Chemicals on Your Face! Do You Know They are Pretty Shady?

Beauty products are chemical cocktails masquerading as pretty shades. Or, so believes an environmentalist. Chemicals are a vital part of our daily life, however if not wisely used, can prove the worst possible hazard to human body, noted Rehan Ahmed, Bahrain’s Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife, Waste Disposal Unit Directorate of Environmental Control.

Ahmed was drawing attention to the majority percentage of women population globally in general and Bahrain in particular, who seem to have embraced ‘makeup’ as a routine.

“An average woman wears over 500 chemicals on her body every day,” said Ahmed.

“Women douse themselves daily with perfume, moisturizer, lotions, deodorants, hair styling and beauty products and a wide variety of cosmetics that contain hundreds of chemicals. Fragrance or perfume is in common use and is considered a trade secret. So, manufacturers use a wide variety of chemicals (sometimes over one hundred) to make up their signature scent,” he explained.

“Chemicals in beauty products and skincare don’t just go skin deep, they seep into the pores and body,” said Ahmed, adding that “60 percent of the chemicals can be found floating in the bloodstream. “Many of the chemicals can be toxic when they touch the skin, leaving rashes, burns and worse,” he added.

Puff’ of chemicals

Ahmed highlighted that yet another aspect that leads chemicals into blood stream is through cigarettes.“Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds and 400 other toxins,” he said. “These include nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and DDT. “If we think deep for a while on these, I am sure we will all agree that we do not want these alien particles in our blood,” he explained.

Ahmed was speaking at a seminar which focused on the potential hazards posed by chemicals held by the The Institution of Engineers Pakistan- Bahrain Chapter (IEP-BC), organized in association with the Bahrain Society of Engineers (BSE).


When the world is on its march to save the fragile planet, of which we human beings are a vital part – we do have a major role to play personally, apart from saving the green. If saying no to cosmetics is a difficult option why not go for eco-friendly beauty habits and products?

Here are few eco-friendly beauty tips:


1.      Avoid Disposables

Reusable and refillable razors can help cut down the impact on the environment than plastic disposable razors which are non-biodegradable. Apply makeup with your fingers and/or brushes rather than disposable sponges and q-tips. (Make sure your fingers are clean before touching your face!)

2.      Recycle makeup containers

Watch out for offers round the corner which may get you a good exchange of products when you handover those empty synthetic containers, instead of just tossing them into the bin. You can also contact your local drug store, beauty store, or recycling center to see if they accept any empty makeup containers. You find none around? Why not venture into a project on these lines? That could be you way to add a green touch to mother earth!

3. Cruelty-Free Cosmetics

Support brands that which use humane non-animal testing methods to ensure the safety of their cosmetics. Click here to find a complete list of companies that do and do not test on animals. In addition, look out for the Leaping Bunny Logo on the packaging of your cosmetics. This is the only internationally recognized logo that guarantees no animal tests were used in the development of the product.

4.      Beware of Toxins

Beware of the following three chemicals, which may contain extremely toxic ingredients that may be harmful to your body. Parabens are preservatives found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, cleansing gels and personal lubricants. Parabens are rapidly absorbed, but a certain amount of parabens remains stored in human body and has been linked to breast cancer and hormone disruption.

Talc is found in many pressed powders, and even in some eye shadows and foundations. Studies show talc to be similar in structure to asbestos and can increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

Phthalates are found in most hair sprays, deodorants, nail polishes and perfumes, and are believed to cause damage to the endocrine and reproductive system. Phthalates are banned in Europe, but not in the U.S. or Canada. To ensure your cosmetics are non-toxic, you can check out here and search by product, company, or ingredient.

5.      Try Organic Makeup

Avoid feeding your body harmful chemicals by switching to organic, natural companies that create beauty products made from minerals, plant oils and flower extracts. Since organic cosmetics do not contain any synthetic ingredients, they are less likely to cause acne, irritation, or blackheads.

(Tips courtesy: Sapna Magazine)

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