Bad Beauty: 3 Harmful Beauty Trends to Avoid
Humans may lack the stripes of a tiger or the spots of a giraffe, but we put in a lot of effort to make ourselves look beautiful and interesting. Now it’s no secret that the beauty industry doesn’t always promote the safest ways to achieve a certain look – take the history of lead in cosmetics for example – so it’s important we do our own research and determine the consequences of a beauty product or procedure before engaging with it. When it comes to skin cancer, UV lamps, tanning beds and certain cosmetics are the biggest offenders.
UV lamps for gel manicures have been linked to skin cancer, due to the UVA rays emitted by these super-fast drying lamps. Years of research shows that UVA causes aging and skin cancer, so next time you go in for a manicure, skip the gel and go for a simple polish. It’s safer and you still get to enjoy a pop of colour! Alternatively, you can buy nail polishes with a gel effect, like Ciaté London’s Gelology Nail Polishu, and pamper yourself at home. There are also a number of top coats you can apply to make regular nail polish look like a gel manicure. View InStyle’s selection here.
Tanning in a sunbed is very dangerous. The Ministry of Health states that using a sunbed is never recommended and it is not a safe way to tan or boost your vitamin D as it increases the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers. It is so dangerous that since 2017, commercial sunbed operators are not allowed to offer sunbed sessions to under-18s. Those with pale skin who don’t tan easily and have lots of freckles and moles, and those who have had skin cancer before, are especially at risk and should avoid sunbeds entirely. Anyway, self-tanning is so much more affordable and convenient! Get a bottle of natural and organic self-tanner and get bronzed in your own bedroom.
Due to pretty lax laws governing cosmetics and personal care products, too many beauty products contain carcinogens. Some dangerous yet common chemicals found in a lot of beauty products include:
- Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
- purpose: antioxidant, preservative, stabilizer, fragrance ingredient
- concerns: skin irritation, hormone disruption
- found in: lipstick, eye shadow, some petroleum products
- Diethanolamine (DEA)
- purpose: pH adjuster, foaming agent
- concerns: skin irritation, possible organ system toxicity, contamination concerns
- found in: variety of face makeup and hair products
- Phthalates dibutyl phthalate (DBP), dimethyl phthalate (DMP), and diethyl phthalate (DEP)
- purpose: plasticizer, solvent, fragrance ingredient
- concerns: male reproductive system damage
- found in: nail polish, hair sprays, perfumes, lotions, soaps, shampoos