Is your makeup bag making you sick?

As women, we LOVE beauty products, but do we know everything there is to know about what we so religiously pour and smear all over our faces?

Here are your need-to-knows.

MASCARA

In the early days the ingredients in this product used to be quite scary. Things like turpentine, kohl which contained lead and aniline, an ingredient found in hair dye, used to cause blindness. But don’t fret ladies, nowadays there are regulations which strictly limit the use of certain ingredients to only those which are safe to apply to the eyes. Still, it doesn’t hurt to stay aware of ingredients like thimerosal which can cause eyelid rashes and conjunctivitis, to keep those eyes healthy and bright.

Toss after: 3-6 months

FOUNDATION

The miracle we use every day to cover all our imperfections and leave our skin looking “naturally” fabulous, what would we do without it, right? Unfortunately a nasty truth is that most foundations, both liquid and powder, contain petrochemicals that are used as fillers. They also contain mineral oil that can build up on the skin, oil tends to clog your pores and can leave you with those unwanted pimples.

If you’re a fan of using mineral powder foundations, some of those brands contain chemicals like bismuth oxychloride which can cause bad skin irritations. So know your skin type and what brands you’re using.

Toss after: Jar or cream powder foundation-1 to 3 years liquid foundation-1 year

LIPSTICK

One word, lanolin. It’s one of the main ingredients in lipstick and gives it its greasy texture. This is the oily substance which mammals secrete to shed water from their coats. Ok, so now that you have that lovely picture in your mind, it’s not the kind of thing you’d want near those luscious lips of yours but it seems more of an ugly fact then it is harmful to your health. However, some of the more harmful ingredients said to be in some lipsticks are lead and petrochemicals such as talc and parabens. Paying attention to these chemicals just keeps you in the loop and allows you more choice in what you’re wanting to put on your lips.

Toss after: 1 year

LIQUID LINER

The thing we love to use to make those amazing cat eyes, yes, you know what I’m talking about. But guess what, chemicals like mercury are found in eyeliners and are readily absorbed into the skin. It can cause allergic reactions among other things. Other ingredients also found in this product are aluminium powders and BHA which are both quite commonly used in eyeliners and can be harmful to your system. Whenever it comes to your delicate eyes, it’s always best to be extra cautious with the products you use.

Toss after: 3 to 4 months

SKINCARE PRODUCTS

These help our skin to stay moisturised and beautiful and keep those wrinkles to a bare minimum for as long as possible, and we’re all big fans of that! Unfortunately, this doesn’t come without some cons. A lot of products contain parabens which are used to lengthen its shelf life but are said to have some hormone disrupting effects. Another one used is synthetic polymers. These are derived from petroleum and give skin care products its jelly-like texture. Following the expiry date would definitely be a help no matter how difficult it might be to toss a half used jar and anyway, products past their expiry date lose their gooey effectiveness which won’t benefit your skin.

Toss after: Sealed pack with pump-1 year, Jar-6 to 10 months