A PSA to Moms: Your Beauty Products Can Poison You and Your Child

To all moms and expectant mothers, this is a public service announcement for you in observance of National Poison Prevention Week. This information might come as a surprise, but some beauty products in your bedroom or bathroom put you and your child at risk of poisoning.

Over 300 children seek medical attention in the U.S. each day, and two die because of poisoning. The Environmental Protection Agency defines poison or a toxic substance as any mixture that may be destructive to the environment, as well as to human health if ingested. “Ingested” could involve inhalation, consumption, or absorption through the skin.

Surprising Poisons in Your Beauty Room

To avoid health-hazardous consequences, keep these toxic beauty products out of sight and out of reach, especially from curious children.

1. Red Lipstick

Nothing says classic more than a bold, red lip. But there is a not-so beautifying ingredient in some lipsticks: lead, which can cause severe allergy, chapping on the lips, and irreversible health damage. Studies found that 400 varieties of red lipstick has more lead content than the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows in candy.

Lead is a chemical element used in construction projects, such as caulking shower tiles and painting walls. But the danger of excessive lead content in the body has become a significant concern in recent decades. Aside from irritating the lips, ingesting lead can cause behavioral, developmental, and learning difficulties. That said, it is particularly perilous to children and their developing brains.

2. Nail Polish

Even “trusted” brands that proclaim safe formulations may substitute toxic compounds for equally dangerous alternatives. According to a 2016 study, a substance called triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) is an ingredient in various types of nail polish. TPHP is a hormone-disrupting chemical. To make matters more terrifying, the same study revealed another worrying find: the body absorbs the chemical after each application of nail polish. Say it isn’t so!

3. Hair Dye

How many women do you know keep their natural hair color? Probably very few since 75 percent of Amercian women dye their hair every few months. The sad fact is, several chemicals infused within hair colorants have been linked to different cancers and other health conditions.

Some common toxic chemicals in hair dye include:

  • Ammonia: When inhaled in repeated and excessive amounts, ammonia can cause asthma and other respiratory problems.
  • Formaldehyde: This common preservative is present in many hair dyes and has been linked to malignant diseases and fetal damage in utero.
  • p-Phenylenediamine: Also known as PPD, this compound has the highest health risks with links to lung issues, kidney problems, and bladder cancer.


beauty products


If you want to be sure that your favorite hair dye, nail polish, lipstick, and other holy grail beauty items have zero neurotoxins, send the product to a laboratory that can perform detailed testing. Cosmetics, currently and unfortunately, are subject to limited regulations in the United States. While they fall under FDA purview, the law does not require all beauty products to be FDA-approved before consumers can purchase them.