Five make-up ingredients that may be harming you

When you are purchasing make-up or skin care it is so important that you keep an eye out for ingredients that could be causing more harm than good. Here are five that you need to be wary of

1. Talc

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral composed of magnesium, hydrogen, oxygen, and silicon which combine to form what is known as anhydrous (contains no water) magnesium silicate.

Talc is often the main ingredient in loose and pressed face powders and powder foundations. Talc is also used in some liquid foundations and concealers, where it adds opacity and contributes to the make-up’s texture.

The ongoing concern with talc since the 1970s has been whether it contains asbestos fibres, which pose a serious risk to lung health when inhaled. Another concern is that talc can block pores, congesting the skin and causing acne outbreaks, pimples and infections.

There are many safe alternatives such as corn starch, rice powder and mica so look for these on the label.

All Issada products are talc free.

2. Lead

Lead is a neurotoxin which is linked to learning, language and behavioural problems. It can also cause reproductive and hormonal issues in both men and women.

Unfortunately, analysis continues to expose that many popular lipstick brands contain traces of lead beyond the permissible limit (which varies from country to country but most research is US based).

If you are applying this every day, imagine the accumulated amount of lead exposure you are absorbing or ingesting.

Lead is not listed in ingredients as it is considered an “impurity”. I recommend that you google the brand you want to buy (remembering that lead content can vary with the colour with a brand) to see which ones are considered safe.

Issada does not formulate with lead base ingredients.

3. Parabens

Parabens are preservatives commonly found in make-up and skin care products. If a product has water in it, it is likely to contain a paraben to keep it from growing bacteria.

Examples include: methylparaben, proplyparaben, isopropylparaben and isobutylparaben. Parabens are known endocrine disruptors, meaning they mimic estrogen in the body and can lead to hormonal imbalances. There have also been studies that linked Parabens to breast cancer.

Where possible, we avoid using parabens in our products.

4. Toluene

Toluene is a chemical commonly found in nail polish and hair dyes. It is a volatile petrochemical solvent that can be toxic to the immune system and can cause birth defects.

If you are pregnant, be especially careful and avoid nail polish containing toluene entirely.

Issada salon-professional nail range is 5-FREE. Formulated with no Formaldehyde/Formaldehyde Resin, NO Toluene, NO Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), no Camphor, NO Talc.

5. Artificial fragrance/parfum

Fragrances and parfum are complicated and there is a lot of confusion about their safety. Some artificial fragrances contain irritating chemicals that are linked to asthma and allergies. In fact, fragrances are listed as one of the top five allergens in the world.

However, many highly refined fragrances are deemed to be non- allergenic and safe. So, it’s important that you investigate what perfumes are being used in your cosmetics so that you can choose products that only contain high quality, natural fragrances.

Perhaps the most interesting natural substance that has been used in making perfume is ambergris – a substance expelled by some species of sperm whales.

Traditionally used as a fixative to prolong the stability of the fragrance, it has now been discovered that a gene from the balsam fir is a good, plant derived, less expensive and more sustainable substitute.

This is good news as the export and import of ambergris for commercial purposes has been banned in Australia since 1999.

Many people believe that natural essential oils are safer than synthetic fragrance, but this is also not always true. It is common for people to experience sensitivity to natural oils, particularly citrus oils – due to their over-use in skin products.

At Issada we have a policy of avoiding fragrance where we can and when it is needed, to use a scent that least likely to irritate.

It’s important to educate yourself on what, exactly, is on the make-up you put on your face. Even more important, is to teach your children to be discerning in what they buy.

Find brands with an ethical approach to manufacturing cosmetics and don’t be afraid to email them and ask what exactly is in their products.

At Issada, our ethos is to provide ethically sourced, natural and harm-free ingredients that are just as (or often more) effective in the results you’ll obtain.

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Issada Mineral Makeup and Clinical Skincare (more information, website)