Makeup: Wreaking Havoc on the Earth

In Features, Latest News by Abby Williams

     Foundation, blush, mascara, eye shadow and lipstick are all products under the umbrella of makeup that is used by people of all colors, shapes and sizes. The purpose of makeup? To make people feel more beautiful. But what if the one thing that is making people’s exterior feel more beautiful is making the world an uglier place? Literally.

     Oxybenzone, Parabens and Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) are among numerous ingredients found in cosmetic products. While they help cover up imperfections, they are known to make the natural world a more imperfect place, according to Ben Johnson, the founder and formulator of Osmosis Skincare, in an interview with The Point.

     Johnson has been in the skincare industry since 1977 when he opened his first medi-spa. Today, Johnson offers his patients a more holistic way of caring for their skin through natural products and mindfulness for the environment.

     “Osmosis provides the tools needed to create the ideal environment to encourage permanent change and overall radiance,” according to the Osmosis Skincare website.

     Based on prevalence, Johnson offers what he thinks are the top three harmful ingredients for the environment found in commonly used makeup products.

     Oxybenzone is not only harmful to women because it causes a reduction of natural estrogen in the body, but Johnson says, “[it] is killing the barrier reefs around the world.” This is a commonly used ingredient, according to Johnson, and because of that, it ends up in the public water supply.

     Parabens, which Johnson says are commonly used as preservatives in 80 percent of skincare products, have also been found to disrupt hormones in the body.

     The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions writes, “Parabens are man-made chemicals often used in small amounts as preservatives in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, foods and beverages.”

     Parabens have been linked to cause breast tumors, says Johnson.

     BHA is used in makeup and various personal care products as an antioxidant, primarily in lipstick and eyeshadow, according to cosmeticsinfo.org.

     “It is very commonly leached from plastic bottles and containers into our water and food,” says Johnson. “It wreaks havoc on animal life, reefs and our hormone balance.”

     But the question arises: how do these ingredients have this great of an impact?

     These ingredients resemble estrogen in the body. “This results in lower levels of production or presence of natural estrogen,” says Johnson, “and changes in animal and human epigenetics, which leads to reduced fertility and other odd behaviors that reduce survival.”

     These chemicals cause harm to both the human body and the natural world, including the wildlife that inhabits that same environment.

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