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Does Make-Up Cause Cancer?

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Makeup itself does not cause cancer.  However, some of the ingredients used in makeup, and other beauty products, may have links to cancer and other deadly diseases.  While there are literally thousands of different makeup ingredients available for use by makeup manufacturers, a select few have received a tremendous amount of negative attention, based on animal studies.  These studies show that the ingredients listed below can cause everything from acne, rashes and bronchitis to cancer, hormonal imbalances and fetal abnormalities.

Some of the most common “toxic” ingredients used in cosmetics include:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
  • Imidazolidinyl Urea & DMDM Hydantoin
  • Propylene Glycol (PG)
  • Mineral Oil
  • Triclosan
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Synthetic Fragrances (which can also contain more than 200 ingredients)
  • DEA, TEA, & MEA
  • Phthalates
  • FD&C Color Pigments

Fortunately, there are just as many cosmetics companies in existence today that do not use harmful chemicals as companies that do.  Cosmetics companies are making efforts to create environmentally conscious products that are safe for use by individuals from all walks of life.  If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, and if you are looking for chemical-free and cruelty-free products, companies such as Beauty Without Cruelty, Nature’s Best, and MAC offer a wide variety of all natural products that have not been tested on animals.

To avoid toxic ingredients in cosmetics, always read the labels.  Keep your eyes peeled for the ingredients listed above.  It is important to note that each ingredient may have several different names.  For example, formaldehyde is also known as:

  • Formalin
  • Methanal
  • Methyl aldehyde
  • Methylene oxide
  • Morbicid acid
  • Oxymethylene

–and DEA is also called diethylolamine, bis(hydroxyethyl)amine, cocamide DEA, hydroxydiethylamine and diolamine.

The best advice we can give is to aim for makeup products that contain all natural ingredients, mainly, ingredients that you can actually pronounce.  If the name of a particular ingredient does not appear to sound like something made in nature, it’s best to avoid it until you can do some research on it.

For more information about product and ingredient safety, visit the official U.S. Food and Drug Administration website at

Beauty Without Cruelty

If you purchase makeup products at companies such as Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC), you rarely have to worry about ingredients that may be linked to cancer, hormonal conditions, or skin conditions.  While no one company is 100 percent safe for all (even natural ingredients can cause an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals), some are much safer than others Continue reading to learn more about Beauty Without Cruelty and several other cruelty free cosmetics companies.

Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC) was founded in 1963 in England.  The trustees of BWC Charitable Trust, an animal welfare organization, came together for a common goal – to manufacture and distribute natural, color cosmetics that were not tested on animals and products that did not contain any animal ingredients.

Beauty Without Cruelty offers a full line of cruelty-free vegetarian, skin and body, and hair care products made from natural ingredients and organic aroma-therapeutic essential oils.  Beauty Without Cruelty’s full line of color cosmetics reaches across all lines in order to meet the beauty needs of all women.

Beauty Without Cruelty Products may be purchased from your local natural foods retailer, and at some drug stores and vitamin shops.  You can also purchase BWC products online directly from the Beauty Without Cruelty website:

There are other cruelty free cosmetics companies around the world.  Some are household names while others are small and lesser known.  While there are many cruelty-free cosmetics companies, a select few have been around since the late 1800’s to mid-1900s.  These include:  Almay and Beauty Without Cruelty. Unfortunately, some, like Origins and Smashbox, have been bought by big conglomerate companies, like L’Oréal, and those parent companies do conduct animal testing.

Almay has been in business since 1931.  Even back then, Almay used pure, hypoallergenic ingredients that were safe for even the most sensitive skin.  Almay was the world’s first hypoallergenic cosmetics brand, and the first brand to make 100% fragrance-free products.  It was also one of the first cosmetics companies to disclose all ingredients used, the first brand to perform safety testing for allergy irritation, the first brand to formulate for contact lens wearers and the first brand to create cosmetics regimens for specific skin types.

Almay does not test on animals and it uses natural ingredients such as soybean, rosehips, licorice, milk thistle and aloe, to name just a few.  Almay products can be purchased online through the official website or at any beauty supply house, cosmetics retailer or drug store.

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