Whether it’s being applied to our eyes, our faces, or our bodies in general, shimmery beauty products have been on the rise for decades. It may be less common to see sparkles all over people’s faces, but they’re still popular, especially the ones that claim to produce the illusion of a “natural glow.” And with the world’s latest obsession with “highlighter,” shimmery makeup is back in style and being applied to millions of people’s faces all over the world.
Not only are many of these products extremely toxic for our skin, but the way in which they’re made is unethical as well. Glittery products such as those produced by L’Oréal and Estée Lauder often require mica, which is typically mined in India. However, children as young as five work in these illegal mines in dangerous conditions.
Your beauty products may range from $5-$50 in price, but the true cost of these items are the unethical conditions behind their production as well as the health risks they pose to your body.
Russia Today reported that 20,000 Indian children work in Jharkhand’s illegal mica mines, working toward extracting this product for people’s makeup and beauty products all over the world. They literally risk their lives for unfair wages (on average they make $3 per day) just so we can give a more shimmery appearance to our skin.
Inhaling the dust from mica mining can cause a variety of health problems, including cancer and tuberculosis. It’s no secret that the medical industry in India isn’t as advanced or affordable as it is in North America, so many of these health problems could result in death for these workers.
You can learn more in the following Russia Today video:
For more specific information on the production of mica, check out their shorter video.
Health Risks of Shimmery Beauty Products
As outlined in the above videos, mica has been linked to a variety of problems when inhaled, including lung cancer and tuberculosis. However, it’s not just the workers in these mines who are at risk of developing health problems from inhaling mica.
Mica is small enough that even though it’s in your makeup, the particles can be inhaled as they float through the air. You’re at even greater risk when applying mineral-based makeup, which is often marketed as a “more natural alternative.” Although there’s not nearly enough research to identify how carcinogenic mica is when inhaled, it’s obviously not going to be very good for your body.
This gives an entirely new meaning to the saying “beauty is pain,” because even if it’s not contributing to your own health decline (which it probably is given the toxic chemicals used in many beauty products), it’s still contributing to the pain and suffering of others. So, next time you’re purchasing a glittery beauty product, remember that the numbers on the price tag don’t reflect the true cost of these products.
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