Toxic Chemicals Found In Makeup That Are Linked to Breast Cancer

Posted by Joy Kakabeeke on

In light of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we are looking at some toxic ingredients found in commonly used beauty products. These ingredients have been linked to breast cancer, which is a big no for us. October is a great time to take inventory of your makeup bag and get rid of any products with spooky toxic chemicals that could increase your risk of breast cancer. 

Unfortunately, many of us have known someone who has had breast cancer or have had it ourselves. According to’s official website, 1 in 8 women are afflicted with invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. 

To make matters even more scary, the costs of treatment add up. A study titled “Medical costs associated with metastatic breast cancer in younger, midlife, and older women” concluded that the average cost women pay for breast cancer treatment is anywhere between $20,000-$100,000. That’s a lot of money. We want to do what we can to avoid getting breast cancer at all costs-pun intended. 

So, what is the cause of this very-expensive-to-treat diagnosis? also found that “about 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.” Plus, women are 100 times more likely to get breast cancer than men according to the Rogel Cancer Center’s official website. 

In other words, the majority of breast cancer cases are caused by “life in general,” or our environment, specifically the woman’s environment. As women, a major part of our environment is what many of us put onto our skin nearly everyday-makeup. A lot of women I have known, including myself in the past, pick out our makeup without even knowing the chemicals lurking in the formulas. 

Some commonly used, yet toxic ingredients that are found in makeup include: parabens and  formaldehydes.

Parabens are commonly used in makeup as preservative agents. According to Breast Cancer Prevention Partner’s official website, parabens are endocrine disruptors that can mimic estrogen in the body. Studies have found they are linked to a risk in breast cancer because they can encourage abnormal growth of normal breast cells. Parabens can be found in lipsticks, foundations and many various kinds of beauty products. This means parabens could be creeping in your everyday lipstick. That idea is enough to make many of us shudder in fear this October. 

One specific study titled “Measurement of paraben concentrations in human breast tissue at serial locations across the breast from axilla to sternum” found that 99% of the breast tissue samples collected from breast cancer mastectomies contained parabens. Not only that, but, 60% of the samples contained five or more parabens. This reveals a potential correlation between parabens and breast cancer. 

Now it’s time to take a look at another potentially dangerous beauty ingredient: Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a colorless gas and an organic solvent used along with preservatives to prevent bacteria growth in makeup products. However, Breast Cancer Prevention Partner’s official website said that formaldehydes along with other organic solvents can “disrupt hormone levels and cause cell damage.” 

In addition to that finding, BCPP (Breast Cancer Prevention Partner) also found that a study titled “Formaldehyde-induced histone H3 phosphorylation via JNK and the expression of proto-oncogenes,” concludes that formaldehyde promotes tumor formation and growth. This further the evidence that formaldehyde is a potential risk factor for breast cancer. 

So in summary, Parabens and Formaldehyde are two potentially harmful ingredients that are linked to various cancers, including breast cancer. Now that we know these ingredients are used in many of our everyday beauty products, it’s time to apply the rule “better safe than sorry.” 

Some steps you can take to avoid risky ingredients in your beauty products:

  1. Take inventory over your beauty products. Make sure you don’t have any products containing these toxins.
  2. Be aware that parabens and formaldehyde are only a couple ingredients to avoid-there are others that can cause cancers, autoimmune diseases and other issues. 
  3. Get rid of the risk! Throw out any toxic products. 
  4. Protect your loved ones! Share this with your friends so they can learn about the harmful ingredients in their makeup. 
  5. To fully avoid all the other toxins and know you’re safe, invest in a clean beauty makeup line like Clean Beauty by Joy’s! All the products are toxin free. 

Check out our toxin-free lipstick here: 

Need a foundation safe from parabens? Click here: 

Make sure you avoid toxins in your eyeshadow also-buy Clean Beauty by Joy’s Baked Mineral Eyeshadow: 

Some Additional Sources Regarding Toxins: 

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