The Zimbabwe Sentinel-Media Centre

Telling the other story – MEDIA CENTRE

Culture

The Health Hazards of Wearing Make Up

According to Kim Erickson, author of the book ’Drop Dead Gorgeous: Protecting yourself from the hidden dangers of cosmetics.  ‘Modern cosmetics contain a host of dubious ingredients which would be more at home in a test tube than on some ones face. Are these things we call beauty products actually a death sentence?’ Most of the products we use nowadays for ‘better sanitary’ are actually making us sick. These products range from deodorant, body sprays, skin lotions to hair sprays, face powders and even mascaras.

The things we apply are absorbed by the skin, enter the bloodstream  and may cause illnesses we do not understand.  For example they can affect internal organs which may trigger allergies and cause hormone disruption.  These in most cases start as minor ailments such as an itch from a recurring rash. This may be the body showing signs of rejecting the elements in the products we are using but we dismiss this as a mosquito bite or such. It is like our own daily dose of poison. ”Makeup accentuates my features, it brings out the intensity of my eyes ” this said by one of the women who loves to wear makeup. Is it worth it? Is being beautiful on the outside worth the failing of a liver?

The street market has further worsened this situation in Zimbabwe as these products are being sold cheaply on street corners. Questions arise as to whether they are the same as the ones being sold in shops. In any event, once you purchase the ‘street make up’ it is hard to come back and claim compensation for an allergic reaction. These are the questions people do not bother to ask themselves before purchasing these products.  The Zimbabwe Republic Police have tried to curb the situation but these products and their distributors resurface in the name of making a living.

One Police officer goes on to say, “’These products are deadly and greatly hazardous to health so we are trying by all means to eradicate these unlicensed sellers and their products off the streets” He goes on to say “these people who sell on the street are actually crippling the market for store owners” and as we ourselves can conclude that this is actually hurting our economy and worsening the tear of unemployment in our society. So it is left to the passersby who embrace the cheap cosmetics without considerations of their health. Local pharmacists posit the notion that indeed most products sold on the street may be hazardous to health as some may be fabricated and possess a similar label to the original but do not actually contain it.

One pharmacist who chose to remain anonymous stated that most forms of makeup may be equally hazardous to one’s health.  It however also depends on frequency of use, allergic reaction or dosages of toxic components. For example lipsticks contain lead which may be hazardous to health if put in large doses when making the lipstick. Similarly skin lightening creams contain mercury which may be lethal.  So one should take extra care and check ingredients before use. Or at least be certain that they are buying a certified product.

by Rumbidzai Zijena 

 

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Chief Editor: Earnest Mudzengi Content Editor: Willie Gwatimba