Q: How many different chemicals do women put on their face every day? A: 515

Barbie Make-Up


A UK company, Bionsen, determined that the average woman puts 515 different chemicals on her face every day, using a combination of makeup, perfumes, mascara, and other products.

The average woman uses 13 different products daily, and each product contains at least 20 different ingredients — lipsticks and other makeup average 30 ingredients, and some perfumes can have as many as 400 different ingredients.

It gets scarier from there.  You pay attention to the labels on food you eat, but have you paid attention to the ingredient list on your personal grooming products… if those products even contain ingredient lists in the first place?

In 2006, a study showed that less than one percent of all cosmetics were made from safety-tested ingredients.  The average person uses 25 different products per day that contain at least 200 different chemicals. 

Let’s take a look, shall we? 

Here are a few products that contain ingredients that have been linked to cancer, allergies, and various different toxicities.  The products themselves are fine (obviously), but this just illustrates how important it is to know what is in the products that you surround yourself with and use every day – remember, anything in moderation is fine, but dramatic overexposure to certain chemicals could cause issues down the road. 

The COSMETICS DATABASE used in the study uses a 10-point scale to indicate their perceived hazard level for each product; the lower the number, the less hazardous they feel the product’s ingredients are:

And if you consider that 90% of 14-year-old girls regularly use makeup, and 63% of 7-year-old girls are being exposed to lipstick, eyeliner, and other products – then you have to wonder what parents are really exposing their kids to at such young ages?  Bonnie Bell Lip Gloss, this ain’t.

So what should you be looking for on the label?  Here is a LIST OF PRODUCT INGREDIENTS THAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED IF POSSIBLE:

  • Butyl acetate
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene
  • Coal tar
  • Cocamide DEA/lauramide DEA
  • Diazolidinyl urea
  • Ethyl acetate
  • Formaldehyde
  • Parabens (methyl, ethyl, propyl and butyl)
  • Petrolatum
  • Phthalates
  • Propylene glycol
  • Sodium laureth/sodium laurel sulfate
  • Talc
  • Toluene
  • Triethanolamine

Other research from the CAMPAIGN FOR SAFE COSMETICS include reports on: