Beauty health hazard 3: Hair dye
While ditching your hair dye may seem like a scary prospect, continuing to colour your hair could have even more frightening results. The chemical para-phenylenediamine (PPD) is thought to be behind up to 80 per cent of allergic reactions to hair dye. While most of these reactions are relatively minor, including blisters and skin sores, PPD has been linked to more serious conditions such as permanent hair loss and, in rare cases, even death – although this link has yet to be confirmed. As allergies to PPD can develop at any time, it is important to perform a patch test every time you colour your hair. It may also be worth swapping to safer chemical-free or wash-out dyes.
Beauty health hazard 4: Hair straightening products
Many women opt for salon straightening treatments to help keep curly or unruly hair poker straight for months at a time. However, in 2011 the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a health warning over the risks of exposure to the carcinogen formaldehyde found even in straightening products listed as formaldehyde-free. Whilst salon workers who regularly use these products are at the most risk, it is still wise to avoid the dangerous chemical by manually straightening hair with blow-drying and straightening irons instead.
Beauty health hazard 5: Mascara
Mascara can harbour bacteria that is transferred into the product after each application and which can reproduce in the dark, warm environment of the mascara tube, potentially leading to eye infections. To help reduce the health risks associated with your mascara, make sure you store your mascara in a cool place and replace it after three months. Also, avoid applying your mascara in the car or on a journey as the motion can cause scratches to the eye during application which can also lead to infections.