GREENSBORO, N.C. — PFAS or per and polyfluoroalkyl substances are manmade and referred to as "forever chemicals" because they can take thousands of years to break down.
PFAS are so common they're used in nonstick pots and pans, cellphones, furniture, airplanes, and makeup.
At the University of Notre Dame, Professor Graham Peaslee recently led a team of researchers who studied the levels of PFAS in makeup. Researchers tested more than 200 products made by 64 retail and makeup brands. The highest levels of PFAS were found in products that had the most durability and didn't smudge, like waterproof mascara, foundation, and liquid lipstick.
"In the ones that said water-resistant or the ones that said long-lasting, there was a very high percentage of those, 14 out of 15 or six out of seven that had high levels of PFAS," Peaslee said.
Most of the products tested, about 88%, did not list the chemicals as ingredients. That means you might not have any idea what you're putting on your skin.
2 Wants To Know looked to the EPA for the human health risks of PFAS. The toxins build up in your body over time. Some of the issues:
Reproductive effects, decreased fertility, high blood pressure in pregnant women
- Developmental delays in children, low weight, etc.
- Reduces the ability of the body's immune system to fight infections and reduced vaccine response.
- Interfering with the body's natural hormones
A quick Google search of “makeup without PFAS” brought up all kinds of articles including one by Greenmatters.com. We’re going to show their list below, but there’s another way to make it easy for you when you’re out shopping. Ulta has an Ulta Beauty’s Clean Ingredients pillar that lists all the brands that do not use any perfluorinated compound like PFAS, PFOA or PFOS.
Here is the list from Greenmatters.com:
- Axiology (Axiology is also zero waste)
- BH Cosmetics
- Burt’s Bees (while Burt’s Bees is cruelty-free, most of their products are not vegan)
- Fenty Beauty (Rihanna's Fenty Beauty has a number of sustainability initiatives)
- Florence by Mills
- H&M (H&M’s beauty line is the only brand listed under the PFAS-free cosmetics category by PFAS Central)
- Kiko Milano
- Mad Hippie
- Physicians Formula
- PYT Beauty
- The Ordinary