Is your makeup and skincare making you sick?

Every day when I wake up in the morning I grab some breakfast, have a shower and then commence my daily beauty routine.

If it’s a casual day I’ll apply moisturiser, sunscreen, foundation and lip gloss. If it’s a work day then my blush, lip liner, mascara and lipstick will also make an appearance, and being a makeup artist if I’m getting ready for a night on the town then my friend the makeup kit joins me.

Doesn’t seem like a big deal, considering it takes me on average little more than 10 minutes to complete this morning ritual, though you might be surprised when I tell you that the Australian woman absorbs approximately 2kg of chemicals into her body through the skin each year.

In an effort to look our best, some of us use up to 20 different products a day, I’m sure you’re thinking “no way”, but if you had a think about what your apply to your face and body everyday – and then also take into account reapplication throughout the day then 20 isn’t really an unrealistic number! And just to really add to the “yuk” factor – nine out of 10 people use products which are past their use by date!

So at this point I’m sure some of you might be saying “so what”? Well what you might not be aware of is that many of the products contain synthetic chemicals which have been linked to side effects ranging from skin irritation to premature ageing and even cancer.

Richard Bence, a biochemist who has spent three years researching conventional products, said: “We really need to start questioning the products we are putting on our skin and not just assume that the chemicals in them are safe. We have no idea what these chemicals do when they are mixed together, the effect could be much greater than the sum of the individual parts.”

I hear you saying well I apply it externally on my skin, it’s not like I’m eating the stuff! Well contrary to popular belief absorbing chemicals through the skin is actually more dangerous than swallowing them. The human body is pretty clever, when we ingest food and drink through our mouths, it kick starts digestion, saliva in the mouth contains enzymes that break down the chemicals, and then the stomach does it thing and so on. When you apply skincare, chemicals are absorbs through the skin and get straight in to your bloodstream, there is no protection.

Of course not all chemicals are detrimental to our health but some you might like to keep an eye out for are parabens (para-hydroxybenzoic acids) which are used in products including soap, shampoo, deodorant and baby lotion. Traces of parabens have been found in breast tumour samples, although its link to the development of the cancer is disputed. Sodium lauryl sulphate, used to help create lather in soaps, shampoo, shaving foam, toothpaste and bubble bath, can cause skin irritation. (Paul Stokes—The Daily Telegraph)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you need to throw out your favourite shade of lip gloss, do away with your magic foundation or leave your house make up free – I just ask that tomorrow morning when you start your daily beauty routine have a quick read of what’s in the product your using and ask yourself the question is there any ingredient contained in the product that you don’t want swimming around contaminating your blood?

Eleni Cardaci is the Founder of Safire Natural Skincare and is passionate about raising awareness about Health & Wellbeing. To find out more Eleni and Safire Natural Skincare visit

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