© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
EXTRA: These beauty products and ingredients will kill you
Yes, everyone wants to look good as many times as possible. Yes, nobody wants to smell like they just returned from the dumpsite ― especially in the midst of friends, co-workers and acquaintances. And yes, how you appear often determines the individuals to whom you are attracted. All the same, we must not throw caution to the wind in trying to impress others through hiding the deficiencies in our bodies.
Beauty products come in different forms, shapes and names. For many, they are a dream come true, a shortcut to the best (physical) version of themselves. But unknown to them, beauty products have been found to do more than just make you a slay queen. A good number of them have the capacity to actually kill you ― slowly.
And since Nigeria is the last place you want to be afflicted with skin cancer or any other disease suffered even by the affluent considering the abysmal state of healthcare facilities, it is best that attention is paid to the lifesaving information below. Better at least to pay attention than to have to pay enormous hospital bills you cannot afford.
Please note that this list is not exhaustive.
Studies have drawn a connection between long-term use of hair dye (i.e. permanent and semi-permanent dye) and bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. In a study published in 2001, it was found that women who used permanent hair dyes at least once a month experienced a 2.1-fold risk of bladder cancer relative to non-users. It was also estimated that 19 percent of bladder cancers in women in Los Angeles County, California, may be attributed to permanent hair-dye use.
Additionally, rodents that were fed these compounds from coal-tar in certain hair dyes were discovered to be more likely to develop cancer than those that were not fed these compounds.
EYESHADOWS AND EYE LINERS
Aluminium powder found in highly pigmented eyeshadows and eye liners, according to the Environmental Working Group, shows ties to neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity and cancer.
Experts say using certain chemicals found in eye makeup can lead to red, scaly eyelids, blood-shot eyes, dry eye disease, and serious long-term health conditions, such as cancer. These chemicals include carbon black, ethanolamine compounds, benzalkonium chloride, prime yellow carnauba wax, among others.
The glitter from nail polish is great way to stand out from the crowd. But these products also have a toxic flip side, which may be inferred from the flammability, pungent odor, and the recommendation that they are applied only in adequately ventilated rooms.
Many, if not most, nail polish products contain three very toxic substances: dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde. They also contain acetone, and benzophenones. Phthalates are harmful to the nervous system; benzophenones may cause cancer; and acetone and toluene evaporate fast and fill the air with noxious fumes, and put the respiratory system at risk.
So if you must use them, do so occasionally and in well-ventilated areas. Also avoid acetone-containing nail polish removers as much as possible. They are bad for your eyes, nerves, and lungs.
It is true that many perfumes and body sprays contain traces of natural essences, but they also typically contain tons of synthetic chemicals ― some derived from petroleum. Manufacturers of these products are allowed not to declare fragrance ingredients so as to protect trade secrets. They often put all secret ingredients under the term ‘fragrance’, so consumers cannot rely on labels as safeguards.
The bad news is, in 2010, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) performed laboratory tests on 17 popular fragrances. And what did they find? Endocrine disruptors and phthalates, which have been linked to stunted fetal development; diethyl phthalate, linked to sperm damage; musk ketone, a skin irritnat; obesogens that can lead to weight gain; and chemicals that may trigger allergies, thereby causing symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, rash, hyperpigmentation, violent coughing, vomiting and so on.
These are often used as preservatives to curb the growth of bacteria, yeast and moist in cosmetic products. Sadly, they do more than just serve as barriers to bacteria. Parabens also possess estrogen-mimicking properties linked to an increased risk of having breast cancer. The chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. They are usually used in the manufacturing process of shampoos, deodorants, makeup, facial cleansers, body washes, and pharmaceutical products.
A look at a product label may reveal that it contains such items as FD&C (Blue No. 1, Green No. 3, Red No. 27 etc.). These figures are used to represent artificial or synthetic colours. Made from petroleum or coal tar, a significant portion of them have been banned over the years in some countries due to various heath related concerns. They are suspected to be a human carcinogen and skin irritant, and have in fact been banned by the European Union.