The Makeup of Makeup

Topics: Oxygen, Oxide, Cosmetics Pages: 3 (1114 words) Published: April 16, 2008
The Chemical Make Up of Makeup
The cosmetic industry in America today is one that makes about $20 billion dollars a year and in 1996, according to Shannon Dortch in “Women at the Cosmetics Counter”, nearly 88% of women aged 18-24 were using some type of makeup every single day. Many women, though, are unaware of how makeup is made and the ingredients applied for color, thickness, and moisture.

Most cosmetics contain a mixture of some of the following substances. Water, emulsifiers, preservatives (which are added to prevent the growth of microorganisms like bacteria and fungi), thickener (to change the consistency, for example the chemical compound polyethylene glycol HO-(CH2-CH2-O)n-H), color (to make girls look nice and pretty), fragrance, and PH stabilizers.

Polyethylene glycol comes from a family of elements called the PEG family and can be found on labels in the form of PEG-6, and PEG-150(Aubrey Cosmetics). These compounds, along with polyethylene glycol, are believed to cause an increase in cancer to people who use this product, with an emphasis on women with breast cancer. PEG compounds usually have small amounts of a substance called ethylene oxide. According to experimental results reported in the National Toxicology Program's Eighth Annual Report on Carcinogens, ethylene oxide increases the incidences of uterine and breast cancers and of leukemia and brain cancer. `Another ingredient used in cosmetics is Methylchloroisothiazolinone, which is a natural chemical which companies used in the 70’s in their products which was later on found to cause irritation to skin with other effects, but is still used today in some face washes and rinse off’s (Wikipedia) in little amounts. The formula for Methylchloroisothiazolinone is C4H4CINOS and is plant derived which is probably why it was assumed to be okay to use as a cosmetic ingredient due to the fact that it was “organic” and natural, which was later proved wrong in long term effects. Although it was...
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