Nigerian women and toxins in cosmetics

It is no doubt that wearing  beauty products give ladies some sort of self esteem. Most ladies believe that wearing cosmetics make them look more attractive. As true as this could be, it is also important to note that beauty products could have it’s own disadvantages especially when worn too often.

A large number of women today, would never step out without wearing makeup. They believe that it brings them comfort. As a matter of fact, most people would tell you that makeup is part of their dressing.

Esther Yusuf, a banker, once told a journalist that she cannot step out of her house without applying make-up to enhance her facial features.

“I cannot leave my house without applying make-up on my face. I am so used to make-up on my face that I feel naked without it. I have to apply make-up, no matter how late I am for an appointment; even if it’s just powder,’’ she said.

Cosmetics are substances or products used to enhance or alter the appearance of the face or fragrance of the body.

Cosmetics are generally mixtures of chemical compounds; some being derived from natural sources and some being synthetics or artificial.

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), cosmetics as intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, and promoting attractiveness.

Some types of cosmetics include shampoo, which is applied when washing the hair, foundation, applied on the face for a smooth look, perfume and deodorants, applied on the body for a nice smell, amongst several others.

Cosmetics, having its positive sides, can have its side effects too. There are some dangers associated with applying too much of the products, every day,

Excessive use of cosmetics leads to skin dangers. The dangers associated with the use of toxic compounds (cosmetics) for skin bleaching, which includes blood cancer such as leukemia and cancers of the liver as well as several skin conditions.

These harmful products have internal and external effects on the body. It takes a gradual process which can cause kidney failure because of the mercury in some of the products which can cause eczema at the early stage. The hidden dangers of deodorant sprays are headaches, eczema, asthma, breathing difficulties, and fatal heart problems. Fumes or chemicals may cause skin reactions, allergies, heart problems, eye irritation and throat infection.

For Idi Martins, who is a Dermatologist, excessive use of make-up exposes the skin to considerable amount of germs and harmful toxins. It could also cause skin irritation, allergies, and skin cancer because of the chemical content.

As he said in an interview in 2016, “The chemicals found in lipsticks, eye pencils, mascara, kajal, among others, could cause serious health problems.”

Some of the chemicals found in cosmetics include Parabens, which is widely used as preservatives in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. When the body absorbs parabens, it can mimic and disrupt functions of the endocrine system.

Another one is Sulphate, also known as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a cleansing agents that causes foaming, used in many skin care, hair care, and cosmetic products. It dissolves the oils in the human skin, which leads to skin dryness.

For Mrs. Pamela Adebowa, it is advisable for women to know their skin type and the cosmetics to apply. She once said that “You have to know your skin type to enable you to know the appropriate make-up to use for the best effect, as wrong applications of make-up could mar the skin, instead of beautifying it.”


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