Is your makeup bag making you sick? The hidden dangers lurking in your cosmetics

We’ve become more conscious of what we’re putting on our face and into our bodies in recent years, but many of us still apply makeup products that are full of ingredients that can pose serious health risks. 

Recent research from Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences found that there are deadly superbugs lurking in nine out of 10 makeup bags.

After testing 467 products, they found that 77 per cent of eyeliners, 72 per cent of beauty blenders, 69 per cent of mascaras, 56 per cent of lipsticks and 55 per cent of lip glosses all contained staphylococcus bacteria, a type of germ that can cause deadly infections.

Recent research from Aston University's School of Life and Health Sciences found that there are deadly superbugs lurking in nine out of 10 makeup bags (stock image)

Recent research from Aston University's School of Life and Health Sciences found that there are deadly superbugs lurking in nine out of 10 makeup bags (stock image)

Recent research from Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences found that there are deadly superbugs lurking in nine out of 10 makeup bags (stock image)

But these aren’t the only dangerous chemicals lurking in your makeup bag. 

The CEO and founder of natural skincare range Moogoo, Craig Jones, told FEMAIL that there are chemicals in all sorts of products we use.

‘Even products that are promoted to “protect” our skin often contain harsh chemicals which in their own right can be damaging,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

So what are the ingredients you should be watching out for?

The CEO and founder of natural skincare range Moogoo, Craig Jones (pictured), told FEMAIL that there are chemicals in all sorts of products we use

The CEO and founder of natural skincare range Moogoo, Craig Jones (pictured), told FEMAIL that there are chemicals in all sorts of products we use

The CEO and founder of natural skincare range Moogoo, Craig Jones (pictured), told FEMAIL that there are chemicals in all sorts of products we use

PARABENS

Top of the list is a chemical you might have heard of: Parabens.

What products contain Parabens?

* Shampoos

* Conditioners

* Shower gels

* Facial cleansers

* Scrubs 

‘Parabens is the collective name for various distinct synthetically-produced preservatives,’ Craig told FEMAIL. 

These are widely found in water-based products, such as shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, facial cleansers and scrubs. 

‘Like many ingredients, some Parabens that were once approved for use have now been banned after more information has become available, such as isopropylparaben, isobutylparaben, phenylparaben, benzylparaben and pentylparaben,’ Craig said.

While these are long words, what it’s important to realise is that you should avoid Parabens at all costs when shopping for toiletries and opt for ‘paraben-free’ shampoos and conditioners – which will also improve the quality of your hair.

‘Risk factors [with Parabens] include cancer and reproductive toxicity,’ Craig said.   

What products contain Phenoxyethanol? 

* Moisturisers

* Eyeshadows

* Foundation

* Sunscreen

* Conditioner

* Mascara

* Eyeliner

* Shampoo

* Lip gloss

* Concealer

* Body wash

* Hand cream

What products contain Phenoxyethanol?

* Blusher  

* Hair colour

* Lip balm

* Lotion

* Nail polish

* Baby wipes

* Baby soaps

* Deodorant

* Toothpaste

*Fragrance

* Hand sanitiser

* Ultrasound gel 

PHENOXYETHANOL

The second ingredient to be wary of is Phenoxyethanol, which is a type of preservative widely used in cosmetics to prevent the growth of bacteria.

‘Phenoxyethanol can be found in a vast amount of beauty products such as moisturisers, eyeshadows, foundation, sunscreen, conditioner, mascara, eyeliner, shampoo, lip gloss, concealer and body wash,’ Craig said.

You can also find it in hand cream, blusher, hair colour, lip balm, lotion, nail polish, baby wipes and soaps, deodorant, toothpaste, fragrance, wax hand sanitiser and even ultrasound gel.

‘Under EU Law it is recommended that the concentration of phenoxyethanol does not exceed a concentration of 0.6 per cent per product, with risk factors being developing an allergic reaction, particularly among infants,’ he said. 

Read the back of your cosmetic products when you buy them and check for any hidden nasties.

What products contain Formaldehyde?

* Nail polish

* Nail glue

* Eyelash glue

* Hair gel

* Hair-smoothing products

* Baby shampoo

* Body soap

* Body wash

* Colour cosmetics 

FORMALDEHYDE DONORS

Another preservative, Formaldehyde, is used to stop the formation of bacteria.

‘It can be added to products directly, or released from other preservatives,’ Craig said. 

This ingredient is typically found in nail polish, nail glue, eyelash glue, hair gel, hair-smoothing products, baby shampoo, body soap, body wash and colour cosmetics.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledges formaldehyde as a probable carcinogen, while the most common side effects are skin irritation, including scalp burns and hair loss.

Many makeup products contain staphylococcus bacteria, a type of germ that can cause deadly infections (stock image)

Many makeup products contain staphylococcus bacteria, a type of germ that can cause deadly infections (stock image)

Many makeup products contain staphylococcus bacteria, a type of germ that can cause deadly infections (stock image)

MI METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE

‘Methylisothiazolinone (MI) is a preservative used in baby wipes and other personal products, which is currently causing an appreciable number of cases of allergic contact dermatitis, an itchy skin rash,’ Craig said.

While it is being phased out of many products, it is still present in some on the market. 

Craig recommends you look for natural skincare, such as Moogoo Skin’s Milk Udder Cream $11.90, which is 100 per cent preservative-free.

‘MooGoo developed an alternative preservation system based on Hops,’ Craig said.

‘This discolours our creams a little, but that is a compromise we are happy to make.’ 

LEAD

Speaking previously to FEMAIL, the author of Low Tox Life and mother Alexx Stuart said lead is commonplace in lipstick.

‘Elevated lead in adults has been found to lead to miscarriages, birth defects and seizures,’ she said.

Alexx advises consumers to ask companies for lead-testing reports, however, CHOICE says people shouldn’t be too worried. 

‘Lead occurs naturally in metal pigments used in lipsticks, it isn’t deliberately added. Even assuming that all lipstick that is applied to lips ends up being eaten, the amounts found in lipsticks aren’t high enough to cause concern,’ they said.

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