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Is mineral-based make-up
safer? From the environmental working group
Is mineral-based make-up safer for you than make-up
bought at drug stores or department stores? Most of the
mineral-based make-up contains titanium dioxide and/or
silica, and some contain iron of some type. Is this okay
for your skin? I am wondering how such make-up is
absorbed into the body, too!
Answer: Like all cosmetics, mineral-based products
raise more questions about their safety than answers.
Many mineral-based make-ups contain (or potentially
contain) nano-size ingredients, which are 10 to 1,000
times smaller than their normally-sized counterparts and
are more likely to be absorbed into the body through the
skin because they're so small. (See
EWG's research on nano-materials.)
One recent study by the National Center for
Toxicological Research found that nano-sized particles
could be detected throughout the lymphatic system within
minutes after being deposited in the skin of mice.
And once nano-particles are absorbed by the body,
studies to date suggest that they are quite
damaging--for instance, they can cause emphysema-like
symptoms when absorbed into the lungs and are toxic to a
variety of cells. In short, it is a good idea to avoid
inhaling mineral-based cosmetics--be careful to not
create dust, as particles can quickly absorb deep into
the lungs--and avoid using them on damaged skin where
the likelihood of absorption is dramatically increased.
As for the second part of the question, we have a
limited understanding of the ingredients
iron, as used in cosmetics. (Click on each
ingredient to learn more about what we do know in our
Why don't we know more? Because the FDA doesn't require
companies to test their own products for safety. If you
think that's ridiculous, sign our
the FDA urging them to set safety standards when it
comes to the products we all use every day.
For safe Cosmetics without harmful chemicals