-products, tar derivatives or genetically modified ingredients. Nor are any of these ingredients tested on animals.
"I recently purchased the Miessence translucent foundation, lip cream in nutmeg, jaffa lip balm and mascara and I am very impressed with the ingredients used in your products. I barely get any pimples and much less redness on my face compared to the old products I used to use." -- Kristy M, Victoria, Australia
Organic and Natural Enterprise Group (ONE Group - Miessence) has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics sponsored by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, pledging to not use chemicals that are known or strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation or birth defects in their products, and to implement substitution plans that replace hazardous materials with safer alternatives in every market they serve. Read more about ONE Group, the manufacturer of Miessence and about the benefits of using Miessence Organic Make-up.
The Miessence concealers are great for correcting any skin flaw including dark eye circles, blemishes and age spots, while providing UV-protective properties. Miessence concealer works great for men and women and come in fair, medium and tanned. more info
Miessence translucent liquid foundation makeup evens out your complexion. It imparts a soft, matte, finish with translucent coverage helping you to look natural in any light. Miessence natural liquid foundation protects your skin against pollution, UV rays and free radicals, while keeping your skin hydrated and protected throughout the day. This natural liquid foundation makeup contains the added benefits of organic, nourishing seed, nut and fruit oils. Liquid foundations comes in very fair, fair, medium and olive shades. more info
Miessence Translucent Face Powder is a fine, light, talc-free powder make-up with a touch of color to set your liquid foundation make-up and give you a silky, iridescent finish. Use this translucent face powder periodically during the day to absorb excess face oils. Miessence face powder is delicately scented with pure organic rose essential oil. more info
Using only pure, refined minerals, Miessence loose mineral powders provide silky, lightweight, breathable coverage while offering natural sun protection. Sericite mica reflects light, reducing the appearance of pores and wrinkles and provides a matte coverage. Miessence natural mineral make-up is delicately scented with pure organic rose essential oil. Mineral foundation powders come in fair, medium, tanned or dark. more info
Bronzing powders are great to add a little color to your face when you can't get outdoors or if you prefer to avoid the sun. This talc-free bronzer formula includes mica, which reflects light, reducing the appearance of pores and wrinkles. more info
The translucent mica in the Miessence natural make up blush powders reflect light, reducing the appearance of pores, while allowing your natural skin tone to show through. Using only pure refined minerals, Miessence Organics natural blush powders provide buildable matte shades for daytime or evenings.. These organic blushes are delicately scented with pure organic rose essential oil and come in apricot dew, desert rose and ginger blossom. more info
Miessence natural blush shimmer creams offer a hint of color with a subtle shimmer for anywhere you would like a natural blush or color. They can also be used as gloss over lip creams. Miessence Organics Shimmer Cream Blushes are available in peach, berry and cocoa. more info
Miessence lipsticks are a creamy matte formula with intense natural lip color blends of pure mineral pigments (iron oxides), Miessence Lip Creams come in a convenient clasp compact for fingertip or brush application. The lip creams are infused with the delicate aromas of vanilla and honey. Miessence lead free lipsticks are the ultimate in natural lip care. Lip creams comes in plum, grape, paprika, melon, cinnamon and nutmeg. more info
For soft kissable lips, use this delicious certified organic lip balm day and night. This natural lip moisturizer is made with nutritious cocoa butter, safflower and avocado oils that soften and smooth rough, chapped lips, and the orange and vanilla flavors from the organic essential oils taste delicious. more info
The Miessence retractable pony hair lip brush can be used to apply lip creams and concealer. The retractable goat hair brush for blusher powder can be used on the cheeks, chin or anywhere you want a blush of color. The larger retractable goat hair brush is used to apply foundation, bronzing dust and translucent powder. more info
Dangerous Beauty is an eye-opening expose of make up safety, revealing some of the most common, yet dangerous, ingredients used in today's cosmetics and make up. This little booklet will arm you with the knowledge to make more informed choices about buying safer beauty products. No longer will you be able to participate in mindless consumerism ... ignorance may once have been bliss, but now it spells danger in our mass-manufactured, profit-driven, long shelf life, chemical-romanced society. more info
This book has been produced for those people committed to living a healthy lifestyle. The Chemical Maze book helps you choose safer products andfits conveniently into your pocket or purse. The simple layout makes it simple and easy to use and gives useful information on hundreds of substances, including the animal or genetically modified origins of additives and ingredients. more info
100% Organic. The product contains only organically-produced ingredients. It may bear the USDA Organic seal.
Organic. The product contains at least 95% organic ingredients. The USDA Organic seal may be used.
Made with Organic Ingredients. Contains at least 70% organic ingredients. The product does not qualify to carry the USDA organic seal.
All Miessence Organic cosmetic products are made with 70% or greater organic ingredients, except Jaffa Lip Balm, which is certified organic and bears the USDA seal. Ingredients not certified organic are either wild-crafted or are natural minerals not subject to certification.
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