Glossary Buliding #4

The beauty industry makes $160 billion a year globally. People will do strange things to pursue the ideal of beauty. From using Preparation H to reduce eye wrinkles to washing your hair with beer to add volume.

Beauty products are full of harmful chemicals. Parabens are widely used as a preservative in beauty products and prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. Parabens are used in products such as shampoos, shaving products, moisturizers and/or makeup. Studies have linked parabens to an increased risk of breast cancer. Other experts have stated that when parabens are combined with other chemicals commonly found in beauty products they can become and dangerous carcinogen.

Another chemical commonly found in beauty products such as fragranced lotions, body wash, hair care products and nail polish are phthalates. These are known endocrine disruptors. This chemical can also be found in children’s toys, plastic packaging, and medical tubing. Some studies have also shown potential reproductive harm.

There is a disturbing and toxic beauty product marketed to women with darker skin tones, skin bleaching cream. Skin bleaching or skin lighting cream is a 10-billion-dollar market for American and European companies. Most of the individual ingredients found in these creams are banned throughout America and Europe due to health risks. But due to loopholes, these companies can still sell the cream itself. Long-term use of the product can increase the risk of skin cancer from sun exposure. WebMD warns about the potential risks of absorbing the steroids found in skin lighting creams. The site also states that is can cause an untreatable skin discoloration known as ochronosis.  Dermatologists have reported treating many severe side effects from these products.

Parabens: a preservative used in beauty products to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.

Phthalates: commonly used in the manufacture of plastics to make them stronger and more flexible.

Skin bleaching cream: a beauty product which reduces the melanin pigment in the skin.

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