Researchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) claim they've found a link between chemicals in everyday make-up cosmetics and diabetes in women.
Phthalates are the chemical compounds found in plasticisers - the substance added to plastic to make it flexible and transparent.
They are commonly used in cosmetics and make-up packaging, as well as in pharmaceutical pills, gelling agents, adhesives lubricants, emulsifying agents and even in fatty food products like milk, butter and some meats.
The chemical has previously raised health concerns after links to 'hormone disruption' to the endocrine system were noted by researchers.
The new study, published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal, suggests an association between high levels of phthalates in the body and an increased risk of diabetes in women.
Scroll down to discover the potential health hazards lurking in your cosmetics bag...
Researchers analysed urine samples taken from 2,350 participants who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
They found that women with higher levels of phthalates in their urine had almost twice the risk of developing diabetes than those with low levels of the chemical in their sample.
"This is an important first step in exploring the connection between phthalates and diabetes," said study author, Dr. James-Todd in a statement.
"We know that in addition to being present in personal care products, phthalates also exist in certain types of medical devices and medication that is used to treat diabetes and this could also explain the higher level of phthalates in diabetic women. So overall, more research is needed."
However, this isn't the first time phthalates have been linked to diabetes. Read the full story here...
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.
Before you slap on the lippy - take a look at these potential health hazards lurking in your make-up bag...
Hidden Health Traps In Your Make-Up Bag
Our make-up bags are a veritable breeding ground for germs, bacteria and infections. Make sure your cosmetics are in tip top shape (and germ-free) by following these helpful tips by make-up artist Lucy-Jayne Parker from <a href="http://lucyjaynemakeup.co.uk/" target="_hplink"><strong>Lucy Jayne Make-Up</strong></a>.
"Clean your brushes regularly, you don't have to do anything fancy with them! I clean my brushes with warm water and hand wash (with anti bacterial action) because they are cleaned after every use it needs to be quite gentile otherwise they wont last as long. You can also buy brush cleaners/brush spray that have antibacterial action. Leave the brushes to dry flat because if they are upside down or left in a pot to dry this can damage the brush and base of the brush (Ferrule)," explains Lucy. <strong>Tip:</strong> If you don't want to replace your brushes every month, wash the hairs under the faucet with mild baby shampoo.
Detox Your Make-Up
We're always hearing about the dangers of 'hormone disrupting' chemicals lurking in our cosmetics (phythalates and BPA's to name a few) that scientists suggest cause a long list of health problems (like hormone imbalance, increased breast cancer risk and behavioural issues). So, detox your products by checking the ingredients and steering clear of products that contain the following: methyl, butyl, ethyl, or propyl. "When looking at making a new makeup purchase, mineral foundation is a good way to go because its kinder to your skin and has anti-inflammatory properties that are great for problems like Rosacea and Acne and doesn't contain fragrances, preservatives or parabens. When making your purchase shop around and check ingredients as many brands that say they have 'mineral ranges' but they actually only contain a minimal amount of minerals and the rest is other ingredients!" says Lucy. <strong>Tip:</strong> Try purchasing make-up from organic 'green' companies who only use natural ingredients in their cosmetics and speak to a specialist before making your choices.
The common rule of thumb when it comes to how long you should use a cosmetic product is: <strong>if it's older than 18 months, throw it away</strong>. Checking the expiry date of your favourite mascara or foundation should be treated the same way we keep an eye on the use-by date on the milk in our fridge. This is because, like edible liquids, if foams, sprays or creams begin to go rotten, it creates a breeding ground for infectious bacteria, fungi and germs to develop. And we don't want to spread germs all over our faces do we? "Use by dates, this should be used as a guide. With anything powder (blush, eyeshadows, bronzer) they can last for ages but once they start to look a bit 'waxy' its time to get rid! As for anything liquid (foundations, cleansers, eyeliners) if they start to smell slightly off or separate they are out of date. Also foundations can oxidise and actually get darker the older they are so you may have originally bought the perfect colour but 18 months later you could find you are using looking slightly more tanned than you should be!" adds Lucy. <strong>Tip:</strong> Put the dell-by dates in your diary and have a monthly clear-out. Plus, it's also a great excuse to go make-up shopping!
Ditch The Jars
When buying make-up, try and opt for tubes instead of jars because every time you dip, swipe or swab your fingers into a jar of cream, you're introducing bacteria from your hands into the product and unwittingly contaminating it. This allows germs to stay put and breed, meaning every time you use the product, you could be wiping germs over your face. "If you have any eye infections or cold sores its a good idea to dispose of the products that you would normally use on those areas straight away because there is a good chance you could re-infect yourself if you keep on using them," explains Lucy. <strong>Tip:</strong> If you can't tear yourself away from jars, use a Q-tex tip to apply your make-up, rather than your fingers.