Why Your Beauty Routine Might be Hurting Your Lungs

You want to look good, of course. When you're happy with your appearance, it can boost your mood and make you feel good in general. As we know, things that seem good sometimes have hidden dangers and pit falls. Sometimes these problems don't outweigh the good effects, and it's just a matter of how much we want to subject ourselves to.

If you have sensitive lungs, allergies or a chronic lung disease, however, there are a few things that you probably wouldn't want to use at all. If you still want to use them, there are some things you can do to limit your exposure, and some alternatives to your favorite products.

Aerosol Sprays

Aerosol hairsprays are the most obvious culprit, as well as other sprays for your body and hair. Aerosol sprays are known to be harmful to the environment and damaging to the ozone layer, but they continue to be a popular beauty product. You might have used aerosol hairsprays since you were young and you prefer the effect it gives your hair over non-aerosol hairsprays.

The polymers and solvents in aerosol spray cans can be the problem, but there isn't enough evidence for some of these propellent agents to be considered dangerous enough to be banned. It wasn't until the 1970s that the toxic agents, vinyl chloride or methylene chloride, were found to be dangerous and removed from aerosol hairsprays.

The best alternative to hairspray is mousse, which gives you a more flexible hold than gel or non-aerosol hairspray. Just apply the mousse to your hair when it's still damp and use a comb to smooth it through.

Nail Products

There are many chemicals in nail beauty products that have long names that are hard to pronounce. Osha's official website (OSHA.gov) has outlined the dangers of all of the chemicals you might find in a nail salon, and what they can do to you if you are exposed to them over a period of time.

For example, finger nail glue remover contains the chemical acetonitrile, which is attributed to nose and throat irritation and breathing problems. Many nail polishes contain formaldehyde, which has been known to cause wheezing, cough and difficulty breathing. If you have a lung condition, your lungs are even more sensitive to these things and you should limit your time spent in nail salons.

If you still love to paint your nails, look for nail polishes that are declared to be free of harmful chemicals. As beauty companies become more health and environmentally conscious, they will try harder to create products that aren't so dangerous.

Mineral Makeup

The less likely and probably most surprising danger is loose mineral makeup. Some minerals are damaging to your lungs, such as Titanium Dioxide. Watch out for mineral makeups that contain nanotechnology, which means the makeup particles are tiny and therefore easier to blend.

There aren't any regulations on the use of nanotechnology as of yet, and the mineral makeup companies might not disclose if they are using them or not. You will have to do some research to find out whether a company used it in their products or not.

Opt for mineral makeups that are pressed or come in a liquid form to avoid breathing in minute particles of minerals that should not be inhaled.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

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