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The harmful side-effects of chemical cosmetics

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Have you ever thought about what you’re putting on your skin, and how it’s impacting your body?

Society tells us having artificially tanned skin and a blemish-free face is the way to feeling good from the outside, but research suggests the chemicals contained in a lot of these ‘enhancing’ cosmetic products are also attacking us from the inside.

What are the common side-effects?

  • Headaches. Dizziness, fatigue and nausea after prolonged exposures to makeup.
  • Hormonal imbalances. Long-term use can impact the endocrine system and interfere with the thyroid gland which may lead to weight gain or depression.
  • Acne and skin allergies. Some types of heavily concentrated makeup cause the formation of blackheads and pimples which, when not taken care of, can lead to cystic acne. Certain chemicals such as parabens are also known to cause irritation, rashes and sometimes hives.
  • Cancer and other chronic diseases. Many toxic ingredients contained in cosmetics such as coal tar and lead may cause cancer.
  • Eye infections. The eyes and surrounding skin are the most sensitive areas of the face. Using too much makeup can cause the growth of bacteria which can lead to infection.
  • Hair problems. Gels, serums, shampoos, conditioners and hair sprays can cause scalp irritation, dandruff, thinning of the hair and even loss of hair.
  • Skin discolouration. Many products contain agents that bleach or darken the skin.
  • Danger to reproductive organs and infertility. Chemicals absorbed by the skin are likely to pass through your body and impact the body’s organs and the way they function naturally.
  • Premature ageing. Long-term use can permanently damage the skin, causing wrinkles and patchiness to appear on the face and body.

What does this mean?

According to the home doctor experts at Home Call Doctor, while some of these impacts may be temporary and relatively easy to fix, others are long term and detrimental to body functionality. Everything that isn’t 100 per cent from nature is unrecognisable to the human body, meaning you don’t have the natural processes to handle the foreign substance and break it down.

Hormonal imbalance is particularly important to consider when looking at the impact of chemicals on the body. Hormones are responsible for significant aspects of body function including metabolism, sexual health, hair growth, mood and brain function.

A step in the right direction…

To ensure you’re looking after your body from the inside out, consider finding a brand or retailor that you trust. This means doing your research.

There is an array of no-go ingredients, but if you can find products without parabens, sulphates and phthalates, you’re doing a good job. Natural skin care products tend to be made from non-artificial ingredients like natural oils, plants, fruit extracts and fruit acids. Look for these on the ingredient list instead.

Remember that while makeup may help you hide or cover flaws in your skin, the long-term effects may be counterproductive.

If you’re concerned about your health, speak to the House Call Doctor home doctor experts

Anita Begay

The author Anita Begay