Because there are no human studies on the long-term effects of most cosmetics (except perhaps hair dyes), there is little evidence to suggest that the use of cosmetics or exposure to cosmetic ingredients during normal use of these products increases the risk of cancer. Coal tar is a by-product of coal processing and is a known carcinogen. Still, it is used in cosmetic products such as hair dyes, treatments for dandruff and scalp, shampoos, and treatments for skin conditions such as redness and rosacea. Coal tar was first linked to cancer when young chimney sweeps started suffering from scrotal cancer.
Coal tar can also cause cancer of the lung, kidney, gastrointestinal tract and bladder. Exposure to coal tar can also cause tumors in the bladder, lungs and skin and cause non-cancerous problems, such as reproductive toxicity. Parabens are the most talked about skin care ingredients to avoid. They are found in beauty products such as moisturizers, shampoos, spray tanning products, shaving creams, and makeup.
The FDA has recognized several studies stating that parabens can cause breast and skin cancer and a decrease in sperm count. Parabens are added to most products to prevent bacteria from growing in your product, but they are extremely dangerous. Studies have shown that parabens can disrupt the endocrine system. This means that they can alter your hormones and alter your growth, development and reproduction.
Triclosan is a famous carcinogen found in over-the-counter cosmetics. As with parabens, manufacturers add them to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination. You can find triclosan in body washes, toothpaste and antibacterial soaps. According to the FDA, high levels of triclosan can affect thyroid hormones and cause germs to grow.
Research is currently underway to study the long-term effects of triclosan on the development of skin cancer. Formaldehyde and chemicals containing formaldehyde are common carcinogens in skin care products, hair straightening products, nail polishes, shampoos, lotions, and shower gels. If humans are exposed to large amounts of formaldehyde, this can put them at increased risk of developing cancer. Formaldehyde can cause allergic reactions, as well as irritation of the eyes and respiratory system.
The use of products with formaldehyde can also increase the amount of carcinogen in the air, which can be considered dangerous. Remember how we said that the term “fragrance” can hide hundreds of chemicals? Well, PFAs are a class of thousands. However, no category of consumer products is subject to less government oversight than cosmetics and other personal care products. To achieve a conclusive result, it would take studies lasting more than 20 years and even then, it is difficult to trace a cancer to an ingredient in a skin care product and not, say, cleaning products, detergents, diet, health history, or any combination of factors, led to the development of cancer.
While the FDA does not have the authority to require cosmetic companies to test their products, they do have the ability to request recalls and take action if they have reasonable information that a product on the market is not safe. Before a product can go on the market, it must be tested for short- and long-term effects, whether on animals, humans, both or neither of them. Laws overseeing cosmetics and intimate care products are so limited that known cancer-causing chemicals, or carcinogens, are legally allowed in personal care products. However, it is difficult to compare two such different studies, one of which relies on self-reported use of skin care products collected years before breast cancer diagnosis and the other on paraben measurements in urine samples collected after breast cancer diagnosis.
Even so, some NOWAC participants may report too much or less about their frequency of use of skin care products. In particular, Taylor and colleagues included nine different skin care products (face cream, cleansing cream, anti-aging cream, foot cream, body lotion, hand lotion, petroleum jelly, and two different talcum powders) compared to three in the present study, which could explain the differences in the aftermath. These ingredients slowly release formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen, into the skin and are known to be linked to leukemia. However, because lifestyle and consumer products often change from puberty to adulthood, exposure assessed later in life does not necessarily reflect exposure during etiologically sensitive windows of time.
Every day, American women use an average of 12 personal care products containing 168 different chemicals. Therefore, given the widespread use of skin care products and the possible estrogenic effects of the product components, there is a clear lack of epidemiological studies addressing the effect of the use of skin care products on hormone-sensitive cancers. Despite all the confusion and questions about how skin care products are tested, there is reason to believe that there are certain substances that should be avoided. .