What Is in Your Make-up?

If you wear make-up, you may want to know not just how it looks on you but also what’s in it. All make-up you buy should have the ingredients listed.

  • Color additives (what gives make-up color) have to be approved for use near the eye by the FDA. The dark color additive “kohl” is not allowed in the U.S. because it may cause lead poisoning. Make sure that your make-up does not have kohl in it. It is OK if the word “kohl” is in the name of a product or used to describe the color or shade.
  • If you are worried about animal safety, here's what the labels really mean. If a product says “cruelty free,” it is still possible that the ingredients may have been tested on animals in the past. They just may not be testing now. You can contact the cosmetic company or check its web site to find out about its testing methods.
  • Hypoallergenic means that a product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. But it is not a guarantee that you won’t have one. Even if it says “all natural” or “organic,” it is still possible that you may be allergic to the ingredients. The same is true for products that are “dermatologist tested.”

Taught to Share? With Mascara, Sharing Can Be Dangerous.

It's easy for germs to make their way into your mascara and other make-up. Do not share mascara with other people. If you do, you will be swapping germs and making infection more likely.

Never add water or your own saliva to dried-out mascara. Doing so adds more germs. It's best to throw mascara away after three months.

Also, make sure you remove your mascara before you go to bed at night. Mascara flakes can fall into your eyes while you sleep and cause an infection.

Cars and Make-Up Don't Mix

Never put eye make-up on while you're driving or are a passenger. It’s easy for your hand to slip and cause the wand, eye shadow brush, or tweezers to scratch your eye or infect it with germs.

Longing for Lashes of a Certain Color? Dyes Are Not the Way to Go.

Don't use hairdye on your eyebrows and eyelashes -- it can cause blindness. The colors used for mascara and eyebrow pencils are approved and safe to use. But there are no hair dyes that are approved by the FDA for tinting or coloring eyebrows and eyelashes.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on July 26, 2019


Girls Health.gov. 
National Institutes of Health.

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