The Beauty Products You're Using May Be Linked to Breast Cancer

woman putting on face cream

If you take pride in your appearance (that is, you don't want to be known as "the haggard mom" when you pick up your kids from school), chances are you use a hint of makeup. And apply some sort of anti-aging cream to your skin. Well, surprise! According to a new study, some of those cosmetics contain Teflon.


"Wait a second," you may be thinking. "Isn't Teflon the same thingy on my frying pan that keeps my bacon from sticking?"

Um, yes. And in some makeup and creams, it's added to give your face a smooth finish.

Science-y people know Teflon by its "real" name, PTFE. Please don't ask us to spell it. That would be like trying to spell "Supercalifragilisticexpealidocius" but much less rewarding. Okay fine, it's polytetrafluoroethylene. But what you REALLY need to know is that PTFE can contain a toxic contaminant called perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA for short.

PFOA has been linked to endocrine disruption, reproductive problems, and cancer.

And, um, we might be slathering it all over our faces.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of the Breast Cancer Fund, sent a bunch of cosmetics to an independent lab and had them tested for toxic chemicals that have been linked to breast cancer.

The results weren't pretty.

Three anti-aging creams -- and not from some random, never-heard-of brand but from Garnier and CoverGirl -- contained PFOA.

More from The Stir: 10 Must-Know Scientific Facts About Breast Cancer

In case you're missing the horror of this, the Campaign's report spells it out: The demographic of women most at risk for breast cancer are being marketed a product that CONTAINS a chemical linked to the disease.

Where is Erin Brockovich when we need her?

Here are the culprits so you can purge them from your medicine cabinet:

Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer Anti-age Skin Corrector

Garnier Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Moisturizer

CoverGirl Advanced Radiance with Olay, Age Defying Pressed Powder

So what else can you do to make sure you don't buy more cosmetics that contain PFOA?

Check the ingredients. If you see PTFE, Teflon, or a bunch of other hard-to-spell things like DEA-C8-18 Perfluoroalkylethyl Phosphate or Polyperfluoromethylisopropyl Ether, skip it.

But don't just complain about this on Facebook. Help make a change. Demand cosmetic companies stop putting dangerous gunk in their products. Ask Food and Drug Administration officials to do something to earn their salaries. (Cosmetics are one of the least regulated consumer products out there.)

To get started, click on

Because, you know, cancer-free is pretty beautiful.


Image © ELLINEPHOTO/iStock

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