Are Your Cosmetics Loaded With Heavy Metals?

An analysis conducted by the Canadian organisation Environmental Defence has found lead, arsenic and cadmium is nearly 100 percent of popular cosmetics. These aren’t two dollar cosmetics made in China and sold in the drug store; they are high end, popular brands. You won’t find these toxic metals listed in the ingredient list because according to the law they don’t have to be.

Environmental Defence Canada, via the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, tested 49 popular cosmetic products. Brands included MAC, Sephora, Laura Mercier, LÓreal and Mary Kay. Results showed that almost 100 percent of the products tested contained nickel, 96 percent contained lead and 90 percent contained beryllium. Besides lead, arsenic and cadmium, many of the products contained mercury, aluminium and thallium. Interestingly, Benefit Benetint lip gloss contained the highest lead level of any product: 110 parts per million, which is 10 times higher than the limit set by Health Canada.

The heavy metals found in the cosmetics are classed as unintentional contaminants and that’s why they are not required to be listed on the labels. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has stated that in Canada there are draft guidelines for impurity levels of some metals which are classified as “technically avoidable.” In the USA there are no standards for these contaminants in cosmetics and there aren’t any “draft guidelines.”

These heavy metals can be absorbed through your skin and end up in your bloodstream. If absorbed each day, they can build up in your body and lead to health problems such as an under active thyroid gland, a weakened immune system and heightened risk of autoimmune disease. It’s important to think about the cosmetics and personal care products you use each day because they have potential to do great harm to your health. There are safer, non-toxic alternatives for most items items, which are inexpensive and sold at natural food stores.