Eye cosmetics in the United States are required to carry a list of ingredients that comply with regulations established by the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. Fortunately, many of the ingredients found in them can be used without irritating your eyes.
Some ingredients, however, have the potential to cause significant irritation. This article will review some of the ingredients that you should avoid as well as describe why you should avoid them.
It is also a wise idea for people who want to make sure that they are not exposed to hazardous eye chemicals to read the ingredient declaration on the packaging. If you purchase eye cosmetics that do not contain a list of ingredients, the law states that the product constitutes a misbranded product and it is illegal to sell it in interstate commerce.
Ingredient # 1 – Aluminum Powder
Used sometimes in eye makeup for coloring purposes, aluminum powder has the potential to both damages a person’s nerves as well as internal organs. To determine if makeup contains aluminum powder, you should look for ingredient names aluminum, LB Pigment 5, or pigment metal.
Ingredient # 2 – Benzalkonium Chloride
Benzalkonium chloride is a preservative used in eyeliner, mascara, and makeup remover which has been determined to be toxic to the epithelial cells of your eyes. The epithelial cells help to make sure that bacteria, dust, and water are kept out of a person’s eyes as well as provide a smooth surface for the cornea. The smooth surface is helpful in absorbing and distributing cell nutrients and oxygen.
Most often, benzalkonium chloride is listed as guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride or quaternium-15.
Ingredient # 3 – Carbon Black
Used in eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara, medical reports have revealed that carbon black has the potential to cause cancer and organ system toxicity.
To determine whether eye cosmetics contain carbon black, you should examine the product list for acetylene black, channel black, furnace black, lamp black, or thermal black.
Ingredient # 4 – Color Additives
Laws in the United States specifically address the use of color additives in cosmetics. While numerous color additives have been approved, others are prohibited if they are used anywhere near a person’s eyes.
If you are curious for details, take a look at this FDA list.
Ingredient # 5 – Ethanolamine Compounds
In some cases, ethanolamines can be contaminated by nitrosamines, which are chemicals that are known to cause cancer. You can determine if a product contains ethanolamines by looking for labels like DEA, MEA, and TEA.
Ingredient # 6 – Kohl
One particularly harmful additive is kohl, which is also referred to as al-kahl, kajal, or suma. In the United States, kohl is prohibited for use as a cosmetic because it contains salts of heavy metals including antimony and lead. Some products are labeled with the word kohl, but do not contain true kohl. If a product is adequately labeled, a person can check the color additives that are contained to determine what substances are in the product…and which are not.
Heavy metals are also commonly found in green or metallic shadows and makeup brushes. The reason heavy metals are hazardous is because they are associated with brain damage, lung cancer, and respiratory problems. Some people are also allergic to heavy metals which can cause dryness, itchiness, and rashes around your eyes.
Ingredient # 7 – Parabens
Parabens are used in cosmetics to limit the growth of bacteria.
The danger presented by parabens, however, is that they create difficulties for a person’s endocrine system and in some cases have been linked to reproductive issues and various forms of cancers. People with dry eyes also often find that parabens make their medical condition worse because parabens decrease the amount of oil that is released from a person’s eyelid glands.
Products that contain parabens will often list a modified ingredient still containing the word “paraben”.
Ingredient # 8 – Prime Yellow Carnauba Wax
Prime yellow wax is contained in eyeliners and mascara to make them waterproof, but it clogs the oil glands of the eyelids. Clogging these glands can result in dry eye disease. For people who still want waterproof cosmetics, an alternative is Japan wax.
Ingredient # 9 – Retinyl Acetate and Retinyl Palmitate
Found occasionally in eye creams, retinyl acetate and retinyl palmitate have been associated with increased incidence of skin cancer in laboratory animals, especially when also exposed to sunlight. Medical reports also suggest that these two chemicals destroy the oil glands of a person’s eyes, which cannot be regenerated.
Ingredient # 10 – Titanium Dioxide
Used sometimes in sunscreen, titanium dioxide only presents health risks when it is in powder form which is a possible carcinogen. To determine if a cosmetic product contains titanium dioxide, you should look for either “titanium dioxide” or TiO2 on the label.
Combat Irritated Eyes with a Cliradex Product
Even if you are able to avoid all of the harmful ingredients that are used in cosmetics, cases of eye irritation, redness, and swelling can still develop.
Many people have discovered that the products in the Cliradex Starter Kit offered by Bio-Tissue are able to reduce the severity of eye irritation. The kit includes the natural products Cliradex Light foam and towelettes.
Some medical professionals have even called Cliradex products revolutionary in nature due to their ability to reduce the symptoms associated with various eye conditions.