Your Beauty Routine Might Be Making You Sick

red lipsticked mouth

Can't leave your house without "putting on your face?" Yeah, well, you might feel differently after hearing about the toxic chemicals turning up in everything from lipstick to shampoo. Here, we break down the potential dangers lurking in your medicine cabinet.



Even if you splurged on a department store brand, that lipstick you're using could have lead, a known neurotoxin, in it. One recent study found detectable amounts of lead, along with a carcinogen called chromium, in over 30 popular brands of drugstore and higher-end lipsticks. Researchers noted that negative health effects could show up after long-term use.


Don't just take your stylist's word that a shampoo is good for you. If it contains a chemical lathering agent called cocamide DEA, you're basically washing your hair with a carcinogen. And according to one study, shampoos from Trader Joe's to Kohl's contain them.

More from The Stir: Your Antibacterial Soap Is Bad For You: Now It's Official!

Shaving Cream:

Yes, shaving cream protects your skin from nicks and cuts, but there's a cost. The propellent that allows it to shoot out of the can may be contaminated with 1,3 butadiene, a chemical that's known to cause breast tumors in rats. Be equally suspect of spray sunscreen and foundation.


Parabens, parabens. Everyone's talking about parabens. Know what they are? (Yep, neither did we.) Parabens are preservatives used in lots of cosmetics, like deodorant, but they are readily absorbed through the skin and may cause cancer. Not pretty.

Nail Polish and Perfumes:

Both nail polish and perfumes contain chemicals called pthalates that disrupt hormones. (Meaning keep them away from young girls since they can start early onset puberty.) Pthalates are also bad news if you're pregnant; they've been linked to developmental issues in newborns.

Does this make you rethink the types of cosmetics you buy?


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