Cosmetics + Breast Cancer | Causes and Prevention

cosmetics and breast cancer joshica beauty

The word cosmetic is derived from the Greek word “kosmetikos” which means ordering or arranging. Females use cosmetics to give a slight touch of beauty to their physical appearance. Basically, the notion of using cosmetics and beauty products comes from Greece and Egypt and the idea of using skin creams made of beeswax, olive oil and rose water, for beauty purposes, came from the Romans1. But with the passage of time these natural products were replaced by the synthetic products that paved the way to the large number of health issues in females, one of them being breast cancer. No doubt, synthetic cosmetic products are cheap compare to the natural organic skin and hair care products but the long term negative effects on your health can be detrimental. 

      “Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.”  Sophia Loren

In 21st century, women use different synthetic cosmetic products to beautify their physical appearance in an attractive manner but they forget the long term consequences of using these artificial products. The following are agents of breast cancer in women, present in the cosmetic products that we use today.


It is used in toothpastes, antibacterial soaps and perfumes. It can affect the normal function of thyroid hormones that regulate the metabolism process. Similarly, it may also disrupt the normal breast development.


These are the group of compounds which are widely used as preservative and antimicrobial agents in creams, ointments, lotions, and underarm deodorants. They are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors.


Lead is used in foundation, nail colors, lipsticks and whitening toothpaste. It is a proven neurotoxin, linked to learning, language and behavioral problems. It has also been linked to miscarriage, reduced fertility in men and women, and delays in puberty onset in girls.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Some cosmetics and shampoos are made with coal tar and therefore may contain PAHs. They have been shown to increase the risk for breast cancer.


These are found in beauty products like nail polish and perfume. It's exposure has been linked to early puberty in girls and a risk factor for later-life breast cancer

Prevention Measures

Here are some ways to avoid the breast cancer and other health issues:

  • Use organic shampoos that promote hair growth by naturally stimulating the hair follicles
  • Use natural makeup, skin care products, and body products that work with your skin instead of against it
  • Avoid Synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) which increases the risk of breast cancer. Natural Bio-identical hormones on the other hand are safe. They are made from botanical plants such as soy and yams
  • Studies show that 3 - 4 hours per week of regular exercise can decrease your risk of breast cancer by up to 50%
  • Risks of breast cancer increases by the lifetime exposure of the breasts to estrogen. We must control the influence of estrogen on the breasts by adopting healthy habits.
  • Get a mammogram: breast thermography that has no side-effects, can warn us of a pending problem in advance
  • Avoid skin creams and other products which contain UV filters, unless for use as sunscreen

Your health comes before altering your physical appearance artificially with toxic materials. To live a healthy life, we must prefer to use natural organic cosmetic products because they have favorable affects on our health. If you are looking for natural skincare take a look at my natural handmade soaps made with organic oils, clays and botanicals.

         “Good health is not something we can buy. However, it can be an extremely valuable savings account”. 


  1. Gunther Schneider, Sven Gohla, Jorg Schreiber, et al. "Skin Cosmetics" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2005, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. 
  2. IARC (1994), IARC Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans, Vol.60 Some Industrial Chemicals, Lyon. Ac cessed February 20, 2000.

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