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Sunday, October 7, 2012

What Your Makeup is Really Concealing

Your makeup could be concealing dangerous toxins. A majority of women use some form of makeup every day, but most are unaware of the toxic chemicals found in some of these cosmetics and their links to long-term health problems. People are exposed to toxins by breathing in sprays, swallowing chemicals on the lips, or absorbing them through the skin. So how can consumers protect themselves and stay healthy? Yoshi Rahm, DO, a Family Medicine osteopathic physician tells us what ingredients to look for on cosmetic labels and provides tips to keep you looking and feeling good. 

Check Labels for Toxic Chemicals
“Knowing which chemicals are unsafe is the first point of defense,” says Dr. Rahm. “Many beauty products contain chemicals that are pollutants.” Dr. Rahm recommends avoiding products that contain toxins, such as parabens, phthalates, paraffin, acrylamide, propylene glycol, phenol carbolic acid, dioxane, toluene, and sodium laurel sulftate which is a degreaser that is used to clean engines and is found in 90 percent of all personal care products. He also recommends avoiding products that contain synthetic dyes and musk, which is labeled as fragrance. “Whichever way it’s worded, it’s still a toxic chemical,” he points out.

What’s the danger? “Many of these chemicals are endocrine disruptors, which may interfere with the body’s endocrine or hormone system. They produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects such as cancer, organ failure and birth defects,” says Dr. Rahm.
Review Consumer Protection Websites for Product Ratings
Dr. Rahm recommends consumers check out Skin Deep (, a cosmetics database managed by the Environmental Working Group. It ranks cosmetics containing chemicals with known or suspected health risks. “The site is an especially valuable tool in deciphering which products are really ‘natural,’ ” says Dr. Rahm. “Just because a company says its product is all natural, doesn’t necessarily mean it is.”

Makeup Makeover
Common cosmetics like lipstick and mascara contain ingredients that are potentially damaging to your health. To safeguard against some of these dangers, Dr. Rahm offers the following tips:
       Lipstick: Most lipsticks contain lead and studies show that women ingest pounds of lipstick over the course of a lifetime. When shopping for lipstick, verify that it’s composed of  natural ingredients.
       Mascara: Avoid mascaras that contain retinyl palmitate and parabens. These preservatives can mimic estrogen and interfere with the endocrine system.
       Blush: Avoid products that contain rose quartz and silica, which are considered possible human carcinogens and have proven toxic to immune and respiratory systems over prolonged exposure.
       Sunscreens: Discard sunscreens and makeup that contain the ingredient known as octinoxate. While this chemical helps filter UV rays, it's also been linked to thyroid and brain signal problems in lab animals.

“Next time you put on your makeup, take the time to read and research the ingredients,” advises Dr. Rahm.  One brand that Dr. Rahm recommends is ACURE, though there are other good brands out there, he emphasizes.  Dr. Rahm has no financial ties to ACURE. “Always look at packaging and check for labeling that says ‘formulated without’ the aforementioned chemicals. Knowing what to look for is the first step in becoming aware and staying healthy.”

Medical Disclaimer: Information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. The information is a result of years of practice and experience by Yoshi Rahm, DO. However, this information is NOT intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging.

Do not use the information provided in this blog for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this blog.

Information provided in this blog and the use of any products or services related to this blog by you DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and Yoshi Rahm, DO. or any other physician featured in this blog. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.