Cosmetics are comprised of a combination of mineral-based ingredients and chemical substances derived either from chemicals or natural sources. The term “cosmetics” refers to any cosmetic that has not been altered by heat or light. Cosmetics, in general, do not include drugs because cosmetics manufacturers are not allowed to claim that their products can treat a disease or condition. Cosmetics are considered safe for use even when they are used on the skin, but some cosmetics can cause allergic reactions. Many of the preservatives found in cosmetics are derived from hazardous compounds. For example, the rate is a compound commonly added to cosmetics that may cause an allergic reaction and which has been banned in several European countries.
In addition to preservatives, some of the ingredients in cosmetics have antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, antimicrobial, sunscreens, triclosan, and fragrances. Some of the chemicals commonly found in cosmetics are considered cancer-causing agents. Chemicals in cosmetics that are suspected of causing cancer include some of the ingredients used in hand and body lotion, lip balm, blush, and eyebrow pencils; talc; mercury; and pore clogging mineral oil. While some of the ingredients in cosmetics are not considered carcinogens, it is not known whether they cause cancer tac dung cua nuoc hoa hong doi voi lan da.
Cosmetic preservatives are used in cosmetics because they help to lengthen the shelf life of the ingredients and keep them from going bad. Some of the most common types of preservatives used in cosmetics are sodium benzoate, benzoic acid, ethylparaben, and the petroleum-derived propylene glycol. All of these can form a molecular structure in which some of the oxygen atoms of the outermost electron of a molecule is replaced by a nitrogen, resulting in a decrease in its size. This type of reaction allows the compound to become stable and longer-lasting. Other common ingredients in cosmetics that are believed to cause allergic reactions include zinc oxide, liquid paraffin, and mineral oil.
Some cosmetic products may contain fragrance ingredients. Common fragrances are rosewater, lavender, and lemon. Many of these compounds are considered “colorless” and categorized as synthetic chemicals. Aromatic fragrances are thought to increase relaxation and relieve stress. However, scientists have shown that many of these same chemicals are toxic when absorbed by the skin. Dermatologists are concerned that the chemicals in cosmetics can cause an allergic reaction, clog the skin, or cause other health problems.
An emollient is a substance that moisturizes. It is defined by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “a material that absorbs, holds, and produces water”. The majority of emollients used in cosmetics lotions and creams are petrolatum, mineral oil, and paraffin wax. Some other terms you might come across in cosmetics labels include humectants, which is defined as “an emollient that retains moisture in the epidermis and helps to prevent evaporation and provide an even distribution of moisture”, and emulsifiers, which is “used to combine ingredients for smoother application and greater patient comfort”.
When consumers see the ingredients they expect on a cosmetics product label but don’t always recognize them, they become confused. The goal is to reduce the exposure to toxic chemicals in cosmetics so that consumers can make informed choices about the products they choose. The task is complicated by the fact that cosmetics companies are not required to disclose the chemicals listed in their ingredients. Until this changes the challenge remains for the consumer – what can you actually trust on a cosmetics ingredient list?