Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lessons in Chemistry: Bovine Micturition!

by ktmell

So I was participating in this makeup workshop the other day which, for those of you who don't know, typically consists of a zillion makeup applications being beaten into your face. You wear each application for about 3 minutes, after which you have to promptly remove it with makeup wipes only to be beaten again. Not so great for your skin. It's good to know what models must feel like. Makes me glad I'm not 6 feet tall and shaped like a toothpick. Anyway, I highly recommend if you ever do participate in a makeup workshop to bring your own moisturizer. Please please please moisturize in between applications. Your skin will thank you.

I digress. Taking my own advice, I brought my moisturizer with me, and a friend of mine snatched it out of my hands to read the ingredients. The last ingredient was "imidazolidinyl urea," which he told me was cow pee. WTF. I've been putting cow pee on my face?!

I took matters into my own hands and googled it at home. P.S. Wikipedia = awesome. What I found out was not so awesome. Turns out it's not really cow pee, although when you see "urea," organically it can be derived from animal urine. Gross. Imidazolidinyl urea is an antimicrobial preservative used in cosmetics. Obviously it's cheaper for cosmetic companies to derive ingredients synthetically, so in almost all cases it comes from air and fossil fuels. Rest easy you're not slathering piss on your face. However the rest of what I found out was actually MORE disturbing. Imidazolidinyl urea acts as a formaldehyde releaser. I'll spell that out for you: a formaldehyde releaser is a chemical compound that slowly releases formaldehyde. Um, in case you didn't know, people, formaldehyde is classified as a probable carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It causes cancer. CANCER. (Cancer of the nose and throat, but what if I accidentally snarf a blob of that shit up my nostril?) In fact, people with known formaldehyde allergies are advised not to use products containing imidazolidinyl urea (and diazolidinyl urea, for that matter). Cosmetic companies in Sweden and Japan even went as far as to ban the use of formaldehyde in their products. Clearly those Swedes are prettier than us. And the Japanese are way better at math. Possible cow pee aside, why would I want to put something on my face that releases cancer all over it? Yuck.

Say you don't care about wearing a urine mask and fuck all to cancer because you're going die anyway. At least you'll be happy and soft in the meantime? Get this: Imidazolidinyl urea (and diazolidinyl urea—same thing, basically) can also cause dermatitis. Dermatitis makes your skin all red and yucky. Flaky sometimes, too. I've had it before. You don't want it. So not cute.

The moral of the story: research your ingredients, people. If you can't pronounce it, it not only may be animal feces, but that shiz could equal some serious nastiness.

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