Study: Conventional cosmetic products linked to damaging side effects

Thursday, June 09, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: cosmetics, side effects, health news

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(NaturalNews) A new report published by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) highlights some of the worst cosmetic products that cause harmful side effects. Among the most damaging are permanent hair dyes, facial and body moisturizers, cleansers, and even sunscreens, all of which are used by a significant portion of the overall population. And cases of severe reactions from such everyday-use products are widespread, say researchers.

Cosmetics, of course, imply much more than just make-up for women. Hair gels, toothpastes, mouthwashes, skin creams, body sprays, moisturizers, deodorants, and pretty much anything else a person applies to skin or hair is considered a cosmetic product. In other words, virtually every human being uses some kind of cosmetic product every single day.

According to the report, entitled National Register of Adverse Effects from Cosmetic Products 2008-2010, roughly 12 percent of survey respondents indicated that they experienced "very unpleasant adverse effects" as a result of applying common, conventional cosmetic products to their skin and hair. Some of these effects were so severe that respondents indicated that they had to be hospitalized.

The overall worst offender was moisturizers, which represented nearly 58 percent of all adverse events reported. Sunscreens and tanning products ranked second worse at 12.5 percent, and both cleansing products and hair dye products placed third and fourth at 9.2 percent and 6.6 percent respectively. Further down on the list were general hair care products, dental care products, and make-up.

The number one reported adverse event from using cosmetic products included eczema and oedema, as well as blistering and/or stinging pain. Other negative effects included dermatitis, urticaria, acne, itching, and even anaphylactic shock. Swelling and allergic reactions were also common, likely due to the presence of harmful toxins in the cosmetic formulas.

"The Register gives us a better overview of the products that cause adverse effects, the type of adverse effect and who experiences them. Then we can make an assessment and even warn against the use of certain products," said Berit Granum from the Division of Environmental Medicine at NIPH, concerning the report.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has also established a Cosmetics Database through which the public can freely access information about the ingredients used in cosmetic products. It is important to always be aware of what you are putting on your skin or ingesting in your body, and you can learn more about that here:

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