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Makeup - less is more

Why you should avoid cosmetics overload

Author: Charlotte Kuchinsky November 6 2010

woman wearing too much makeup

We've all heard the old adage "less is more" a hundred times, used in a hundred different ways. Sometimes it applies and sometimes it does not, but it definitely applies when it comes to makeup.

It is estimated that the average woman applies anywhere from 10 to 25 skin care and makeup products per day. From cleansers, moisturizers, line reducers, skin firmers, and eye creams to foundation, blush, eye shadow, mascara and lipstick, that equates to several pounds of product used each year. In turn, each of those products contain some kind of chemical; some contain as many as 15 different chemical compounds. That means that chemicals are being absorbed into the body, through the pores of the skin every time makeup is applied. Some of those chemicals, like the lead still found in lipstick, are known to be harmful, yet manufacturers continue to use them.

Many of the chemicals found in makeup and skin products have been linked by science to any number of health issues from problem skin to cancer. Opthamoligists also believe makeup is one of the leading causes of acute eye infections. Chemists are quick to acknowledge that many of the chemicals were never meant to be used in conjunction with others. It is impossible to research the effects of each product against the hundreds of others with which it might be combined. The problem only comes to light when a woman becomes ill. Even then, it is hard to distinguish which combination of products was responsible for the reaction.

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Another reason why less is more when it comes to makeup is that women have a bad habit of using outdated makeup. If it looks good to them they will continue to use it until it's gone. That is despite the fact that harmful bacteria may have already taken hold and could now be absorbed into the skin. Chemicals and bacteria are two things women fight to keep out of their body when it comes to the foods they eat. However, they are far less conscientious when it comes to the makeup they use. There is something definitely wrong with this picture.

A third problem is that women don't always remove their makeup at night. That gives the chemicals and bacteria that might be found therein ample time to find a nice place to setup house inside the body. From there, they can cause multiple problems over a long period of time; possibly forever. Opthamoligists cringe when they find out their patients have failed to remove eyeliner or mascara. Not only can the chemicals within those products cause eye issues, but also the dirt and flakes that cling to the product can scratch or damage the eye.

Contrary to popular belief, makeup can make you appear older, not younger. Think about it for a minute. Isn't that exactly why young girls want to wear it? They want to look older than they are. Why, then, would women over 60 think makeup would make them look 40 again? It doesn't compute. Even the best makeup can settle into the fine lines and wrinkles of aging skin, making it look older. The overall effect isn't attractive and the problem is compounded further because the chemicals within the products also have free reign to continue their damaging effects.

So what is the solution? There isn't a quick and easy fix. Women aren't likely to give up wearing makeup, so the only chance at the moment is to move toward mineral and organic makeup and away from that which is laden with chemicals. Women will have to make a contentious effort to read makeup labels, at least until the industry becomes more consistently regulated. Fortunately there are more and more "pure" mineral and organic skin care and makeup products being introduced into the marketplace every day.

Another solution is to cut down on the number of skin care and makeup products used. Ask yourself if you actually need all of the products you are currently using. Chances are good that over half of them can be eliminated.

Finally, it is important to remove makeup as quickly as possible. Some women feel the need to wear their makeup all day long and continue to wear it at home when it really isn't needed. Worse yet, they wear it to bed and then reapply fresh makeup over the old the next morning. That practice is unhealthy and should be stopped

So while makeup can enhance a woman's beauty, it shouldn't be the cause of health problems. Women have to strike a good balance between what they want and what is good for them. Until then, the old adage remains true - "less is more."

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Posted on 19/11/10 16:17 by: Andy Bentez

I have always been a great believer in the less-is-more approach. I think that men prefer it, too. Looking tarted up makes you look fake and you can never tell what a real face looks like!
Posted on 22/12/10 17:53 by: Wendy Smith

Another solution is semi permanent make up. Pigments used are hypo allergenic and made up of natural iron oxides. Eyebrow, eye line and lip line colours are extremely convenient, especially for those with poor vision or allergies to conventional cosmetics. There is also no need to remove make up with harsh cleansers. Semi Permanent Make Up techniques have developed to such a degree that permanent make up enhancements do just exactly what they say, in the hands of a skilled technician - enhance the features in a subtle and anti aging way. I agree totally with the above article, when I am performing permanent make up treatments on my clients, I always adopt a “Less is more attitude”!

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