Cosmetics · Environment · Environmental health · Women's health

Chemical Exposure Through Cosmetics


It is perhaps a well-known fact that most women (and men) cosmetics contain a myriad of toxic chemicals, including hormone-disrupting chemicals. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas found that even a short break from certain cosmetics resulted in a significant reduction of chemicals in the body.

The study titled HERMOSA (Health and Environmental research on Makeup of Salinas Adolescents) and published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, followed 100 teenagers living in Salinas (CA). These teenagers were using common cosmetics products which were replaced with products free of known hormone-disruptive ingredients such as phtalatesparabens, triclosan and benzophenone-3 (BP-3). These chemicals are found in most cosmetics, shampoos, soaps and sunscreens among others.

Urine samples were taken before and after the study which lasted only 3 days. Amazingly, even in such a short time period, the teenagers experienced a significant decrease in the level of chemicals. Metabolites of diethyl phthalate, commonly used in fragrances, decreased 27%; methyl and propyl parabens, used as preservatives in cosmetics, dropped 44% and 45%; both triclosan, found in antibacterial soaps and some brands of toothpaste, and BP-3 found in some sunscreens under the name oxybenzone, fell 36%!

According to the lead author Kim Harley, associate director of the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health“Teen girls may be at particular risk since it’s a time of rapid reproductive development, and research has suggested that they use more personal care products per day than the average adult woman.” Perhaps not surprisingly, the teenagers in the study took it upon themselves to educate friends and members of the community and even took their cause to the legislature in Sacramento.

See also, for more information, including a list of “safe” cosmetics. But shouldn’t a woman be most beautiful when she doesn’t wear any makeup?

Draize test

This 4-legged would also like to remember all 2-leggeds that cosmetics and their toxic chemicals are tested on us and these tests are either very very painful (see, ), deadly or both. This is neither a legal obligation nor necessary. See the fact sheet from the Humane Society.

In health,




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