Chemicals found in everyday cosmetics and make-up products could be increasing your risk of diabetes, researchers have warned.
The dangers of phthalates (the chemical compounds found in plasticisers - the substance added to plastic to make it flexible and transparent), have been highlighted in a study by Uppsala University.
Swedish researchers claim its presence in cosmetics such as self-tan, face creams and perfumes, significantly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The study analysed blood level data of 1,000 people aged 65 and researchers measured their ‘fasting’ blood sugar levels (when a person has not eaten for at least eight hours).
The blood test results revealed that those with higher levels of phthalates in their blood were twice as likely to develop diabetes than those with lower levels of the plastic chemical in their blood.
Other diabetes catalysts, such as smoking, cholesterol levels and blood pressure, were taken into account by the study.
“Although our results need to be confirmed in more studies, they do support the hypothesis that certain environmental chemicals can contribute to the development of diabetes,” said study author Monica Lind in a statement.
"Anyone is exposed to them in many different ways. People can inhale them if they are used in hairspray or air fresheners and food can also be contaminated because of phthalates in the packaging,” explains Lind.
"Many are used in body products, like face creams, fake tan, make up and perfumes. Not only does the packaging contain them, but they are absorbed into the body and bloodstream through the skin. In perfume, we inhale the phthalates that are used to delay the scent and increase the lifetime of the perfume."
Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Diabetes UK, said in a statement: “This paper attempts to link the presence of phthalates in the bloodstream and the presence of Type 2 diabetes in an elderly population.
"It is a difficult area to research and this study was based on a relatively small number of white adults over 70 years old. It shows an association between some metabolites, which are breakdown products, and the presence of Type 2 diabetes, but does not show that their presence causes Type 2 diabetes.
“We would be concerned if the reporting of this study diluted the very simple and evidence-based message that limiting the amount of calories in your diet and being regularly physically active is the best way of maintaining a healthy weight and so reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes.”
Another recent study, by the University of Surrey, discovered a link between an everyday beauty product and diabetes.
Researchers found that selenium supplements commonly used for their ability to prevent skin calls from sun damage and ageing, could cause more harm than good if the person has enough selenium in their diet.
Diabetes hit the headlines earlier this month, as researchers warned that men who skip breakfast are more likely to develop diabetes. In a separate study, scientists warned against eating rice as recent research linked white rice with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Antiperspirant parabens (the chemicals found in many toiletries such as face wash, shampoos and make-up) was recently linked to increasing the risk of breast cancer, as scientists claimed the chemicals sink through the armpit skin.
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