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Facts and myths about makeup

Jun 4, 2012, 8:28 a.m.

Ladies sailing into their golden years have every right to try to remain as good looking and vibrant as they ever were, but these days there are so many health concerns about chemicals in makeup and the possible negative effects of using skin care medications that it's tough to tell fact from fiction. Here's a list of 4 of the most pervasive myths about cosmetics and skin care, and some helpful information that will shed light on an issue that's got many ladies unsure if it's safe to use cosmetics at all.

Myth #1: There's no regulation of the products in makeup

The truth is, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees all cosmetics sold in the United States, and it has strict guidelines in place about the products used in makeup. If anything is found to be in violation of the FDA's safety guidelines, that product will be pulled from store shelves. This rarely happens, though, because of the level of responsibility that the vast majority of cosmetics manufacturers display in ensuring that their products aren't harmful in any way to the public. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense -- it would be a commercial disaster for a cosmetics company to not recall its own products if they were found to have any ill effect on users, therefore these companies have a vested interest in ensuring that no public relations nightmares arise.

Myth #2: Chemicals in makeup have been shown to cause cancer

This is a bogus claim whose origins are about as mysterious as the proclamation itself. The fact is, there hasn't been a single credible case found to support the belief that products in makeup can cause cancer. Likewise, there have been no proven cases of cosmetics being the cause of cancer in any users. FDA regulations over the chemicals in makeup are strict, and they require that that all manufacturers of makeup fully disclose the products being used, as well as the safety level of those products.

Myth #3: Cosmetics that are marketed as natural and organic are far better for you than traditionally manufactured cosmetics

It seems that this would be the case, however the reality is that many products labeled "all natural" have comparatively very little organic value and may even contain synthetic chemicals. As a word of advice, it's never a good idea to buy into a cosmetic product's marketing as proof positive that it will have a beneficial impact on your skin health. If you really want to know what's in the makeup that you buy, read the packaging carefully and do your due diligence in determining whether or not "natural" cosmetics really are what they say they are.

Myth #4: Skin care products don't work

There are an awful lot of people out there who are skeptical about the claims of skin care product manufacturers -- and rightly so. But even amid the marketing gimmicks and bold guarantees of looking "10 years younger overnight!" there actually are some positive effects that can be had by using skin care products. In other words, soap and water alone won't do for you what some products that contain essential vitamins and oils will.

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