Toxic Beauty - Cocktails and Low Doses

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Toxic Beauty - Cocktails and Low Doses

Although cosmetics manufacturers have asserted that the chemicals used in their products are added in very low concentrations, chemicals in combination  can cause undesirable additive effects and this is an area that has not been fully investigated.

The cocktail effect is used to describe a phenomenon where more than one chemical is combined either in a product or in the body, producing a total toxic effect far greater than would be the case for the sum of the individual chemicals.
It is not enough to simply say that low levels of exposure to certain chemicals are safe; as the European environment Agency (EEA) has noted. It is very difficult to know, or predict, what the harmful level of exposure to chemicals may be, and then to ensure that actual exposures in the environment are kept below those levels.

Another potential flaw in the 'low concentrations are safe 'argument has come to light courtesy of the low-dose phenomenon. first reported in the 1900s, which is contrary to one of the intrinsic tenets of toxicology that 'the doses makes the poison'.

It has been shown that in certain circumstance slow doses of compounds can cause more damaging side effects than higher doses, including the disturbance of normal hormone functions. Some individuals will react more severely to low doses of substances than others, and again, babies and children are are more likely to experience adverse effects.

Critics of this theory have argued that its findings are based on a few small-scale studies conducted on experimental animals that have demonstrated reproductive or development effects. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  asked the National Toxicology Program (NTP)to carry out a scientific peer review of studies relevant  to the low-dose theory and the peer review panel concluded that although there were 'credible studies supporting a low dose effect, the effects were dependent on the compounds studied and the endpoint measured '. In 2002 the EPA stated that routine testing of substances for the low-dose effect in the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program would be 'premature. 

In December 2004, however, there were 115 published in vivo studies (i.e. conducted on the living tissue of living organism) pertaining to the low-dose effects of bisphenol A (widely used in plastic packaging  for food and cosmetic containers) alone and nearly 82 per cent of these reported significant effects.

Other animal and cell-based have also demonstrated the low-dose effect of bisphenol A. Given that there are other examples of substances shown to cause adverse effects at low doses it is quite clear the 'the dose makes the poison ' is a gross over-simplification of the complex world of chemical reactions and interactions.

Oil-free moisturizers are based on humectants, which are used in moisturizing creams to ensure that the product does not dry out and to attract moisture from the atmosphere to the stratum corneum.

The skin remains moist providing there is adequate moisture in the air. However, humectants draw moisture from anywhere, so in a dry environment a cosmetic product containing humectants will absorb moisture from the nearest source, in other words the lower epidermal layers of the skin. If the humectants draw too much water from the skin they can actually dry it out.

Reference: Toxic Beauty: Dawn Mellowship 

Subscribe to Newsletters
Please wait

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.


Right Click

No right click