Some years ago, the regulatory agency for food, beverages and dietary supplements intended for consumption by humans and animals in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said the coal-tar colors used in the manufacturing of lipsticks causes illness and death. The agency then banned the use of the coal-tar colors, but later lifted the ban when the cosmetics industry, which makes billions of dollars annually, protested that their business would be ruined. The industry explained that the proper shade of the lipstick couldn’t be obtained without the use of coal-tar colors.

Make-up is not just harmful to the skin, a variety of health problems can occur from its use.

Lipsticks and eye-shadows, for example, contain lead, a carcinogen and neurotoxin that can affect the nervous system adversely, leading to high blood pressure, behavioral abnormalities and even decreased rates of fertility.


Mercury and parabens – chemical preservative used in many cosmetics – are some other hazardous substances common to beauty products.

Research has shown that all make-up comprises of artificial substances and a large number of chemicals which can harm the skin. Skin irritation, allergies and skin cancer are some of the possible outcomes of make-up.

Research has also shown that the chemicals can seep into the bloodstream via skin absorption, and ultimately damage the internal organs over time.

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