How Safe are Cosmetics?

Cosmetics which constitute a wide array of products ranging from lipsticks, creams, lotions, shampoos, face powders, hair dyes, mascara, etc have been in use since ancient times. Awareness on potential harmful effects of cosmetics has emerged only recently.

Heavy metals have been used as cosmetics ingredients and can enter the finished products through raw materials and active ingredients. Heavy metals content is not given on labels but can build up in the body through skin contact over time and can cause several health problems such as cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, neurological problems, joint and muscle disorders, kidney and renal problems, contact dermatitis and hair loss.

Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi has conducted an eye opening study on presence of heavy metals in different cosmetic products and come up with startling revelations on presence of harmful toxic metals beyond the permissible safe limits.

Lipsticks and fairness creams are common cosmetics which have found favour with women especially models and celebrities who require to look their best throughout the day but over a period of time they have also complained of skin pigmentation and itching. Beauty and the beast is a survey which reports presence of heavy metals such as titanium, manganese, aluminium, cadmium and chromium in lipsticks.

Another study on metals in fairness creams and lipsticks has found mercury, whose use is prohibited, in 44% of fairness creams while chromium was found in almost 50% and nickel in 43% of lipstick samples tested.

  The purpose of writing this article is to highlight to you the potential dangers of indiscriminate use of cosmetics and other beauty products.

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  1. 1)Why the necessary of instruments calibration. ?
    2) What is mean by ambient temperature?

  2. What are the requiremrnts to train in the analytical chemistry of cosmatics?
    Very informative information and results.

    1. Hi Chiratidzo,
      Cosmetics like any other product has a great potential for future studies on improvements and understanding safety features. Depending on the product of interest there will be appropriate methods in standard journals. However,one needs to have a sound base of principles and practices of analytical chemistry


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