7 Healthcast: Cosmetic concerns
A puff of powder on your nose or some shimmer on your cheek - many women want a natural glow, and they're getting it naturally by using mineral makeup.
"Mineral makeup is simply just powdered, kind of mashed minerals that are made into fine particles," said Dr. Mathew Avram, Dermatologist, Massachusetts General Hospital.
It’s usually free of preservatives, dyes and fragrances and is supposed to be lighter and less irritating than traditional cosmetics.
"I like how they feel on your skin,” said Denise Drouin, uses Mineral Makeup.
"I use it because it doesn't clog my pores as much," said Alison Dagger, uses Mineral Makeup.
But some worry there is a potentially ugly side to this pretty powder. The particles are so tiny and breathing them in could be dangerous.
"The concern is that there are these minerals, natural occurring minerals, that are in these microparticles and that they might be able to get in to the lungs and actually cause scarring in the lungs," said Dr. Paul Currier, Pulmonary Specialist, Massachusetts General Hospital.
Kristi Marsh, a mother of three, is super strict when it comes to her beauty products. She tries to steer clear of cosmetics with long lists of ingredients she's never heard of.
"I was diagnosed with breast cancer and after that then I started to realize I don't want to do anything else that will compromise my body, and I started to focus on products that were simpler," said Marsh.
She thought switching to a mineral makeup was a step in the right direction until she heard about the potential particle problem.
"I became a little bit concerned. It’s horrifying to discover something that you think is tried and true and traditional has all of a sudden turned around and now, you should be wary of it," said Marsh.
The ingredient causing the most concern is mica - a transparent mineral found in thin sheets of rock. Mica is common in mines and at construction sites, where workers are often required to wear masks to protect themselves.
"We know from inhaling large quantities of similar kind of compounds, that this can cause a degree of inflammation in the lungs and the scarring in the lungs that could lead to significant difficulties in your ability to breath," said Currier.
Still - medical experts say don't put down your blush brush just yet.
For Kristi, no matter how small the threat, she's not taking any chances.
"I’ll put on some lip gloss and maybe a little bit of mascara and that's enough for me,” said Marsh.
Doctors say a simple solution is to stay away from the loose powder mineral makeup and stick to the liquid form so there are no microparticles to breathe in - and that could put an end to your cosmetic concerns.
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