Beauty is getting dangerous. Last week it was nail polish you had to look out for, now a study has found a particular chemical in some cosmetics increases diabetes risk.

The chemical known as phthalates is the substance added to a lot of plastics to make them flexible and transparent, and it’s actually evident in a lot of beauty products from self-tanners, face creams, and perfumes to make-up and hairspray.

Though only a small number of older individuals were included in the study from Uppsala University in Sweden, the results showing participants with higher levels of phthalates were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes was cause for concern.

When it comes to certain hairsprays, the chemical is often inhaled, and in the case of items like foundation and face creams in compacts, the product absorbs the chemical in the packaging and then that chemical is absorbed into the skin when it’s applied. Researchers caution that a lot more research needs to be done in this area to demonstrate a definitive cause and effect relationship but just the thought of these contaminants lurking around in products we use every day certainly makes the trend of organic beauty products—from facial cleansers to make-up and brushes—definitely worth a second thought.


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