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Post in Clean Beauty

PFAS In Makeup/ Clean Makeuo

I've been reading about PFAS recently after the study was released that half of our makeup has toxic chemicals in it called PFAS. I know Ulta Beauty's clean beauty section does not have PFAS in it but Sephora doesn't specifically screen for PFAS in its clean makeup products. Does anyone have any information on brands at Sephora that don't use PFAS? 


The article was pretty scary and I want to avoid PFAS if possible! 

Re: PFAS In Makeup/ Clean Makeuo

@arthibobbala I read the actual publication in full and have a lot of opinions on it (sorry in advance for the long response). The authors got samples of various brands from $ephora (US & Canada), Target, Shoppers (Canada) (and more but I forgot which retailers) which are all listed in the publication's supplementary materials. Not all the brands nor did all the products from a single brand were tested, just a small sample of brands and 1-3 products from each brand. 


While the authors did not say which brands had above average PFAS concentrations, they posted a list of what products they bought (i.e. Burt's Bees' lip product) and what ingredients (aside from just PFAS) were linked to increased PFAS concentrations (so that means products without PFAS can still have PFAS through other ingredients that were treated with/linked to PFAS).


Unfortunately all skincare, haircare, and beauty products (even the "clean" products and products claiming to not contain PFAS) contain at least one of these PFAS-associated ingredients (because these ingredients are often preservatives or used for emollience). Additionally the authors stated (along with other publications and researchers) that they do not know how much exposure one can get from skin and/or hair products before receiving the harmful effects (for example, they don't know how much foundation and how long one wears foundation before their fertility is affected). All the information I could find on how much chemicals you need to be exposed to to get the bad effects were studies done on mice and injection/feeding/direct chemicals onto the skin (aka active absorption, not passive like through a product with less amount of those chemicals onto the skin). However, key point is that PFAS is absorbed through the skin and accumulates


Also PFAS can be in untreated/poorly treated water, and other non-beauty products so it really is inescapable 😖

I resorted to using products with the least number of PFAS-containing/PFAS-treated/PFAS-linked ingredients (per the supplementary materials of that paper and from other research too). Hopefully in the future more research and work come out quantifying the level of exposure needed for the bad/harmful effects to show up and how to reduce PFAS use in various products and industries.


I definitely recommend reading the publication and other similar publications (I believe there were similar studies done in Swedish "clean" beauty products and in Japan) as well as checking out various scientists' views on this topic (NOT youtubers/social media "influencers" nor former scientists/educators, unless they are actively researching/involved in research as this is a ongoing, evolving, and complex topic). 

Hope this helped you somehow! 😊

Re: PFAS In Makeup/ Clean Makeuo

this is so comprehensive, thank you so much! I'm going to try to minimize the amount of makeup I wear since this is pretty scary but if you know of any brands that use fewer PFAS please let me know! 

Re: PFAS In Makeup/ Clean Makeuo


Before this article was published, I was only interested in "clean at sephora" labeled and "clean" beauty products, and so now I am just searching for products with the least amount of these PFAS-linked ingredients. So far, Tower 28 Beauty BeachPlease Lip + Cheek Cream Blush After Hours Tower 28 Beauty Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer Tower 28's bronzer, lip+cheek blush, and lip products have the least amount of PFAS-linked ingredients. 


What I did was write down a list of all the ingredients linked to PFAS in my Notes app on my phone and on my computer and then when comparing products, I choose the product with the overall fewer number of PFAS-linked ingredients and/or fewer PFAS-linked ingredients at the top of the list (the chemicals that make up a larger portion of the product are found at the top of the list. List of ingredients is from most amount to least amount in the product). Like in comparing LYS blush vs Tower 28 blush, Tower 28 blush wins. 

For foundation, I decided to finish my current foundation and then use only concealer. My goal (before this article) was to use foundation when needed this summer and working on my skin so by the fall I only need to wear concealer. Thankfully I am using less and less foundation as my skin begins to clear up! So I can't speak on foundation. I know in the study only ~40% of the concealers tested had moderate to high levels of PFAS so I'm more optimistic there. 

It's long-winded again but it's a tricky domain to navigate in and this is how I'm navigating it 

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