The Food and Drug Administration which controls the cosmetics in United States of America gives a good definition to cosmetics; intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or functions and any material used for that is a cosmetic product.

What are the cosmetics used to make us attractive, beautiful and pleasant?

They include the following:

Skin-care creams
Talcum Powders
Nail polishes
Eye and facial make up
Hair sprays and gels
Hair colours

All the products for the baby - bath salts, creams and oils

Many other local and natural herbs containing creams available in our world are also good.

Why do the women in western countries do more make up?

It is very easy to answer because of their white complexion they need some contrast colours in their face and without make-up it is not possible. Otherwise, they do not look good, few have decent make-up and very few do not use make-up at all. The majority use the hair colour and so the hair is not the indicator of natural beauty there. In Western countries, the young girls are almost addictive to cosmetics which bring social problems in the family, school and in the society

What about the cosmetics used by Indian women?

Whenever I meet a newly arrived young Indian woman in Germany all say that they have learnt as beautician. Now many women can afford to go to beauticians in India but exacerbation spoils their skin and beauty. Woman who cannot afford, wash with cold water, use the things which their mothers and grandmothers used and normally have healthy skin. A decent make up is good but at the end of the day it must be taken away in a professional way which is more important for your health. I am afraid most of them are not doing that!

Do you say all the cosmetics are important?

No, I did not tell that. We can differentiate care cosmetics from the decorative cosmetics. Even many manufacturers do this.

What are the effects of cosmetics on health?

Several people are against the allergy produced by cosmetics and others are against tests on animals.

Parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate and petroleum products may be harmful. Sodium lauryl sulphate causes skin problems. Parabens can cause skin irritation and skin allergies including contact allergies. It has also a weak estrogenic activity.

Synthetic fragrances are used in many cosmetics and the ingredients cause allergic reactions. Many other chemicals used are also allergic.

What are the different make up types?

As a chemist and clinical toxicologist I know a lot but as a woman you must know better than me. Do not forget, with lot of imagination and fantasy you need very little make up to be in the middle point.

Which countries have banned the test on animals?

It is banned now in Great Britain, Netherlands and Belgium. From 2009 it is also be banned in all the European Union countries.

Are there toxic substances found in cosmetics?

The toxic substances found in cosmetics are as follows:

• Wherever chemicals are used there will be problems. Here the known problem makers are phthalates in artificial fragrance and nail polishes.
• More than 20% of the cosmetics contain 1, 4-dioxane which causes cancer.
• Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives can cause irritation and allergic reactions and is a possible carcinogen.
• Parabens are preservatives found in many deodorants and skin-care products. This can cause reproductive damage (estrogenic activity) and have been detected in breast tumours.
• Propylene Glycol is a moisture retainer in skin-care products. It is a strong skin irritant, and causes liver problems and damage to kidney.
• Talc is closely related to carcinogen asbestos and its particles can cause tumours in the ovaries and lung cancer.
• There are several components in cosmetics which are not at all regulated and used chemicals and heavy metal may cause health problems. If you want you must use this but in small quantity and before go to bed remove them completely.

• P-Phynelenediamine used in hair dyes is also allergic to many. Do not exceed the applying time, never more than 15 min.

What is AHAs?

AHAs are often used in products claiming to reduce wrinkles or he signs of aging and improve the overall texture and feel of the skin. They are also used in chemical peels. Used in beauty and health centres and kits used in home. These are used in anti aging creams to smoothen your skin. But they destroy the skin and there by the chances of skin cancer is increasing. Avoid creams which contain AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids).

What are the side effects of AHAs?

The side effects include:

• Mild skin irritations
• Redness and flaking of the skin
• Blistering skin
• Burning skin
• Skin decolouration

• AHAs can increase the photosensitivity to the sun, increased risk for skin cancer.

One must be very careful.

Do not forget the beauty come from inside. Healthy food, life without stress, no alcohol and no tobacco are far better for anti aging than creams with or without AHAs.