Cosmetics are often used to beautify the appearance of the face. However, you need to be aware of the presence of harmful cosmetic ingredients, especially in products that dare to promise instant results. The content of these cosmetics can not only damage the skin, but also endanger health.
Cosmetics are generally used every day by women, and not a few women who use it throughout the day. Because of its regular use and for a long time, the content must be ensured to be safe and good for health.
Although there are already standards and regulations for cosmetic ingredients, there are still products that use hazardous cosmetic ingredients. In addition, there are also cosmetic products that use certain ingredients in excessive amounts, exceeding the permissible limits.
Various Harmful Cosmetic Ingredients
If you use cosmetics, especially regularly, you need to know the harmful ingredients that can be contained in them and need to be avoided. That way, you can be more careful when choosing cosmetic products.
The following are some harmful cosmetic ingredients that can have a bad impact on the skin and health:
Mercury is often added to eye shadow, blush, and powder as preservatives. In addition, this ingredient can also be found in skin whitening creams.
If absorbed into the body, mercury can cause brain and nerve damage, kidney disease, impaired lung function, problems with the digestive system, and decreased immunity.
Hydroquinone is an ingredient that is often used in skin whitening products. This ingredient can indeed reduce the number of melanocytes, which are cells that produce melanin.
Actually this ingredient is allowed if its concentration in the product is not more than 2 percent. However, you are still not advised to use it in the long term and without doctor's advice.
Long-term use is often associated with the occurrence of ochronosis, which is a pigmentation disorder that causes the skin to experience bluish black patches.
Formalin is commonly used to preserve corpses. This substance is a carcinogen which means it can trigger cancer. Some types of cosmetics may contain formaldehyde, such as hair straightening creams, body washes, shampoos, lotions, and sunscreens.
Too long or too often exposure to formalin, can increase the risk of respiratory problems, nausea and vomiting, skin irritation, to cancer.
Phthalates is a chemical consisting of diethylphthalate (DEEP), dimethylphthalate (DMP), and dibutylphthalate (DBP). Additives in these cosmetics can be found in nail polish, shampoo, perfume, soap, lotion, and hair spray.
If you are pregnant, it is advisable to be more careful in using cosmetics that contain phthalates. A study shows that phthalates can increase the risk of developing developmental disorders in children.
Lead is a toxic metal that is hazardous to health. This metal is often used in lipstick products.
In adults, the use of harmful cosmetics containing lead can increase the risk of lead poisoning and kidney damage. Meanwhile, in pregnant women, exposure to high levels of lead can cause miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight babies.
In addition to some of the ingredients above, there are several other dangerous cosmetic ingredients that are also at risk of causing adverse effects on health, such as chloroform, triclosan, vinyl chloride, bithiniol, and methylene chloride.
Safe Ways to Use Cosmetics
In order to reduce the risk posed by harmful cosmetics, you are advised to be more careful in choosing and using cosmetics. Here are some ways you can apply:
- Store cosmetics in closed containers and place them in a place that is not exposed to sunlight.
- Avoid cosmetics from exposure to hot temperatures which can damage the preservatives in cosmetics. Preservatives in cosmetics are useful for repelling bacteria.
- Avoid sharing cosmetics with others to prevent infection and the spread of bacteria.
- Use a new cotton swab or sponge if you want to try a cosmetic sample at a store or shopping center.
- Be careful using cosmetics in the eye area. If the eye is experiencing irritation, postpone the use of cosmetics until the eye is completely healed.
- Throw away cosmetics immediately, if it has changed color or smells.
- Do not use cosmetics that are old or past their expiration date.
- Try to use cosmetics that include all the ingredients used on the packaging label.
To be safer, use cosmetic products that have been registered and have a distribution permit from the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM).
If after using certain cosmetic products you experience complaints, such as itchy skin, rash, and redness, you should stop using the product and consult a doctor for treatment if there is exposure to harmful cosmetic ingredients on the skin.