Four pollutants commonly found in everyday cosmetics

Did you know your beauty regime could be harming not only your health but the environment too?

Cosmetics contain toxic and highly hazardous pollutants that could pose a significant risk to the environment. Here’s a look at four examples of common pollutants found in most (not ours!) cosmetic products. 

Parabens – Parabens are commonly used in most cosmetic products to preserve them and to keep them free from bacteria, yeast, and mould. Sadly, whilst this may sound beneficial, they also provide properties that mimic the effects of Estrogen within the body, and have therefore been heavily linked with breast cancer in women. Many shampoos, body washes, cleansers, and makeup products contain parabens, which could potentially lead to a wide range of health complications, including an increased risk of breast cancer.

Antibacterial facial cleansers – Many antibacterial facial cleansers contain active ingredients such as: Chlorphenesin and Triclosan, which have been found to potentially contribute towards bacterial resistance in the wild. They do not naturally break down and have been found to lead to aquatic toxicity, which basically means that they can potentially pollute natural bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and even the sea, resulting in the deaths of fish and other aquatic life.

Artificial Chelators – Artificial Chelators are often found in personal hygiene products to get rid of impurities left behind from poor quality makeup and skincare products. However, they have been found to be harmful for us, and to the environment as studies have found that they are not biodegradable, so they will not break down in the wild.  

Ingredients derived from petroleum – Finally, ingredients which have been naturally derived from petroleum have also been found to be harmful for us, and to the environment for several reasons. To begin with, petroleum is non-renewable, so once it is gone, it is gone for good. Secondly, they often are enriched with chemical impurities that could damage our health and the environment, plus they can prevent the skin from breathing properly as they do provide a protective barrier that can block our pores. Petrolatum, petroleum jelly, and mineral oil are all common examples of products containing ingredients which have been derived from petroleum

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