Are your cosmetics safe?

Cosmetics are defined in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as:

(1) articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance, and

(2) objects to use as a component of such items, except that such term does not include soap.

In the United States, cosmetics are being used by adolescents to younger and younger age, and cosmetic safety has become an issue. Cosmetics can become contaminated with bacteria that the brush or applicator sponge picks up from the skin. Wearing cosmetics to bed, sharing cosmetics, scratching yourself with a mascara wand, spray and fumes are the main dangers of cosmetic use.

The most irritating ingredients in cosmetics are talc, dyes, fragrances and preservatives. It is unfortunate that the preservatives that prevent bacterial build-up are also very bad for the skin.

Not surprisingly, therefore, that there is a growing interest in natural and organic cosmetics. The two main categories of safer cosmetics and mineral cosmetics are hypoallergenic cosmetics.

Mineral Cosmetics

Mineral cosmetics are quickly coming out of dermatologist clinics and high-end spas dealer near you. Certified organic products and non-toxic makeup are becoming more mainstream as they demonstrate that they are as effective as the leading cosmetic companies. Women who use mineral cosmetics to experience fewer breakdowns, since they are not affected by chemical preservatives.

This natural makeup is the simplest, most natural, non-reactive and cosmetics. Mineral cosmetics are made from minerals and inorganic pigments that exist in nature. Because it is made of organic materials that can not produce bacteria and no need to add chemical preservatives. Endless combinations of beautifully colored minerals such as mica, titanium dioxide, zinc and iron oxides and ultramarine pigments, can be used. These elemets are created to make every cosmetic from foundation to eye shadow glitter powder for the body. Milled and purified, treated or coated with other pigments to create different colors and effects. Mica, for example, is a transparent mineral which is extracted from the earth in thin sheets. Due to the effect sheer, translucent and skin-hugging mica mineral, your natural skin tone shines through.

With mineral makeup you get all the coverage, color and smoothness, without chemicals, synthetic fibers and dyes. Mineral foundation looks and feels much more natural, without sacrificing any coverage. Allows skin to breathe, while the balance and protect all skin types. The light mineral powders to the skin breathe naturally and do not reach an agreement in the pores. If you've ever struggled to find a foundation that matches your skin tone or locating that color eye shadow perfect, you will love mineral cosmetics.

Hypoallergenic cosmetics

Hypoallergenic cosmetics are products that manufacturers claim produce fewer allergic reactions than other products. This is a greathelp people with sensitive skin. Hypoallergenic cosmetics contain a minimum of allergenic ingredients such as fragrances and preservatives, which can cause skin irritation and other allergic reactions.

However, there is controversy about the labeling of hypoallergenic cosmetics. Manufacturers of cosmetics labeled as hypoallergenic are not required to submit substantiation of their hypoallergenic claims to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Over the past four years, the FDA has been working to clarify this confusion of claims by establishing testing requirements that determine which products really are hypoallergenic. A cosmetic would be permitted to be labeled hypoallergenic or make similar claims only if scientific studies in humans showed that the product caused a significantly lower rate of adverse skin reactions than similar products not making such claims.

Manufacturers are responsible for carrying out the necessary tests. The guidelines have not been finalized yet, and manufacturers may continue to label their cosmetics as hypoallergenic without any tests. Undoubtedly most products that claim to be hypoallergenic actually are, but being a smart consumer and read labels carefully, do some studying, and not rely solely on manufacturers' claims.

Consumers concerned about allergic reactions from cosmetics should understand that no cosmetic can be guaranteed never to produce an allergic reaction. Even products that have natural ingredients can cause allergic reactions. If you have an allergy to certain plants or animals, then you may have an allergic reaction to cosmetics containing them. If you have an allergic reaction to a cosmetic, you should stop using all cosmetics until you and your doctor can determine which ingredients or combinations of ingredients caused the reaction. Even if you have used a particular cosmetic for years with no problem, you can develop an allergic reaction. This happens as we become sensitized to one or more of the ingredients.