Your Skin Products May Be Making You Sick

woman dipping fingers into skin creamAs if it wasn't enough to have to worry about BPA in cosmetics bottles, parabens in a slew of beauty products, or lipsticks being filled with LEAD, here's something else to be on edge about: Certain skin care products may contain mercury. Yeesh!

The FDA released a report that warns consumers not use off-brand skin creams, antiseptic soaps, and lotions, because they may contain mercury. These products have been found in at least seven states (Texas, California, Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Minnesota) and are being marketed as skin lighteners, anti-aging treatments to remove age spots/freckles/blemishes/wrinkles, and acne treatments for teens.

Unfortunately, there have already been reported cases of poisoning from the products.


In California, a 39-year-old woman suffered symptoms after using a skin cream with mercury for three years ... Plus, several of her family members who did not use the cream, including a 4-year-old child, also had elevated levels of mercury! How horrifying!

As you probably know, mercury exposure is seriously bad news. Even by breathing in mercury vapors or touching people who have used these skin products, you might be at risk of damage the kidneys and the nervous system. It can also interfere with brain development in unborn and very young children. Heavy metal toxicity can cause a slew of other chronic issues, like hormone disruption, weight resistance, digestive problems, etc.

Thankfully, at least we now have the details on these sketchy cosmetics. A little knowledge can go a long way in helping us defend ourselves against mercury poisoning. The FDA recommends checking your skin products for the ingredients “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury.” And if there is no label, don't use the product, the FDA warns, because federal law requires ingredients be listed on the label of any cosmetic or drug.

And good thing that's the case, too! I'm forever checking out labels on my cosmetics and hair products, because I know that not only am I sensitive to certain chemicals, but there's freaky research behind others. Now I'm definitely going to keep up the habit. After all, this whole mercury mess just goes to show you can never be too careful when it comes to being aware of what you're slathering on your skin.

Do you always make a point to check ingredients on your skin care products?

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