Girardi | Keese

Beauty products: They can be dangerous to your health

Many California residents have strict beauty regimens. However, sources say that dangerous chemicals, heavy metals, bacteria and other hazardous ingredients are turning up in makeup and creams, resulting in unsafe product defects. With this in mind, a recent article uncovers some products that you should look out for.

#1: The first product is lipstick. The Food and Drug Administration tested hundreds of lipsticks and found lead in 100 percent of the products that were inspected. Half of the most contaminated lipsticks were manufactured by L'Oreal USA. While there is really no safe level for lead, lipsticks are not problematic if they are used correctly. In other words, the product should not be ingested when it is used.

#2: Some skin creams are also hazardous. A recent FDA investigation found that many imported skin creams may contain dangerous traces of mercury and other heavy metals. Symptoms of mercury poisoning include tremors, irritability, changes in vision, memory problems or hearing.

The bulk of these products come from the Asian, Latino or Middle Eastern markets. Nevertheless, consumers should look out for all products that are commonly used for skin lighting and anti-aging regimens. The list includes Stillman's skin bleach cream and Diana skin lightening formula. Cases of mercury poisoning have been reported around the country.

Most importantly, if you've been using an imported skin lightening cream, check the label for mercury. Furthermore, lookout for components listed as "mercurous chloride," "calomel," "mercuric" or "mercurio." Do not use products with these ingredients, and do not use the product if no ingredients are listed.

#3: Finally, mascara can develop into a dangerous product. According to a study, bacteria that are present in the eyes can be transferred into mascara bottles through the wand. Researchers tested mascaras and found microbes in about one-third of the products. Specifically, the bacteria were found to be staphylococcus or Streptococcus. Fungi were also detected. To prevent continuous growth, one should do the following:

  • Store products in a cool place
  • Replace your mascara every few months

These three beauty product dangers are the main concerns. As researchers discover product dangers, manufacturers should take adequate safety precautions to ensure that the items do not harm or injure consumers.

Source: Forbes, "Dangerous beauty: 5 scariest beauty products," Melanie Haiken, March 12, 2012

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