Think twice before you apply cosmetics to your ladyparts

// 11 September 2007

The Guardian today has a report on the growing concern about carcinogens in cosmetics and beauty products.

Although none of these links have been proven, and the cosmetics industry is doing some serious damage limitation (“absolute nonsense,” says Dr Christopher Flower, director general of The Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association) it’s still worth taking note of.

Considering the number of beauty products that many of us now use, paying more attention would seem worthwhile. Earlier this year it was reported that each of us can expect to absorb 4lb 6oz of chemicals through our skin each year. On average, women apparently use 12 makeup and skincare products every day, a combination that can contain as many as 175 different chemicals. The average man uses fewer but, in these image-conscious times, is fast catching up.

That’s 4lb 6oz, over 2kg for our European readers, of substances that could contribute to the risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, hormone disruption, infertility and birth defects.

The thing that really bemused me was this:

Ladies: think twice before you powder your undercarriage. In the International Journal of Cancer last month, a study of 3,000 women reported that those who regularly talced their underwear had a 17% higher risk of ovarian cancer than those who did not.

Think twice before you powder your undercarriage? I’ve never heard of anyone doing this! Is it a common practice, I wonder?

Anyway, Liz Sutton, of the Women’s Environmental Network has the following advice:

Think about the products that you use and try to work out: do I actually need them all?

Surely this is the sort of attitude we should be taking whether or not applying talc to our ladyparts is likely to shrivel our ovaries.

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