Silica in Skincare May Cause Asthma, Cancer
A few years ago silica was proclaimed to be the ultimate antiaging mineral. The reasoning was simple: since silica is a major component of collagen, we need to eat, drink, and apply silica topically to help skin to stay firm, the hair shiny and teeth strong. Health food shop owner in Toronto claimed that ample amounts of silica she consumed during pregnancy helped her have a blissfully easy delivery and postpartum period.
This is no doubt silica plays a positive role in maintaining bone density. Some studies suggest that shortage of silica in the brain and nerves may affect memory, too. Horsetail, which contains concentrated silica in natural form, is used to treat urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder stones, and itâ??s also helpful in treating cellulite.
Fine silica, typically used in industrial applications and inhaled by workers, is associated with a wide range of disorders. Same fine silica dust is used in skincare and makeup. Silica microparticles are often inhaled when we apply silica-containing facial powders or foundations. Silica is found in makeup, toothpastes, masks, and baby powders. As silicon dioxide, silica is widely used in food as anticaking and grinding agent.
Silica in Beauty Products
Some mineral foundations contain silica. You should run not walk from them. When we apply the mineral foundation, we buff the powder into skin, so airborne particles easily enter our lungs. For the sake of your health, avoid silica-containing mineral makeup.
Silica dust is widely used in skincare for its light-dissolving and oil-absorbing abilities. Here are some products that contain large amounts of silica dust:
Avon ANEW Ultimate Skin Transforming Cream, Murad Post Acne Spot Lightening Kit, Ultima II Glowtion range, Clarins Extra Firming products, Bliss See Spots Run Acne Treatment, Laura Mercier Secret Brightener, Gillette Satin Care Gel Extra Protection, Chanel Precision T-Mat, Dior Addict lipsticks, Annemarie Borlind Fluid Makeup, Revlon Age Defying Makeup, philosophy The Party House, Avon True Color Eyeshadows, Biotherm Biofirm Lift, Estee Lauder Prime FX Face Definer, Aveeno Positively Radiant range, Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Face and Body Polish, Sue Devitt makeup, Banana Boat sunscreens, and many others.
While natural silica is beneficial to our health, mineral silica in micronized form is very harmful, and here’s why.
Cancer and Silica
Association of silica with diseases like cancers has been determined long time ago. Silica causes lung and esophageal cancer, according to Californian Proposition 65 List of Carcinogens (Proposition 65 List of Carcinogens can be obtained from http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/prop65_list/Newlist.html)
Other types of cancer induced by silica include mesothelioma, pancreatic cancer, leukemia, and sarcoma (Toxicant and Disease Database. The Collaborative on Health and the Environment, 2006). In general, silica acts in lungs similar to asbestos.
Silica also a powerful liver and kidney toxin linked to glomerulonephritis, granulomatous disease of liver. As a systemic toxin, silica is blamed for rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, lupus erythematosus and general immunity depression. The worst thing about silica is that it accumulates in the body possibly triggering diseases years after exposure.
This disease is caused by inhalation of crystalline silica dust. During silicosis, people suffer from inflammation and scarring in forms of nodular lesions in the upper lobes of the lungs. When fine particles of silica dust are deposited in the lungs, macrophages that ingest the dust particles will set off an inflammation response by releasing tumor necrosis factors, interleukin-1, leukotriene B4 and other cytokines. In turn, these stimulate fibroblasts to proliferate and produce collagen around the silica particle, thus resulting in fibrosis and the formation of the nodular lesions.
According to CHE Toxicant and Disease Database, silica is extremely toxic when inhaled. It can trigger severe asthma symptoms and bronchitis.
Sand cannot be polluting, right? Wrong. Micronized silica is different from sand, and according to National Library of Medicine HazMap, silica is a persistent toxin for wildlife, and it does not biodegrade (of course it doesn’t, since it’s a mineral). (HazMap Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents. National Library of Medicine, 2006.) Silica is the second most common mineral on earth. But micronized, finely grinded silica is a grave danger.
Green Beauty Solution
If you insist you must take silica, buy a horsetail herbal supplement or a silica gel. By all means avoid all skincare and makeup containing pure silica or its salts. There are many other safe light-diffusing ingredients such as titanium dioxide, mica and iron oxides that had not been linked to lung cancer in humans.