Is your makeup aging you prematurely?

BY Tracy Duhs, IMD, PhD

What’s lurking inside your makeup bag? Have you ever taken a moment to read the ingredient deck of your favorite lipstick? Did you know that the FDA does not regulate the amount of lead that is allowed into conventional lipstick? Many mainstream makeup brands have been linked not only to cancer and reproductive abnormalities but also to premature aging.  How can this be? May the price of beauty be too high?

In general, cosmetics are poorly regulated. Be your own beauty hero by taking a moment to investigate the cosmetic ingredients you are choosing on a daily basis. Your choices can have a significant impact on your long-term wellbeing and youthful radiance. The skin absorbs over 60 percent of what you choose to place on it. Harmful ingredients make their way into your bloodstream and can wreak havoc on your endocrine system. Endocrine disruptors such as xenoestrogens can mimic estrogens in your own body and hijack your hormones. You may have personal experience with the symptoms that accompany unbalanced hormones. It’s not a pleasant problem to have. Symptoms such as weight gain, thinning hair, dry and lifeless skin, hot flashes, breakouts, age spots and more are associated with hormone disruptors.

The good news is that you no longer have to sacrifice health for beauty. There are new makeup lines on the market that are free of lead, petroleum, FD&C dyes and many other harmful ingredients. On her blog, Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow stated, “Conventional beauty products have been the only option when you want a really black smoky eye, a perfect red lip, or a concealer that makes you look like you’re wearing no makeup …  But, technology, and a few cutting-edge cosmetic companies, are transforming natural makeup, taking the colors far beyond the dusty roses and neutral browns of the past—and the textures into the realm of the genuinely sheer, the truly shiny, the delicate and the subtle.” Jane Iredale is one of these cutting-edge green makeup companies. Jane Iredale is committed to clean and green beauty without compromising on safe ingredients.

Knowing what is in our makeup can be a great motivator to encourage us to be good stewards of our own health and beauty. We have to do this for ourselves because there are many false claims and gimmicky marketing ads that lead us to believe products are safe or good for us when the exact opposite is true. You can’t always trust the label or the marketing. Claims like “natural” and “gentle” often have little merit to their claims because of the lack of regulation. Reading the label is the only way to know for certain whether the product is safe. But how do you know what to look for? There are so many ingredients and they are often hard to pronounce. Here are a few simple tips:


• Beware of anything that has “fragrance” or FD&C dyes. These can hijack your health.

• Look out for endocrine disruptor ingredients such as: phthalates, DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, ceteareth, polyethylene glycol, oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate.

• If you would like to investigate ingredients and other makeup brands, I suggest EWG.org/skindeep. This nonprofit organization is committed to informing the public about ingredients and health and safety standards.

The Sanctuary Wellness Experience
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Credo Beauty
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San Diego, CA 92122