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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Lead-filled lipsticks shows women care more about beauty than warnings

    They say beauty is pain, but is beauty worth dying for? The American media has set a high standard of beauty for women, but the Food and Drug Administration has found numerous beauty products and tools to be packed with hazardous ingredients or cause cancer. Women, especially college students, unfortunately decide to continue using these products regardless of the reports’ findings.

    Although they are within healthy limits, beauty product brands such as Maybelline, Covergirl and L’Oreal were found to have relatively high levels of lead in their lipsticks, according to a December 2011 FDA survey of 400 various lipsticks. Although the FDA has set limits for the amount of lead in color additives in makeup, it has not limited for the amount of lead overall in cosmetics.

    Lead poisoning is a common health hazard and if these lead levels increase in lipsticks, it could become a real threat to women’s health. What’s even more shocking is the FDA’s statement that “reports about lead in lipstick are not new.”

    Similarly, women still use tanning beds. There are more than 30 tanning salons in Tucson and representatives from the salons say that especially before spring break, when students are most inspired to look tan and tanning salons market discounts and package deals, they are almost booked solid.

    The FDA has warned people for years that when someone under the age of 35 uses a tanning bed, his or her risk for melanoma increases by 75 percent. Along with melanoma, tanning bed users are also at risk for squamous cell carcinoma, another type of skin cancer. The World Health Organization moved tanning beds into the highest cancer risk category recently, but even all this hasn’t stopped people from using them.

    On campus, some women are already using anti-aging creams and products.

    Morgan Holdcroft, an employee at the Clinique counter in the UofA Bookstore, said students sometimes come to the Clinique counter and request anti-aging creams, which help prevent wrinkles. But anti-aging creams should be used carefully at this age.

    “If people start using our high powered creams too young, they could get immune to it as you get older,” Holdcroft said.
    Women need to stop worrying about how they look, and start worrying about what they are putting on and into their bodies.

    Another FDA report showed that hazardous cancer-causing ingredients such as coal tar could be found in hair dye as well as other beauty products. In today’s society, tanning, dying your hair and continually applying makeup is common. But these everyday routines are exposing women to hazardous products. It’s ridiculous that tanning salons are booked solid, lipstick racks are sold out and hair dye is in such high demand.

    Women in our society have a skewed idea of what beauty truly is. Before women were dependent on hair dye, innumerable lipstick shades and tanning beds, men still seemed to find women attractive and women were able to look into the mirror and feel beautiful for how they were naturally.

    Women need to realize that protecting their health in more important than looking good. Turning a few heads is not worth the risk of cancer or lead poisoning.

    — Ashley T. Powell is a journalism sophomore. She can be reached at on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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