Beauty Queen, Beware: 3 Toxic Make-Up Ingredients to Avoid

One local skin-care pro reveals the baddies in your blush.

By Allison Jones July 13, 2015 Published in the Health Annual: Summer 2015 issue of Portland Monthly

Sherry Okamura Leonard, creator of organic beauty line Okamura Farmacopia, points out the three ingredients to avoid when choosing makeup and skin care products. 

0715 bismuth oxychloride aqj79r

“This naturally occurring element found in nickel, tin, and silver is akin to the poison arsenic, and is commonly found in many cosmetics—even “natural” mineral products. Many people experience itchiness when they wear bismuth, especially if they sweat, and irritation can lead to rashes and severe acne.”

0715 parabens r4buu0

“These preservatives [which come in forms like methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben] have been linked to breast cancer, and as a woman who had a lime-size noncancerous mass removed from my breast last year I’m not taking any chances!”

0715 sulfites nrthi9

“The foaming agent in many shampoos, body washes, and soaps, this ingredient [usually listed as sodium laureth sulfate] can cause skin irritation and dryness—as well as contribute to hair loss in men and women.

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