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Can Long-Wearing Makeup Be Toxic?

Cosmetic bag with lipsticks, eyeshadow palette, compact, and brushes on a blush colored fur rug.

Can Long-Wearing Makeup Be Toxic?

Beauty Editor’s Note:

I was doing some reading and came across an article talking about the toxic chemicals that potentially could be in long-wearing makeup. Since we’re going to be in the hot humid weather I will share what I learned and also give you additional tips on how to have your makeup last longer. So before you reach for that waterproof mascara read this post. Dana

What Are PFA’S?

Toxic: purple skull and crossed bones line icon on a white background.

PFA’s are a classification of thousands of potentially toxic chemicals referred to as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. These chemicals unfortunately are everywhere. They are used in cosmetics for their spreadable properties and longevity. But, these chemicals can also be found in nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, and food packaging.

According to Consumer Reports they have a petition to push legislation regulations on the FDA just for food packaging alone. They are referred to as “forever chemicals” because it can take thousands of years for it to break down in soil, water, the air we breathe, and of course your body, let’s not forget about. Who knew that a chemical compound that was found in the 1930s could be so treacherous?

There are no definite answers as far as health risks when exposed to these chemicals. However, some of these classification of chemicals have been linked to cancer and immune suppression just to name a few. Now let me just say for the record that these chemicals are not found in all long lasting cosmetics. In addition, it may not be listed on the label. Companies have to be more transparent and consumers must speak out.

Well, what if you don’t wear makeup? You still can be exposed to these chemicals through the water supply because they will end up somewhere. I’m not saying you can’t use these products, just be aware of the possibility of what can be in them.

What To Do About Toxic Chemicals In Your Makeup?

Since a product won’t necessarily say it has these chemicals in it, only use them when you have to. Translucent loose powder or makeup setting spray can be an option to make your makeup last. I must tell you, makeup these days are designed to last a lot longer than they used to.

It is summer time, keep it simple for yourself, less is best. Also look up different cosmetic ingredients and what can be toxic. You may not be able to avoid everything but at least give yourself some options so you can make alternative choices. Remember cosmetics are not regulated in the same way as food products are.

I have a cosmetic dictionary and I also look ingredients up if I want to know what they are. There are so many chemicals out there a dictionary will be obsolete by the time it’s in print thank goodness for Google. The environmental working group is a great resource when looking up different things when it comes to ingredients in products. For more information check out these websites:

“There have been few studies on the presents of PFAS in cosmetics”

By Dana Hinnant, Beauty Editor

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Connecting With Dana Hinnant


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Author Bio:

A headshot of Dana wearing a black scoop neck top under a black jacket. She has glowng caramel colored skin and short dark hair.
Dana Hinnant

Dana Hinnant, a Washingtonian native, whose journey into the beauty industry began 20 years ago after receiving her B.A. in Hearing and Speech Sciences from the University of Maryland in 2000. She received her aesthetics training at Von Lee International School of Esthetics in Baltimore, MD.

Dana started as a local makeup artist and events coordinator with Alluring Looks, Inc. in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Her articles were featured in local publications such as Pose Magazine and Yndigo newsletter. In the mid-2000s, she was a volunteer instructor with the American Cancer Society’s Look Good…Feel Better program, which landed her an esthetician position at an area day spa. 

Over the past several years, Dana has worked with various non-profit organizations and small businesses. During her tenure as the President of the Health and Wellness division of the National Federation of the Blind DC affiliate, she utilized the platform to provide salon safety tips and skincare advice throughout the community. She was a consultant with the Ecumenical Health Council in Port Towns, MD doing beauty and wellness presentations at area churches and events.

In 2019, Dana received the Maryland Association of Community Service Award for Volunteer of the Year due to her community engagement work for The Arc of Prince George’s County. In addition, she also received the Volunteer of the Year award for 2020 from The Arc of Maryland. She is a member and an ambassador with the Professional Beauty Association. Dana is one of the co-owners of Capitol Collective Consulting LLC which launched in April 2021.

Image Descriptions:

  • Header – Cosmetic bag with lipsticks, eyeshadow palette, compact, and brushes on a blush colored fur rug.
  • Toxic: purple skull and crossed bones line icon on a white background.
  • Author bio photo is a headshot of Dana wearing a black scoop neck top under a black jacket. She has glowing caramel colored skin and short dark hair.

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