Throughout the past decade, concern among the general public is growing regarding the potential health effects that chemicals may have on our bodies. It’s not a secret that, in today’s world, we are exposed to chemicals on a daily basis. And although some chemicals are rather obvious and easy to avoid, others are more difficult to detect as they are hidden in common everyday items. Take packaging materials, for example. We deal with them every day yet only a few of us know how chemical certain wrappings really are.
When talking about potentially toxic chemicals in packaging materials, the two main industries that raise concern among people are those of food and cosmetics. When consumed, certain chemicals found in wrapping materials can cause cancer, lower IQ, disruption to the endocrine system, and even reproductive problems.
Among all the chemicals found in packaging materials, the best known and most discussed one is BPA which is one of the most commonly produced chemicals in the world. BPA is mostly used to produce durable and transparent plastics. You find BPA plastic wrappings in the form of water bottles, as well as plastic jars, containers, and cosmetic bottles. As of such, BPA-based packaging is highly popular in the food and cosmetic industry. The problem with BPA is that it can leak out of the plastic wrapper and enter the content of the packaging. Upon consumption, BPA can then enter the body which, in turn, may lead to certain health issues such as diabetes or cancer.
For this reason, more and more people are getting concerned about the use of BPA-based plastic packaging in the cosmetic industry. Cosmetics are applied straight onto your skin and around the most sensitive areas of your body such as your lips and eyes. Therefore, it’s not more than normal that people are concerned knowing that potentially harmful toxins may enter their cosmetics through the packaging it has been stored in. And let’s face it, most (affordable) cosmetics do come stored in plastic tubes, bottles, or containers – all of which are highly likely to contain BPA.
So, what can we do? If plastic packaging may affect your health, it is normal to search for alternatives. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are certain packaging materials which are safer and healthier compared to others. The FDA ranks plastic packaging near the bottom of the list when it comes to health and the environment. The main reason behind this being is the above-stated facts that many plastic packaging materials contain BPA. Added to that, plastic is a man-made chemical that is bad for the environment. Plenty of reasons for you to try and stay away from it.
Luckily, there are plenty of healthier and safer alternatives available. According to the FDA, glass and metal (tin & aluminum) packaging are the safest options when it comes to cosmetic packaging. Metal tins, for instance, are considered to be 100% recyclable and toxic-free. This makes them a sustainable and smart choice both for the environment and personal health. Although some tin cans may feature a BPA coating, these are more commonly used in the food industry. When talking about small metal containers used for cosmetic goods, metal tins are, generally speaking, 100% BPA-free.
Another great benefit of tin containers, besides the fact that they are toxic-free, is the fact that they are extremely easy and cheap to produce. As of such, many cosmetic companies are already using metal tins to store their goods. They are especially popular for holding cremes, lotions, and lip balms.
Besides metal tins, a glass packaging also is considered to be 100% safe by the FDA. Just like tin containers, glass packaging is 100% recyclable which makes them an environmentally friendly choice. But more importantly, because glass is a natural product itself it, generally speaking, is 100% free of any chemicals such as BPA. In fact, glass is considered to be the safest packaging material among all wrappings available. It’s durable, toxic-free, and does not affect the content of the wrapping in any way imaginable.
Unlike metal tins, however, glass is relatively expensive to produce. Added to that, it is heavy which makes transportation costlier. And obviously, glass also is easier to get damaged. That being said, glass does have one major advantage: its looks. Glass packaging looks stylish and premium; making it the number one choice of many high-end cosmetic brands. Ranging from perfume bottles to jars used for lotions or mascara – glass is a popular wrapping among cosmetic companies.
As for the reasons stated above, many major health care institutions, health professionals, and even national governments advise people to try and avoid plastic packaging when it comes to food or cosmetics. Luckily, more and more companies are becoming aware of the potential dangers their packaging bring along and are thus adapting in order to be more sustainable. Sustainable packaging materials such as tin containers and glass jars are becoming more and more popular among cosmetic companies. This allows consumers to choose healthier and less harmful wrappings over the traditional plastic containers that potentially may leak BPA and other sorts of chemicals into your makeup.
So, the next time you head out for cosmetic shopping, try to avoid the ones stored in plastic jars or bottles. Instead, choose for makeup that comes in a metal or glass wrapping. Although they may be a tiny bit more expensive, it certainly is worth the money in terms of health and safety.