Giving Up Cancer for Lent: What’s on my face?

Okay… so I have been falling a little behind. Yesterday was supposed to be the start of week four but I had a few more things about lifestyle/environment I wanted to research so week four will have to wait until tomorrow.

It was my trip to the drug store yesterday that prompted the delay. I am continually disappointed when I go to the cosmetics counter. There are very limited option when it comes to finding parabem-free creams and soaps or aluminum-free deodorants but, when it comes to make-up, the options are even more limited.

The more I read about cosmetics, the more concerned I get about what they are doing to my body. Some scientists consider them ‘high risk’ because they are applied directly to the skin. I have started moving to safer products but it has been a gradual move… partly because I don’t want to spend the money (the safer stuff is always more expensive) and partly because the products are hard to find. The more I read, the more I want to throw the whole cosmetics bag away.

I decided to test the contents of my make-up kit with a U.S. based website called Skin Deep . It is run by a non-profit organization called the Environmental Working Group. I’ll avoid listing the product names for the most part but here are the results:

  • Mascara (a common drug store brand): A hazard score of moderate (5 out of 10): Ingredients in this product have been linked to cancer, development/reproductive toxicity and allergies/immunotoxicity.
  • All-day lip colour: A moderate hazard score (4 out of 10). Ingredients linked to development/reproductive toxicity and allergies/Immunotoxicity along with a list of other concerns, it is not, however, linked to cancer.
  • Most of my make-up is by MAC and there were very few listings for these products. I did find my concealer which was listed as a hazard of moderate (4 out of 10). Ingredients were not linked to cancer but there were still a host of warnings. The company scored a range of 4 to 6 for its product range.

Here was the big shocker… these are the organic, seemingly safe, products:

  • Organic loose power: A hazard score of moderate (4 out of 10). Ingredients linked to cancer, allergies and a host of other concerns. Interestingly the pressed powder had a low hazard score of 2.
  • Organic tinted moisturizer: the only listing I could find was for one that included an SPF of 15 (which I would have bought if it had been available). It had a moderate score of 4 out of 10 with ingredients linked to cancer, developmental toxicity, etc.

Compared to many of the other common products, mine actually scored pretty well. Some foundations scored 8 or 9. I’m not sure where it leaves me. I have always been one person who doesn’t feel dressed unless I’m wearing my ‘face.’ I also don’t like knowing some of the ingredients on my products are linked to cancer, especially the ones for which I was paying a premium because I thought it was better for me. I am on the hunt for a new mascara… and perhaps some better organic products.

I don’t know why it still surprises me that so much of the world we live in is linked to cancer… perhaps it shouldn’t be so surprising that 16 men and women in this province are diagnosed with cancer.

This entry was posted in cancer, environment, lent. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Giving Up Cancer for Lent: What’s on my face?

  1. Alan says:

    This is a very interesting blog and so i like to visit your blog again and again. Keep it up.Sharon

Leave a Reply to Alan Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *