Do you pay as much attention to the ingredients in your foundation as you do a bag of "low-fat" potato chips? We wondered how concerned you were about the safety of your cosmetics, and if you've ever switched products because your mascara, blush or lip-gloss didn't make the grade. Here's what you had to say.
Can Too Much Retinol Be Toxic?
I'm a 62 year-old woman (and how that happened, I will never know!) that uses moisturizer religiously. Thanks to staying out of the sun and having a grandmother who got me on the moisturizer regime early in life, my skin is in good shape, but I have been concerned about the long-term effects of switching to products with more oomph. It seems as though Retinol and other additives have been great for my skin, but is there a chance that they can build up to a level that might be toxic?
For Me, The Worry Isn't Just Skin Deep
As a woman who has lived with breast cancer, I am definitely concerned about the chemicals in some beauty products, especially with how they might interact with my endocrine system. My concern goes far beyond my own health or vanity. After all, it's too late to save the breast I gave up in 2000. But then I look at the statistics: 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer, and seemingly, more young women—women in their 20s, whose bodies should be vibrantly healthy—are being diagnosed.
Perhaps the safety of an isolated product is acceptable, but our bodies are subjected to a barrage of chemicals from multiple sources. Take a look at any label and it looks like alphabet soup!
A Little of This, A Little of That—It's All Too Much!
You bet I am concerned about the "stuff" in my make-up. I first started reading about make-up ingredients while trying to discover ways to be more earth-friendly. First off, I was shocked by the amount of petroleum in everything. I soon started paying even more attention to labels and was horrified when I saw ingredients like formaldehyde and urea. I used to work with these products in medical research labs and I would have to wear special clothing and gloves to protect myself. And here I am putting them directly on my body.
Granted, the FDA says that the amounts are negligible, but if everything, including household products, make-up, soap and food preservatives, have these small amounts, that's what really worries me.
Isabel Gomes McCann
From the March 2008 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine