This is What Happens to Your Kidneys, Skin and Brain When You Put on Too Much Makeup

Make up dates ever since ancient times. But, nowadays it is more popular than ever. According to Business Wire, the global cosmetics market reached a staggering $ 460 billion in 2014 alone. It is expected by experts that the global market for beauty products will continue to rise at an annual rate of 3.8% in the next five years.

Beauty products are at the pick of their fame and success, which is confirmed by the fact that YouTube had a total of 123,164,115 beauty subscribers in 2015, and the number is rising. Obviously, we are becoming a society of makeup junkies.

It is believed that humans have been using make up for 5000 years. Back in the far history, make up was used to enhance the attractive features and hide the flaws, like wrinkles and age spots. There’s nothing wrong in occasionally using make up to bring out your beauty, but it does become a problem when it creates psychological dependence.

According to a study conducted by The Renfrew Center Foundation, almost half (44%) of all women said they felt unattractive without makeup. Not only does it affects the self-esteem, make up can also have a visible physiological negative impact.

The Dangers of Makeup Products

Every make up product contains chemicals, some of which may even be dangerous to your health. Some of those chemicals lead to skin dryness, flaking, and even allergic reactions. But, it doesn’t end there. Make-up chemicals enter the pores of our skin and can go so deep, they end up in the bloodstream.

According to a study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, the bones of Japanese children from the Edo period contained levels of toxic metals a dozen times higher than the safety threshold. This was due to the use of white facial powder by breastfeeding women that contained dangerous levels of lead and mercury. Another study from 1991 which collected samples of kohl eye makeup from third-world countries found that many samples had dangerous levels of lead as well.

Some would say that today we have advanced technology that can help with eliminating the bad chemicals from make-up, replacing them with safer alternatives. But, a recent study released by Breast Cancer Fund (BCF) for their project The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that almost half of all kids’ Halloween makeup products tested contained banned and harmful chemicals. Even though the levels were very low, it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Harmful Chemicals Found By The BCF Study


This bluish-white metal is linked to kidney failure, bone disease, and even cancer. According to scientists, this metal is dangerous even when it’s at levels well below limits set forth by the World Health Organization.

According to a FDA research, cadmium is found in the products of Estee Lauder, Jafra Cosmetics, l’Oreal, Yves Rocher, Revlon, Proctor and Gamble, Mary Kay, and Jane & Co products including powder eye shadows, cream eye shadows, eye primers, and foundations.


According to scientists, this paint-thinner can damage the nervous system and lead to neurological disorders such as dementia. Toluene is found in several nail products as well as some hair dyes.


This chemical is found in products such as foundation to protect against UV light. According to an article published in Dermatitis, benzophenones can cause allergic reactions such as skin rashes and even anaphylactic shock. Benzophenones are found in lip balms, foundation, nail polish, fragrances, shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, and baby sunscreens.


Parabens are used to prevent bacteria overgrowth. But, they are also potential endocrine disruptors, as one study even found the presence of these chemicals in breast cancer tissue raising further concerns. Parabens are commonly used in perfumes and colognes, but can also be found in shower gels, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions.


This known heavy metal can be found in numerous makeup products, especially those with more pigment such as foundation, eye shadow, lipstick, and eyeliner. It is highly toxic and was found to cause neurological disorders, infertility and cancer.

It’s most commonly found in lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip liners. It is also found in hair dyes, mascaras, eyeshadows, blushes, and foundations. According to a FDA lab study, lead was found in measurable or trace amounts in every product tested except for baby powder and most lotions.


This mineral is commonly used in powder makeup such as pressed powder foundation and blush but also in liquid foundation. Talc was found to be contaminated with asbestos which is a known carcinogen. According to a review published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, numerous studies link talc to ovarian cancer.

It is mostly found in baby powders, deodorants, feminine hygiene products, powdered eyeshadows and foundations, lipsticks and facemasks.

Even though most make-up products contain these chemicals within the limits or less, excessive use of make-up is what’s worrying according to Julia R. Barrett for Environmental Health Perspectives.

To protect your health, always read the labels on the product and try to lower the amount of make-up and use it less frequently.

It’s also advisable to practice make-up free days to allow your skin and your whole body to take a rest from all the chemicals they get in touch with. Also, make sure to buy makeup from reputable companies that sell clinically-tested products as these are less likely to contain harmful ingredients.


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