What do you think about when you hear the words “heavy metals”? Metallica? Dental fillings? Lead paint?
The topic of heavy metals is a big deal. There are concerns about metals in dishes, food, supplements, toys, paint, dental amalgams, and so much more… INCLUDING MAKEUP.
WHY ARE HEAVY METALS A CONCERN?
Many heavy metals have been demonstrated to be harmful to humans. The metals lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic pose some of the biggest risks to health. The effects of heavy metal exposure can include lowered IQ, neurological effects, cancer, headaches, extreme irritability, and kidney, lung and heart damage.
WHAT HEAVY METALS HAVE BEEN FOUND IN COSMETICS?
Mercury has been found in skin whitening cream. Lead, cadmium, chromium, manganese, and aluminum have been found in lipsticks and glosses (this is actually very common, some in very unsafe levels).
In all kinds of color cosmetics, heavy metal contamination has been discovered. You won’t see heavy metals on an ingredient list because they are not added intentionally … they just tag along with the pretty colors. Heavy metals are inherently in the earth, which is why sourcing is incredibly important.
The regulation of the beauty industry is basically non-existent. Remember that the U.S. federal government hasn’t passed a law to regulate ingredients in beauty products since 1938.
So how do you find cosmetics without heavy metals? Well, no product can guarantee the complete absence of heavy metals. But you can purchase from a company that is sourcing ingredients WITHOUT contamination and then TESTING to be sure the heavy metal levels are significantly below the legal limits.
Heavy metals can enter into cosmetics in two primary ways: through the extraction and manufacturing process of the raw material or they contaminate the natural colors used to formulate the product. In other words, lead is a naturally occurring metal, found in the Earth and can “tag along” with the beautiful color that makes your blush, bronzer or favorite lipstick. So unless a company is actively testing and looking for heavy metals, they may have no idea that their naturally-sourced cosmetics are tainted with harmful metals.
In Beautycounter’s case:
We test every production batch of every color 3 times — every time we produce it!
We test for 12 heavy metals: antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, lead, mercury, nickel and selenium. We always strive to achieve undetectable levels of heavy metals in our products. “Undetectable levels” range from 0.5 to 5 parts per million, depending on the metal.
And on a side note, if you want to do some heavy metal detoxing, look into high doses of vitamin C, chlorella, and chlorophyll.
Further information can be found on Beautycounter’s website.
Need help making product selections, choosing skincare for you or your family or picking a color that will work with your skin tone? I’m here to help you choose safer, even if that means non-Beautycounter products. I want to educate you about clean products.
Simply email me for 1:1 help anytime.
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