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Makeup under the Microscope!
by Wendy Fitos

Makeup under the Microscope

"Talc gives lab rats cancer!"

"Mineral oil will cause your skin to break out!"

"Glycolic acid peels will take away all your wrinkles!"

I get a headache just thinking about how to educate women on what will help their skin after reading claims about what an ingredient can do to the skin. By the time most women get to me, they are either ingredient gung-ho or they are afraid to put anything on their face.

Never fear, there are very few ingredients that are truly harmful to the skin and many times it is because the ingredient has been used ineffectively in a product.


Talc absorbs excess oil on the skin. There is nothing in this ingredient that will cause cancer or wrinkles. As with any ingredient, the finer the grade of the talc is, the better it is for the skin.

Talc-based powders will work the best for skins that are oily or acne prone as it will take excess oil of the face and dry out blemishes. Women that are concerned about dryness in the skin or wrinkles will work the best with powders that are talc-free as the powder will not be drying to the skin.


Minerals, quite simply, prevent the growth of bacteria. Women are buying mineral makeup like men pick up the Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated because of the marketing of mineral makeup in the past five years.

Most foundations, whether a cream, liquid or powder form contain minerals. If foundations didn't contain minerals and some preservatives, products would be contaminated quickly and ineffective for use on the skin.

Most mineral powder foundations contain titanium dioxide and zinc which are physical sunscreens that reactive skins may not be able to use. Although good for the skin, the coverage mineral powder foundations provide will not be as thorough as shown on infomercials.


This is one of the few ingredients that can be damaging to the skin because it can clog pores, which can lead to acne. Even with this drawback, there are women who have used nothing but baby oil to take of their makeup for years and have beautiful skin.

It is often a woman's skin type that determines how her skin will react to mineral oil. Mineral oil is made of larger particles which make it hard for the skin to absorb. The oil sits on the skin causing it to block pores which will be harsh on women with large pores and oilier skin.


This oft-heard about ingredient is a derivative of Vitamin A and is very effective for resurfacing the skin and diminishing wrinkles. Glycolic peels have grown in popularity because the results are quickly noticed.

I recommend that when you are having a glycolic peel in a salon that is not governed by a doctor that you talk to your esthetician about the peel before it is administered. Glycolic peels that contain 30% Glycolic Acid are the only peels that salons are allowed to perform without a doctor on the premises.

Glycolic acid can burn the skin when used incorrectly and a sunscreen must be used daily when having glycolic peels because the acid will cause sun sensitivity which can lead to UV damage.

And…remember, when there is a report that an ingredient caused cancer in rats...Rats are more prone to cancer than humans and to test an ingredient, rats are often injected with several times the rate that a human being would ever put on their skin.

Fashion Crimes - CSI
Wendy Fitos is a licensed Makeup Artist and Esthetician. She can be reached at Renuvo Salon, 20006 Detroit Road, Suite 203, Rocky River, Ohio 44116 or by calling 440-333-1965. Wendy looks forward to answering any questions via email at wendy@clevelandwomen.com.

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Makeup Expert Wendy Fitos

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