Monday, March 9, 2009News

Oils and fats in cosmetics

© Filipe Varela ?

Besides water, fats are the basis for numerous cosmetic products. Creams, body-lotions, serum, make-up, exfoliating agents, shower-gels and shampoos … they may all contain more or less of them. Some detailed pieces of information may help users to choose among the four main families used in our hygiene and cosmetic products.

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~ 7 minutes

Depending on their origin, fats have very different properties--and may lead to different potentially undesirable reacions . On skin, for the environment, for health, at the very least, they are not similar! Further, every one of these families may have its own drawbacks.

Mineral oils

• Their origin
Mineral oils and waxes are extracted from oil.

• Their use
They are very cheap excipients in many products, coming along very good moisturizing properties.

• Their drawback
Mineral oils and waxes are highly pollutant for the environment, as all derivatives of oil.

l.-shat Depending on refining, they are classified from Class 3 (substances for which no carcinogen action has been demonstrated on humans) to Class 1 (substances carcinogen to humans) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Those used in cosmetics are among the most refined, hence among the least potentially toxic for humans.

Though a cosmetic product is not designed to be ingested, their ingestion may be a problem for health, knowing that they accumulate in some organs, such as liver, lymph nodes and spleen. This risk seems to be small, but is real, as mineral oils are an important ingredient of lipsticks for instance. Ingested quantities are likely …

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