Our Beauty Obsession

Our Beauty Obsession

Ever wondered about the effects make-up have on your health?

the effects of make-up on healthThe Sunday Morning Herald recently published (Jan 31st 2010) an article highlighting new research that shows the average woman applies more than 500 chemicals to her body everyday  through a variety of beauty products.

In fact a survey by the UK based company Bionsen found the average woman’s grooming which includes the use of everything from Shampoos, Body lotions and Soaps, Deodorants, Perfumes, Toothpastes, Nail Varnish and Makeup (foundations, eye shadows and lipsticks etc) “involves plastering 515 synthetic chemicals on her body”.

That’s a huge sacrifice and health comprimise to make in the name of beauty.

Our skin is one of the most vunerable parts of the body. It is a living, breathing entity that readily absorbs residues from absolutely everything we put onto our skin and transports these chemicals into our blood stream. It therefore makes good sense to keep our skin free from synthetic creams, oils and products.

Saving our skin begins, like everything else, with education. We need to empower ourselves about the effects of our choices and plausible safe alternatives.

Below is a short list put together by the Sunday Morning Herald to get you started but  also see blog “ Which Personal Care Products Should I Choose” and assess the toxicity of those individual products you currently own/use on :


Average number of chemicals: 15
Most worrying: Sodium lauryl sulphate, tetrasodium and propylene glycol
Possible side-effects: Irritatioin, possible eye damage


Chemicals: 26
Most worrying: Polythylene terephthalate
Possible side-effects:Linked to cancer, infertility, hormonal disruptions and damage to the body’s organs

Nail Varnish

Chemicals: 31
Most worrying: Phthalates
Possible side-effects:Linked to fertility issues and problems in developing babies


Chemicals: 15
Most worrying: Isopropyl myristate, “parfum”
Possible side-effects: Irritation of skin, eyes and lungs; headaches; dizziness; respiratory problems

Fake Tan

Chemicals: 22
Most worrying: Ethylparaben, methylaparaben, propylparaben
Possible side-effects: Rashes, irritation, hormonal disruption


Most worrying: Octinoxate, isophthalates
Possible side-effects: Allergies, irritation to eyes, nose and throat, hormone disruption, linked to changes in cell structure


Chemicals: 16
Most worrying: Ethylparabens, methylparaben, propylparaben
Possible side-effects:Rashes, irritation, hormonal disruptions


Chemicals: 24
Most worrying: Polymethyl methacrylate
Possible side-effects: Allergies, disrupts immune system, links to cancer

Body Lotion

Chemicals: 32
Most worrying: Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Polyethylene Glycol(which is also found in oven cleaners)
Possible side-effects:Rashes, irritation, hormonal disruption


Chemicals: 250
Most worrying: Benzaldehyde
Possible side-effects:Irritation to mouth, throat and eyes, nausea, linked to kidney damage


Most worrying: Polymenthyl methacrylate
Possible side-effects:Allergic reactions, links to cancer

Perhaps the Beauty Industry would do well to remember  that a healthy lifestyle is the ultimate  key to great looking, beautiful skin and women are not interested in paying for the honour of being live lab rats.



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