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A quick look at the ingredients in a well known brand of eye shadow

I was just surfing the net for eye shadow and found one that’s a lovely colour and promised to stay on my eyelids for 24 whole hours!  Scrolling down a little I found the ingredient list.

Why does it need SO MUCH STUFF?


Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Ceresin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Caprylyl Methicone, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Silica Dimethyl Silylate [Nano] / Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Alumina, Cyclomethicone, Propylene Carbonate, Candelilla Cera / Candelilla Wax, Caprylyl Glycol, Magnesium Silicate, C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Silica, Tin Oxide, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Acrylates Copolymer, Paraffin [+/- May contain: Mica, CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 77007 / Ultramarines, CI 77000 / Aluminum Powder, CI 19140 / Yellow 5 Lake, CI 77510 / Ferric Ferrocyanide, CI 16035 / Red 40 Lake, CI 42090 / Blue 1 Lake, CI 75470 / Carmine, CI 77400 / Bronze Powder, CI 77288 / Chromium Oxide Greens, CI 77289 / Chromium Hydroxide Green, CI 77742 / Manganese Violet, CI 77400 / Copper Powder, CI 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride, CI 77510 / Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide]

So there are at least 24 ingredients in this little pot, all those colours are for their range - I'm guessing the one in the colour I liked was the bronze powder but it’s likely made up of several different colours.

Looking at a few ingredients individually …..

Cyclopentasiloxane - Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful, one or more animal studies show tumor formation at moderate doses and persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlife.  That’s the greater ingredient.

Isododecane - The second largest ingredient.  The MSDS for this states: Repeated or prolonged contact  may produce  defatting of the skin leading to irritation and dermatitis. Components may be absorbed through intact skin, but it is unlikely that harmful effects will occur unless contact is prolonged and extensive.

Polypropylsilsesquioxane - Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful. This is a silicone resin.

Ceresin - Organ system toxicity - Classified as medium human health priority and there are risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps.

Cyclohexasiloxane - Organ system toxicity - classified as expected to be toxic or harmful, suspected to be an environmental toxin and be persistent or bioaccumulative.

Caprylyl Methicone - this is a silicone. An interesting article about silicones can be found here. Apparently Dow Corning, the manufacturer of silicones, among other things, have been keeping secrets about their research results on silicone, one finding was:  “tests on rats that led to enlarged livers and testicular cancer. But then says, without any back-up, "this effect is not applicable to humans" —provided that the silicone "was allowed to evaporate”. So whatever you do make sure the silicone on your skin evaporates wont you, somehow.

Synthetic Fluorphlogopite is a fluorine substituted mineral, produced at very high temperatures and is composed of magnesium aluminium silicate sheets. It is molecularly large so there’s minimal absorption into the skin but no studies of the possible carcinogenic properties of this compound currently exist.

Alumina - Classified as medium human health priority, classified as expected to be toxic or harmful (Organ system toxicity), suspected nano-scale ingredients with potential to absorb into the skin.  Aluminium is found naturally in plant foods, this our bodies can handle but additional aluminium from everything else it can’t. See what Aluminium expert Prof Chris Exley has to say about it.

Cyclomethicone - Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful, suspected to be an environmental toxin.

Propylene Carbonate - Human irritant - strong evidence (only for products for use around the eyes, on the skin, or may be aerosolized (airborne)).  This is an eye shadow.

C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane - a silicone resin.  Lots of silicone in this.

Polyethylene Terephthalate - Classified as a medium human health priority.

Acrylates Copolymer - Considered safe based on the assumption of low absorption.

It’s not looking so nice now.  You must bare in mind that an “Expert” has stated what percentage of these toxins are “Safe” for humans - assuming that all humans are the same whether 8 stone or 20 stone, there is no genetic variation in any one of us that possibly predisposes us to certain illness and one size fits all. It is also not practical to test every combination and dose of these ingredients in the actual cosmetic products - another good article on the testing done can be found here. Oh and quite often these “Experts” are paid by the company manufacturing the product and they require a particular outcome to their studies, data is fantastically easy to manipulate.

I think I can live without this eyeshadow, maybe I’ll look for something more natural, maybe you should too ….  Because you’re worth it? (Sorry, it had to be said ).

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