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Inhaling Clean Makeup Ingredients: What to Avoid and How to Minimize Risk

Are you conscious of the makeup you use and its impact on your health? While clean makeup brands are generally considered safer, there are still some ingredients that you should be cautious about inhaling.

Let’s take a look at the four common makeup ingredients found in low toxic makeup that might pose risks when inhaled and how to minimize these risks to keep your makeup routine as safe as possible.

Ingredients that you should avoid inhaling

  1. Titanium Dioxide: One ingredient often present in clean makeup brands is Titanium Dioxide. Though it serves as a natural UV filter and helps even out skin tone, it can be associated with respiratory toxicity when inhaled regularly. There are also animal studies to suggest it is a possible carcinogen, but more research is needed to fully examine if it can cause lung cancer.

  2. Zinc Oxide: Another ingredient found in specific clean makeup products is Zinc Oxide, which can cause inflammation of the airways when inhaled frequently. Although it's valued for its sun-protective properties, it's essential to be cautious.

  3. Silica: Silica is a common ingredient in clean makeup, often used for its oil-absorbing properties. However, inhaling silica particles can pose harm to the respiratory system, potentially leading to scarring, inflammation, and lung disease.

  4. Mica: Mica is a mineral frequently found in makeup to provide a shimmering effect. While it is not inherently toxic, some mica particles can be very small and lightweight, leading to inhalation risks such as scarring of the lungs.

It's important to note that most of the research examines the effects of nanoparticles. Greater risk is associated with nanoparticles, so always opt for makeup options that use non-nano particles. This should be a non-negotiable! Research indicates that even safe ingredients in nano form can pose significant health risks.

Why Should You Be Cautious?

Inhaling these ingredients, especially in their powder forms, can have negative effects on respiratory health. Prolonged exposure might lead to irritation or inflammation of the lungs. Although the risk is considered to be low, it's essential to take precautions to safeguard your well-being.

Minimizing the Risk

Finding makeup brands entirely free of these ingredients might be challenging, so consider these tips to reduce your risk of inhaling harmful particles:

  1. Dampen Your Brush: Before applying makeup products that contain titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, silica, or mica, slightly dampen your brush with a spray toner, setting spray, or water. This helps prevent the particles from becoming airborne and easily inhaled.

  2. Opt for Cream or Liquid Formulas: Whenever possible, choose makeup products with these ingredients in cream or liquid forms rather than powders. These formulations are less likely to disperse particles into the air.

  3. Apply in Well-Ventilated Areas: When using makeup products that contain these ingredients, do so in well-ventilated areas. Proper ventilation helps disperse any potential airborne particles and reduces the concentration in the air.

As you prioritize clean makeup for your beauty routine, it's crucial to be aware of potential inhalation risks associated with certain ingredients. While it might not be feasible to completely avoid them, following the recommended tips can help minimize any potential harm to your respiratory health. Stay informed and be conscious of the products you use, ensuring that your makeup routine is looking after you and the environment.


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