Labeling of these products if not misleading are inadequate, safety of even Ayurvedic and traditional beauty products cannot be guaranteed
“Dioxines are known carcinogens that are present in about 1/5th of the total cosmetics and beauty products. Yet the labels never mention them as these are not initially added to the products but form due to interaction between two or more chemicals.” said Naresh Gupta, Director Professor Maulana Azad medical College, New Delhi President, Health and Environment Foundation.
Dr Gupta warns people to be vigilant and not fall for the tall claims the advertisers “Even if the advertisements are not telling lies, they fail to convey the full truth. They should give the correct information or at least on their advertisement give the link where one can find the correct information.”
He gave examples where blatantly false claims are being made by the manufacturers “Toothpaste makers are clamming that they are adding calcium to the pastes to make teeth whiter and as people associate calcium with strong bones they fall for it. However there is absolutely no scientific basis to prove that simply massaging the teeth with calcium they become stronger. Recently I bought a packet of Monaca and was surprised to see that the label claimed the product to have vitamin B12 that came as news to me as a physician I was always taught that Fruits and vegetables were devoid of Vitamin B12.”
He further explained how this has become a common trend internationally “Nivea claimed that applying its bioskin complex could make a person slim. Apple was once apprehended as it had introduced an app called acne app which they claimed would help control acne”.
Dr Gupta feels that rules governing organic products contain loopholes “Organic products should be completely free from fertilizers, chemical pesticide, fungicide, chemical preservative. Simply using organic ingredient at one point let’s say merely using organic preservatives cannot qualify it as organic.”
He identified Phthalates as a particularly dangerous kind of toxin present in beauty products
“Phthalate are plasticizers that give the products features such as flexibility and transparency not only are these carcinogenic but these also are anti androgens hence particularly harmful for the development of masculinity in boys. Phthalate also pose a health threats to females as females are the one who resort to maximum use of cosmetics and Phthalates have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer”.
He warns women to be judicious in the use of cosmetics especially for the sake of their offspring “Mother’s womb is so sensitive a small amount of these harmful substances entering the mother’s blood can affect the baby”.
Dr Gupta also said that some of the traditionally used beauty products also may not be safe “Sindoor and bindis could contain lead and mercury. Soorma that has been used for ages is pure lead and it is so difficult to dissuade people from using it as this has been used for ages”.
He cautioned people from blindly trusting foreign cosmetics as well “Singapore which has tough regulation laws for beauty products exempts two categories of products from regulation- those which they are importing for further processing and export, and those products that they are manufacturing for export, these go unregulated. Hence they have one safety standards for domestic market and others”.
He also stressed that Ayurvedic products are also not very safe as these lack proper labeling “Ayurvedic products are made from basically three sources plants and herbs, Bhasams (heavy metals) and animal products. When these are sent to the developed countries where there are a lot of regulations they are asked to specify what they contain especially the heavy metals the manufacturers are not able to do it hence are unable to export” he described.
Be careful while choosing beauty products
A lot of the beauty products contain Phthalate which are plasticizers not only are these carcinogenic but these also are anti androgens impeding masculinity of men
Traditional beauty products such as Sindoor and bindis could contain some quantity of lead and mercury while Soorma is pure lead
Ayurvedic products lack proper labeling and regulation
Dioxines are known carcinogens that are present in approximately 1/5th of the cosmetics and beauty products