Controversial ingredients in cosmetics

Posted at 11:56 AM, Mar 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-15 13:09:20-04

(KPRC/NBC) Grab any beauty product, turn it around, and you'll find a long list of ingredients. Studies in certain animals show some of those same chemicals can cause tumors and Alzheimer's, but the Food and Drug Administration says they are fine to use.

"You'll find creepy chemicals everywhere," says Dr. Valencia Thomas, a dermatologist with the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. "Formaldehyde is a very common material."

So, why are these chemicals in so many beauty products?

"There are certain products that we have to have in resin in order for them to harden and there are certain chemicals that are necessary to help a process move forward," Thomas explains.

That means, for example, Formaldehyde in nail polish is necessary for it to dry.

"Formaldehyde does cause cancer in higher concentration and can increase the risk of nasopharyngeal cancer. So, when we take a step back and look at the formaldehyde that's released from common cosmetic products, we find that the levels are very low," Thomas adds.

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