Chemicals in Beauty Products

chemicals-in-beauty-productsNo Chems About It

The beauty world is expanding fast, and there are more people relying on beauty products to make them look and feel their best. But not every product is good for you – some of them contain harsh chemicals that can cause varying levels of damage. A University of Pittsburgh study found that our skin absorbs an average of 64% of the contaminants it comes into contact with. Some substances, like caffeine, absorb at a slower rate (48%) while others, like fragrance ingredients, are much higher (100%!), and your face alone is 2-6 times more absorbant than many other areas of your body, like your torso.

So the question becomes: How do we find beauty products that are good for both us and the environment? Believe it or not, there are several companies thinking the same thing. The beauty industry is going green; they are wising up to these chemicals in beauty products by commiting to cleaning up their acts and making beauty products that are less chemical-dependent, more eco-friendly and good for you.

Be Aware
Up until recently, almost all of the beauty products that have been on the market have contained harsh chemicals such as:

  • Phthalates
  • Parabens
  • Lead
  • Petrolatum
  • Aluminum
  • Formaldehyde
  • Toluene
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate

And many of them still do.

These chemicals can be found in beauty products along with nearly 9,000 untested ingredients, according to Caution at the Counter. Scientists do not know the long-term effects of these products, and even worse - the chemicals within multiple beauty products may not mix well together. You could be putting a nasty poison in your body on a daily basis and not even know it.

Get Smart. Go Green.
So, what is a person to do? You don't have to stop using beauty products altogether and fear looking like Frankenstein's monster. You can switch to organic beauty products, which are hitting the beauty market in droves. In fact, you might see more companies ditch the chemicals in beauty products and instead go with the green. Companies that go green aren't only making better choices for the environment; they are getting the added bonus of profiting from the trend.

According to, consumer spending on natural and organic skin care products grew by 61% between 2005 and 2010, topping out at $7.7 billion, and they're predicting that it could reach $11 billion by 2016. People are realizing that these chemical-infused beauty products are not only bad for them, but also for the planet.

Read Your Beauty Product Labels
Be careful when selecting your products. Just because it says it's all-natural, it's not always true. Since there are no regulations on "natural" products at the moment, so anyone can cash in on the craze and claim that their product is just that: natural! A good rule of thumb is: If you can't pronounce the ingredients, think twice before you buy it! Not every natural ingredient has a simple name, though, so if you're serious about using all-natural beauty products, make sure to do your research.

Beauty Schools Take Notice
Salons and cosmetology schools are following suit in going green. Many salons and schools have realized that their efforts need to go beyond avoiding chemical-laden beauty products to be eco-friendly. Some salons have installed energy-efficient light bulbs, as well as water sensors on the sinks, and some even participate in recycling programs. These methods are in place to help curb the carbon footprint that salons and spas are leaving on the planet.

Cosmetology schools are also practicing greener habits. Students can use a lot of energy to practice the techniques and methods of the beauty business. Some cosmetology schools are educating their students about those habits and are advising them to be more eco-aware in order to cut down on the waste produced. These cosmetology schools are even adopting green policies in the classrooms. They have programs that can help reduce the use of energy and water, and promote the use organic or natural products. offers you the ability to search for a beauty school in your area to find a quality cosmetology institution that fits your needs. Upon completing your program, you can obtain your state cosmetology license and begin a rewarding beauty career.

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