Dr Kedar Padte
When I asked a teenager girl we had helped deliver 16 year ago “How come you use so much cosmetic, do you care so much about how you look to others?
She said: “It’s not about how I look to others. It matter to me and I would wear cosmetic irrespective of whether someone is looking at me or not.”
Not taken aback by the retort, I continued to discuss the types of cosmetics used by teenagers and she said it would take her a good three hours to give me a superficial glance into the subject of cosmetology that starts with hair and does not end at toe nails.
I decided to study the subject of cosmetology and was surprised to see the extent of its use, manufacture economics, sales, side effects and what have you.
My teenage friend continued “Doctor, just for the face you need a primer, foundation, concealer, blush/bronzer, powder, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick or gloss and more. A toner and the right moisturiser can be of great help.”
A girl’s make up is not a mask, it’s a form of art and more importantly it’s a form of soul expression. Cosmetics are good, however excess of anything is bad.
If you use makeup every single day for years, you may want to know about the side effects:
Increased chances of getting cancer: Most cosmetic compounds contain fragrances that have benzene, phthalates and synthetic shampoos have carcinogens.
Allergies: If one has sinusitis or bronchitis, makeup materials and spray have ample allergens to produce skin allergies and respiratory discomfort including asthma and respiratory infection.
Infertility: Butyl paraben containing sprays, deodorants and cosmetics can cause damage to DNA especially sperm.
Thyroid: Exposure to damaging chemicals over a long period can disrupt thyroid function. Triclosan a chemical used in cosmetics to keep the product free of bacteria is known to disrupt the endocrine system especially thyroid gland.
Skin: Skin allergy and eczema on face, axillae, neck, especially close to eyes, can be dangerously risky to prolonged exposure to cosmetics and can result in redness, allergy, itching and chronic scaling. Parabens (ethyl paraben) have been known to cause many allergies.
Skin discoloration: Skin toners, blushers and sunscreens are known to cause discoloration of skin, bleaching or darkening effect. Inferior quality products can cause discoloration, including patches, redness, brown to grey pigmentation resulting in blotches and uneven pigment spread.
Eye infection: The glittering substances applied on the eyelids can at times knock the light out of one’s eyes. Severe allergic condition can last over weeks. Mascara, kajal or eyeliner can be of large discomfort to the teenager.
Social phobia syndrome: While it’s important to look good, have self esteem and present oneself, it is also important to not be dependent on makeup 24×7. For instance, in an emergency one may have to leave the house without wearing any makeup at all. If you cannot do this, you have social phobia syndrome wherein you will be scared to meet people without makeup. It’s important to be yourself confidently and throw caution to the wind and also be natural.
So wear all the cosmetics you want to but ensure you are safe. It’s also important to remember that great body language, love, affection and a genuine smile is the best makeup.
Keep smiling friends
(Columnist is a well-known gynaecologist practising in Panaji. Send in your queries to email@example.com)