Makeup: Wreaking Havoc on the Earth

by on April 5, 2019 · 0 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach

by Abby Williams/ / April 4, 2019

Foundation, blush, mascara, eye shadow and lipstick are all products under the umbrella of makeup that is used by people of all colors, shapes and sizes. The purpose of makeup? To make people feel more beautiful. But what if the one thing that is making people’s exterior feel more beautiful is making the world an uglier place? Literally.

Oxybenzone, Parabens and Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) are among numerous ingredients found in cosmetic products. While they help cover up imperfections, they are known to make the natural world a more imperfect place, according to Ben Johnson, the founder and formulator of Osmosis Skincare, in an interview with The Point.

Johnson has been in the skincare industry since 1977 when he opened his first medi-spa. Today, Johnson offers his patients a more holistic way of caring for their skin through natural products and mindfulness for the environment.

“Osmosis provides the tools needed to create the ideal environment to encourage permanent change and overall radiance,” according to the Osmosis Skincare website.

Based on prevalence, Johnson offers what he thinks are the top three harmful ingredients for the environment found in commonly used makeup products.

Oxybenzone is not only harmful to women because it causes a reduction of natural estrogen in the body, but Johnson says, “[it] is killing the barrier reefs around the world.” This is a commonly used ingredient, according to Johnson, and because of that, it ends up in the public water supply.

Parabens, which Johnson says are commonly used as preservatives in 80 percent of skincare products, have also been found to disrupt hormones in the body.

The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions writes, “Parabens are man-made chemicals often used in small amounts as preservatives in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, foods and beverages.”

Parabens have been linked to cause breast tumors, says Johnson.

BHA is used in makeup and various personal care products as an antioxidant, primarily in lipstick and eyeshadow, according to

“It is very commonly leached from plastic bottles and containers into our water and food,” says Johnson. “It wreaks havoc on animal life, reefs and our hormone balance.”

But the question arises: how do these ingredients have this great of an impact?

These ingredients resemble estrogen in the body. “This results in lower levels of production or presence of natural estrogen,” says Johnson, “and changes in animal and human epigenetics, which leads to reduced fertility and other odd behaviors that reduce survival.”

These chemicals cause harm to both the human body and the natural world, including the wildlife that inhabits that same environment.

Go to for this and other articles written by Point Loma Nazarene University students.

Editordude: More on Oxybenzone:

Chemical Identity

Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) Registry Number: 131-57-7

Molecular Weight (MW) – 228.25

United Nations Global Harmonized System (GHS) – Hazard Statements: H413 – May cause long lasting harmful effects to aquatic life [Hazardous to the aquatic environment, long-term hazard]

IUPAC Name: (2-hydroxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-phenylmethanone

Trade Names/Supplier: AEC Benzophenone-3 (A & E Connock (Perfumery & Cosmetics) Ltd.); CSS-II Sun Screening Agent (Spec-Chem Industry Inc.); Custom B-3 (Custom Ingredients, Inc.); Escalol 567 (Ashland Inc.); Eusolex 4360 (Merck KGaA /EMD Chemicals); Eusolex 4360 (EMD Performance Materials Corp.); EUSORB 228 (Aceto Corporation); Jeescreen Benzophenone 3 (Jeen International Corporation; Neo Heliopan BB (Symrise); OriStar BP3 (Orient Stars LLC); Protaphenone-3 (Protameen Chemicals); Uvasorb MET/C (3V Sigma USA Inc.); Uvinul M 40 (BASF Corporation); UVSOB 350 (LC United Chemical Corp.).

FDA Voluntart Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP): Use as of 01/2015 = 912

Use Level: Up to 6.0% in Sunscreens in the United States; Up to 10% in other countries.

Reported Product Categories: Aftershave Lotions; Baby Shampoos; Basecoats and Undercoats; Bath Capsules; Bath Oils, Tablets, and Salts; Bath Preparations, Misc.; Bath Soaps and Detergents; Blushers (All types); Body and Hand Preparations (Excluding Shaving Preparations); Bubble Baths; Cleansing Products (Cold Creams, Cleansing Lotions, Liquids and Pads); Colognes and Toilet Waters; Eye Lotions; Eye Makeup Preparations, Misc.; Eye Shadows; Eyebrow Pencils; Eyeliners; Face Powders; Face and Neck Preparations (Excluding Shaving Preparations); Feminine Hygiene Deodorants; Foot Powders and Sprays; Foundations; Fragrance Preparations, Misc.; Hair Coloring Preparations, Misc.; Hair Conditioners; Hair Dyes and Colors (All Types Requiring Caution Statements and Patch Tests); Hair Preparations (Non-coloring), Misc.; Hair Shampoos (Coloring); Hair Sprays (Aerosol Fixatives); Hair Wave Sets; Indoor Tanning Preparations; Lipsticks; Makeup Bases; Makeup Preparations (Not eye), Misc.; Manicuring Preparations, Misc.; Moisturizing Preparations; Nail Creams and Lotions; Nail Polish and Enamel Removers; Nail Polish and Enamels; Night Skin Care Preparations; Perfumes; Personal Cleanliness Products, Misc.; Shampoos (Non-coloring); Shaving Preparations, Misc.; Skin Care Preparations, Misc.; Skin Fresheners; Suntan Gels, Creams, and Liquids; Suntan Preparations, Misc.; Tonics, Dressings, and Other Hair Grooming Aids

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