Is Makeup Harmful to the Environment?

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In the female community, beauty products are great choices; shadows, eyeliners, bases, blushes, lipsticks, concealers. Countless are the options that the makeup world offers. There is for all skin, hair and tastes. What you want, what you have.

But not many know of the great negative impact that this industry has on the environment and the terrifying scenario behind the tests that are carried out in laboratories with animals, without any mercy.


Well, probably at this moment you are wondering how the lipstick that you use every day is linked to the environment. And it is well that for a product to come onto the market, it must first be tested and verified that it is not contaminating to the body, since all makeups are in contact with the skin. And this is when the stage turns a little dark, because the tests are not carried out with human beings (although some are, and they are paid), but with animals.


Due to the great demand in the makeup industry, there are a large number of commercial establishments dedicated to beauty (salons and aesthetics), which also have a strong impact on the environment, not only for activities that require high energy use. electric and water; also, due to the generation of hazardous waste (discharges to drainage, toxic and sanitary) and emissions to the atmosphere (aerosols).


Well, using plastics can be harmful to health, due to the plastic microparticles that end up in the food chain; Solar energy can help reduce your electric bill considerably: and every time you do a bike ride or walk instead of taking the car, you do a physical exercise that helps you stay in shape.


Cosmetics are the next note to keep in mind in this great score of sustainability and respect for the environment that we are building together. Many of the ingredients of these pass into the sea once you dispose of them down the drain, contaminating the water, the native fauna and the future of the oceans. For this reason, without a doubt, it is worth reading the fine print of those products that we consume.


Cosmetics, an invisible contamination




Fish begin to be addicted to a strange food: plastic. They do not consume it by biting the garbage bags that float in the sea, but they confuse the plastic microparticles with a food that never satisfies them. It is a true ecological disaster, because you can still fight solid plastic, but when it has broken down into microscopic particles that permeate the waters, this ingredient ends up being part of the fish's diet, and of our own food.



Many hygiene products are disinfectant and antibacterial. When you buy a toothpaste, you definitely want to do away with anything in your mouth that could lead to an infection, however these chemical compositions again can have an adverse effect on the environment when they are in high concentration in the sea. Triclosan is in the eye of the hurricane of the scientific community because it is known that in high amounts it is harmful to health, that is why only 0.2% of concentration is allowed in mouthwashes and makeups.




They can be present in all liquid hygiene products such as gels, shampoos or creams. Parabens are preservatives because they act against microbes and are very inexpensive. This makes them fulfill their function without skyrocketing the price of the product. They are used in both cosmetics and food, but they have a side effect: they act as hormones. The truth is that it is not easy for them to produce a reaction in humans as a result of the use of these products, since in the small amount in which they are present in cosmetics and food they do not have enough power to make hormonal changes.


The problem with parabens is precisely their density. In a gel it is minimal but what happens when all the cosmetic residues with parabens go to the sea? That concentration rises and density can become detrimental to marine life.




Marine corals are changing color, and are no longer that characteristic reddish hue, but are turning whitish. This has to do with octinoxate and oxybenzone, which are two elements contained in sun creams. When we bathe in the sea these ingredients go into the water and end up being part of it.


Although the cosmetic industry has evolved in recent times, becoming increasingly friendly to the planet, not only in terms of the use of resources, but the components of its formulas, there are still products that leave a toxic footprint on the environment.

In recent years there has been an increase in the amount of pollutants released into the environment, and that come from the increasing consumption of a wide range of products, including cosmetics and personal care products. The chemical compounds present in conventional cosmetics severely influence nature, since they are products for daily use for practically the entire population of developed countries.


The destination of these pollutants is unknown in many cases, since a certain part is neutralized by the water and waste treatment plants, but another is immune to this purification process. In this way, these compounds access both aquatic and terrestrial environments, where they are bioaccumulative and interfere in numerous natural processes, damaging plants, animals and people. On the other hand, the contaminants present in cosmetics can come into contact with others from other sources, generating new unpredictable compounds. In the case of humans, the damaging effect of these pollutants can come from direct epidermal contact with them, or even with their oral consumption (through household water).


Nowadays, of course, more and more refined studies are continuing on the impact of cosmetic products on nature. Greater information about the possible environmental effects of cosmetics, and that it appears clearly on the packaging of cosmetics, can encourage your consumers to use them more responsibly and more informed. And the use of natural cosmetic products is, of course, the only option that does not cast any doubt on its sustainability and respect for ecosystems.



Sonia Corredor/Shimarz Blog Writer


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