These Makeup Brands Are Still Using Cancer-Linked ‘Forever Chemicals’

Beauty products sold by brands like Revolution, Inglot, and Urban Decay sold in the UK were found to still contain the “forever chemicals”.

These are pollutants which are known as PFAS. 

They’ve been associated with major health issues and cancer is on the list. Despite not being illegal in the UK, five countries from Europe will propose a ban throughout the EU. 

L’Oreal, the owner of Urban Decay, Revolution, and Inglot informed the BBC that they’re removing the chemicals in phases. 

The Serious Health Risks Associated with PFAS 

PFAS is short for poly-and perfluoroalkyl substances. These substances are resistant to water and oil and therefore of high value in the industry of makeup. 

Throughout history, makeup manufacturers have included them in their products to prolong longevity, better the finish, and maintain the color of lipstick and eyeshadow.

Today, things are different because a lot of brands have gone PFAS-free due to the increase in data showing the detrimental effects of these chemicals on our health and the environment.

However, BBC’s News Investigation of the UK cosmetics market found dozens of products sold in the UK that included these chemicals. 

High exposure to these toxins has been linked with serious health issues, including birth defects, cancer, and thyroid problems. 

Ongoing Research on the Effects of Exposure to PFAS

The ongoing research aimed at these chemicals is trying to discover the influence of exposure to lower amounts, like that through makeup. But, scientists and politicians still worry that the effects are bad even in smaller amounts.

PFAS have substances with powerful bonds that can’t be broken down by nature so a lot of products that are removed via cleaning, such as when you clean your makeup, end up in the soil, rivers, and even in human blood.

Animal studies found that PFAS led to birth defects, newborn deaths, and liver damage. These were tests done with higher doses than those usually present in the environment. 

Miriam Diamond, professor, and environmental chemist at Toronto University, consumers should be worried about low levels of contamination due to the limited amount of information about the long-term effects. 

Germany and four other nations from Europe plan to send a proposal to the EU for the ban on the manufacturing of this chemical and its use due to rising concerns about the effects on humans and the environment. 

In a review by the EA in 2021 of the use of PFAS in the UK, it was discovered that nine PFAS were still used, but they didn’t disclose the names of the companies because of commercial reasons. 

However, a Freedom of Information request by BBC News into the EA has unraveled them. 

The BBC looked for them in a long list of ingredients of the most popular brands and makeup products in the UK which are known to include PFAS like eyeshadow, mascara, lipsticks, and foundation.

Products of Inglot, Revolution, and Urban Decay, subsidiaries of L’Oreal, were found to have PFAS called PFTE. These products were sold in shops and on their websites.

Which Are the Makeup Brands with PFAS?

The products which were found to contain these chemicals are the following:

  • Urban Decay’s NAKED Palletes 2, 3, and Smoked Palette
  • Inglot’s X Maura Beautiful Storm Eyeshadow Palette, Evening Kiss Eyeshadow Palette, and the Complexion Perfection Essentials Palette Deep 
  • I Heart Revolution’s Mini Match Palette Fried Egg Fried
  • Revolution Power Shadow Palette 90’s Baby 
  • Relove High Key Shadow Palette

The BBC contacted L’Oreal and they were informed that product safety is their major priority. In 2018, the company decided to phase out all PFAS and the plans are underway. 

They claim they have already eliminated PFAS from most of their products. 

Mia Davis, the VP of Credo Beauty, one of the many brands that have put a ban on these chemicals, says that brands can create beautiful makeup without the need for these chemicals.