It's easy to fall for makeup that claims to be waterproof and long-lasting, especially on hot summer days. But a 2021 study has provided compelling evidence to the contrary. These types of makeup can contain harmful "forever chemicals", which are linked to serious health issues.
Environmental Science & Technology Letters published research that measured fluorine levels in 231 cosmetic products, both from the US and Canada. High levels of fluorine were found in most waterproof mascaras, foundations, and liquid lipsticks. This indicates that they may contain harmful substances called per- and/or polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS).
Because they can accidentally be ingested, absorbed into the skin and tear ducts, PFAs are sometimes called "forever chemicals". After being flushed down the toilet, they can find their way into drinking water, air and food.
Graham Peaslee (senior study author, professor of physics at Notre Dame) stated in a press release that lipstick wearers could inadvertently eat several kilos of lipstick over their lifetimes. "But, unlike food, lipsticks and other cosmetics and personal care products are not regulated in the US or Canada. Millions of people unknowingly use PFAS and other toxic chemicals every day on their bodies and faces.
PFAs can cause elevated cholesterol, liver enzyme changes, high blood pressure and kidney cancer. Although the study did not identify the brands or products tested, it described PFAs as being "widely used" in the cosmetics industry. It is not required that companies list PFAs in their ingredients. This makes it difficult to identify which ones to avoid.
"PFAS are not required for makeup. According to Arlene Blum (study co-author), "PFAS have a high potential for harm and should not be used as personal care products." "It is past time to eliminate all PFAS from cosmetics and keep these toxic chemicals out of our bodies.
The Washington Post reported last year that Senators Susan Collins (and Richard Blumenthal) introduced a new bill called the No PFAS in Cosmetics Act. This bill aims to ban PFAs as well as require tighter FDA regulations regarding beauty products ingredients.
The main message of the study is to avoid waterproof and long-lasting products.
This article was originally published on our sister website First For Women .
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