The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar a year empire that is growing steadily with no sign of cessation. Since ancient times, humans have practiced various techniques and practices that would enhance whatever trend or look was considered beautiful at the time. During some eras and even now, the quest for beauty has had some tragic consequences.
Poisonous Eyeliner in Ancient Egypt
In ancient Egyptian times, one of the fashionable trends was the dramatic facial makeup that we see depicted in the art that remains from that period. Makeup was made from crushed stones like lapis lazuli and malachite, however, it also contained harmful amounts of lead. Both women & men painted their eyes because they believed that doing so protected them from illness, however, in actuality this practice most likely contributed to eye infections, cognitive issues and other health concerns from toxic heavy metal exposure.
Centuries of Heavy Metal Face Masks
During the 16th century in England, the white powder face look that was popular at the time was achieved by using a combination of vinegar and lead. Queen Elizabeth the 1st, as well as other prominent women at that time all died from blood poisoning which was very likely related to the usage of their daily facial products. Ancient Romans also stepped it up a notch, adding mercury to the mix to achieve the desirable pale-faced complexion of the time. The whitening and lightening creams in America prior to the 21st century also contained a harmful concoction of heavy metals and toxic ingredients that contributed to many serious health issues, unbeknownst at the time to anyone using them.
Today’s Toxic Beauty Products
Having lead and mercury as cosmetic ingredients may sound a bit extreme, however to this day there are still many beauty products that act as “silent killers” to those who use them. Just 10 years ago, I had a neighbour who was in the middle of many years of detoxing from heavy metal poisoning that she had traced back to her makeup usage. She had always used a very high end, exclusive line of lipsticks and later on discovered that they too had contained lead. It took her many years and tens of thousands of dollars of therapy to remedy this.
There are countless women and men who have developed serious and even fatal conditions due to their skin, hair and body care regimes. Today, it is more important than ever to read labels, educate yourself and make better choices about what you put in and on your body. We are already dealing with toxins from so many angles, some are unavoidable but many are within our control due to the choices we make.
It is estimated that we are all exposed to hundreds of harmful chemicals per day, the exact number is hard to pinpoint and depends greatly on our personal choices. Many of these toxins are found in food, however, they can also be hiding in our personal care products. If you are purchasing most of your beauty care products at a drugstore, there is a very good chance you are unknowingly absorbing many unwanted chemicals through your beauty regime. Even if all you use is shampoo, soap and toothpaste!
So Which Products Can You Use?
The good news is that there are many wonderful products available today that are high performing and safe to use. We will be sharing lots more about this in future blogs and videos, so please stay tuned for product tips, easy techniques and amazing DIY beauty treatments that won’t break the bank or compromise your health.
Photo: Zohre Nemati