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REVEALED: WHY YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE


Beautiful blonde girl

A new book is set to revolutionise your beauty routine. The founder of Mukti Organics has written Truth in Beauty, which demystifies the beauty industry and provides a comprehensive, easy-to-follow roadmap to the clean beauty movement. Authored by Mukti, a seasoned cosmetic formulator and skin therapist with more than 30 years of experience, this book is set to revolutionise your beauty routine. Here, Lifestyle News readers can enjoy this exclusive extract.


While donning a splash of lipstick and smelling nice may make you feel sexier and lift your self-esteem, make-up and perfume may have a heavier impact on your health that far outweigh their temporary benefits.


HEAVY METALS


It’s virtually impossible to avoid toxic, heavy metals like mercury, aluminium, copper, nickel, lead, arsenic, and cadmium. There’s still limited understanding of the effects of cumulative exposure to these metals, but because their molecular weight is heavier than water, heavy metals have been found to accumulate in the fat cells, liver, gall bladder, intestines, and intestinal tract. They can also oxidise over time and kill surrounding cells. 


Heavy metals are still frequently used in make-up to give products their colour pigments. They are known neurotoxins and can trigger numerous health issues. Canadian-based Environmental Defence tested 49 different make-up items across a range of powders, foundations, mascara, lipsticks, lip, and eyeliners. Their testing revealed contamination in virtually all of them, none of which are listed on labels or packaging.


  • 96% contained lead 

  • 90% contained beryllium 

  • 61% contained thallium 

  • 51% contained cadmium 

  • 20% contained arsenic 


In 2007, the FDA listed 400 lipsticks that contain trace elements of lead, but lipstick alone may contain up to eight different metals. The seven other trace metals found were cadmium, aluminium, chromium, copper, cobalt, titanium, and manganese. Researchers recommended the levels of trace metals should be further investigated. The number of times lipsticks were reapplied meant that the ingestion or absorption levels equated to 20% of the acceptable daily amounts (of aluminium, cadmium, chromium, and manganese) from drinking water. 


Even though small amounts of neurotoxins are found in the finished product, the number of times lipstick is reapplied and ingested is not considered in the overall safety assessment and continuous exposure daily can add up to significant levels. Women may be ingesting as much as 87 milligrams of a product every day. A safe level for lead has still not been established by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 


Cadmium is a known carcinogen and has been found in breast cancer biopsies. It’s also used in lab trials as a way of multiplying cancer cells. Cadmium is a contaminant found in soil, but most of us are completely unaware that it’s found in our lipstick, and that we’re ingesting it daily. 


WHY SAFE LIP PRODUCTS MATTER 


The skin on your lips is thinner than the rest of your face. Your lower lip is made up of sensitive mucous membranes that are highly absorptive. Your lips are devoid of protective oil and sweat glands, making them more vulnerable and susceptible to penetration. Underneath the thin outer layer is a sensitive mucous membrane. Whatever we apply close to our mouths can be easily and readily ingested. 


LIPSTICK & MAKE-UP INGREDIENTS 


EMOLLIENTS 


The main ingredients found in lipstick and cream-based blushes are butters and oils. They allow a product to moisturise, shine and glide upon application. Some are synthetic and some are naturally derived. A combination of both is usually used. 


Avoid: Non-organic castor seed oil and derivatives as they may contain residues from agriculture; castor seed oil is also a penetration enhancer 


Look for: Cocoa butter, mango seed butter, shea butter, avocado butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, and organic castor seed oil that is cold pressed and hexane free 


THICKENERS & STRUCTURING AGENTS 


These are made up of waxes and polymers. These give a product its shape, increase viscosity, stabilise against temperature variants, and preserve moisture retention.


Avoid: Synthetic polymers – polyacrylate derivatives, polyacrylamide polymers, and lanolin as it may be contaminated 


Look for: Waxes – candelilla, beeswax, and carnauba 


TEXTURISERS 


Usually finely ground powders or starches made from a combination of minerals or crystals. They help to thicken and stabilise, as well as act as opacifiers and may have a pearlescent effect. 


Avoid: Talc 


Look for: Kaolin, plant starches – xanthan or guar gum, carrageenan, alginates, polysaccharides, pectin, gelatin, agar, and cellulose derivatives 


Girl with Mutki cosmetics

COLOURANTS, DYES & PIGMENTS 


These are obtained from a variety of sources including: earth, animal, plant, and synthetic. The delineation between natural and synthetic is difficult to define asmost iron oxides are synthetically derived, and most plant-based materials are highly processed to create concentrated pigments that have staying power. The safest to use are those that are clearly identified and tested for contaminants. 


Avoid: Synthetic dyes and lake dyes identifiable by their FD&C or D&C numbers Note: even though these are subject to approval and regulation they can still be contaminated with heavy metals 


Look for: Earth derived pigments – made from mineral and crystal sources, includes iron oxides, zinc oxide, and mica

Note: heavy metals may still be present in the raw materials and not required to be tested by manufacturers 


Look for: Plant-derived colourant or phyto-pigments – originate from fruits, vegetables, and flowers

Note: unless they're from a certified organic source, they may be contaminated with residues from agricultural and extraction processes 


FLAVOUR & FRAGRANCE 


These are used to mask the smell and taste of base ingredients and to make the formula more appealing; some lipsticks even have a signature scent. 


Avoid: Fragrance, parfum, aroma – these can contain many unlisted components, including phthalates, which are hormone disrupters and possible carcinogens


Look for: Natural plant- or fruit-based extracts 

Truth In Beauty Book

PRESERVATIVES & ANTIOXIDANTS


These prevent the growth of microbes and bacteria and prevent rancidity, increasing the shelf life of a product. If there's no water in a formulation and it's mainly compromised of waxes and oils, then preservation is not usually required. 


Avoid: Parabens, phenoxyethanol, benzyl benzoate, BHT, synthetic terpenes (limonene, geraniol, linalool, farnesol, and citronellol), phenoxyethanol, and benzyl benzoate11 


Look for: Vitamin E (pure tocopherols), jojoba esters, CO2 extract of rosemary extract, elderberry extract, neem oil 


YOUR OPTIONS 


You won’t find a heavy metal impurity such as D&C Red 6 and aluminium starch octenyl succinate listed on your make-up label, because there’s no regulation required to list contaminants. 


If you’re attached to a certain product or make-up brand, use it less frequently, like special occasions only, and consider eliminating other items from your make-up arsenal. 


There are brands of make-up and lipsticks that contain more lead and heavy metals than others. You can find safer alternatives and ratings listed on the EWG website, although the pigments may be inconsistent and inaccurate. 


This is an exclusive extract from Truth in Beauty by Mukti, the best-selling book that aims to lift the lid on the beauty industry. Truth in Beauty is available at www.muktiorganics.com 

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