How Dangerous Is PFAS In Lipstick And Mascara?

My lashes are straight down. With a lot of effort I can make them curl a bit. I have to make sure they are completely dry and then curl them with an eyelash curler. Then I apply waterproof mascara. That’s the only mascara that keeps them curled during the day.

I seriously can’t without waterproof mascara. I can’t possibly achieve the same results with regular mascara. So in recent years I have used a lot of waterproof mascaras.

Recently, I read in the newspaper that lipsticks and mascaras contain PFAS. Using lipsticks and mascara every day could be dangerous for your health. Oh no…. So what is PFAS and how harmful is it?

What is PFAS?

Photo: Katya_Havok via Getty Images

PFAS is the abbreviation for Poly and Perfluoroalkyl Substances. They are chemicals that don’t occur in nature, but are man-made.

It has a special properties. They are water and oil repellent, resistant to high temperatures and don’t break down.

That’s why they are used for raincoats, the non-stick coating in pans, fire extinguishing foam and hundreds of other products. PFAS is also added to cosmetics because of their water-repellent properties. And they don’t break down quickly after use.

Is PFAS harmful?

Photo: lentus25 via Getty Images

If you put on lipstick and mascara ever day, you can get too much PFAS. Canadian and American researchers examined the concentration of harmful chemicals in 231 cosmetic products. Harmful chemicals were found in about half of all foundations, eye products, lip products and mascara. If you use them, you are at risk of ingesting harmful amounts of PFAS.

This is harmful to your health. The substances build up in your body and hardly come out again. They affect your immune system, reproduction and, if you’re pregnant, the development of the unborn child.

Also, PFAS can have an effect on your cholesterol and liver, and cause kidney and testicular cancer.

It’s also harmful to nature. It’s hardly broken down and causes problems in birds and mammals.

How do you know if you’re ingesting too much PFAS?

Unfortunately this question is hard to answer. A lot of research is currently being done on this. What makes it difficult is that the packaging of cosmetics doesn’t always state whether it contains PFAS.

Researchers in the European Union are also currently investigating how much harmful PFAS people ingest. They’re also working on a ban on PFAS in the EU.

I have to admit, after knowing more about PFAS, I don’t use my waterproof mascara much anymore.

Front Photo by Jere Barcebal on Unsplash

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