Friday, 14 December 2012

Know Your Ingredients | Iron/Iron Oxide

Over the last few weeks I haven’t been feeling my best emotionally. I’ve been feeling very depressed and unmotivated and I do feel that my blog has suffered from this as I haven’t put in as much focus as I normally do because I just couldn’t concentrate.

After a visit from Mother Nature late last week, the s**t hit the fan!!! I was feeling very dizzy and nauseated. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t stop crying. I could be laughing one minute and threatening to stab you with a spoon the next, Absolutely anything would set me off and it got to a point that the giant got very worried because in the 5 years he’s known me, he has never seen my emotions change so rapidly in a short space of time looool he just couldn’t say or do ANYTHING right.

Anyway long story short, I found out over the weekend that my mood swings were brought on by an iron deficiency . . . no seriously . . . that’s all it was. The lack of iron in my diet made me anemic, which in turn caused my moodswings. I am now on Iron supplements (which taste HORRIBLE) but in light of my iron revelation, I have decided to base today’s Know Your Ingredient on Iron Oxide and its use in cosmetics.

Iron is necessary for our bodies to function. It promotes blood oxygenation (aka helps your blood carry oxygen around your body). Iron Oxide aka Oxidized Iron aka Rust is is commonly used as a colourant and can be found in foundations, concealers, blushes, eye shadows etc. There are 3 colour ranges achieved by using iron oxides:-

Yellow – Ferric Oxide Hydrate
Black – Ferric Ferrous Oxide
Red – Ferric Oxide/Colcothar

You can get different shades of brown using Titanium Dioxide (oxidized Titanium) but that’s going off topic
Iron Oxide has been used in cosmetics for a long time! There is evidence to it being used in ancient festivals as pigments or inks for tribal tattoos, so if there is such a long history of its use in cosmetics, why is there so much caution over its use?

I will tell you why!

While Iron Oxides are a naturally occurring mineral, the oxides used in cosmetics are actually chemically constructed because natural iron can be contaminated with used other ingredients which can be very unhealthy or toxic to skin (so if you ever see a natural product that lists iron oxides in their ingredient list, someone is telling a porky!!) and even more if you find a naturally company that boasts using natural iron oxides in its makeup BE ON YOUR GUARD!!!!!! What these companies are actually doing is tweaking some of the natural properties in iron which can be very harmful to skin. You might be asking but why would they do this? Tweaking iron properties would give you hypo allergic, high grade mineral makeup which is why I am probably overly cautious over mineral makeup and will prefer to avoid it if I can

Is It Safe?

Depends . . .

Synthetic Iron Oxide does NOT cause any suspected or recognized health effects to your body and can’t be detected in human tissue BUT if it is contaminated with another material or ‘tweaked’ then it could potentially harm you.