Homemade cosmetics, touted on TikTok, may pose health risks

Homemade makeup products such as lip gloss are widely featured on TikTok videos, but just because they’re handmade doesn’t mean they’re safe, according to experts.

“Oftentimes, people equate things that are made at home as being more natural, but you may just be adding something that’s equally as harmful to your more ‘natural’ product,” said Tamarra James-Todd, Mark and Catherine Winkler Assistant Professor of Environmental Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a March 25, 2021, CNET article.

Cosmetics aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so the onus is on consumers to do their own research about which products and ingredients may be harmful, especially those purchased from small online businesses, the article noted. Preservatives such as parabens—a group of chemicals found in mass-produced products including shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, and sunscreens that may disrupt hormones, harm fertility and reproduction, and possibly increase cancer risk—may also be added to homemade products. Cosmetics made at home may be produced under unsanitary conditions. And some homemade products may contain essential oils, like lavender and tea tree oil, which can impact endocrine function, according to James-Todd.

“It’s really key that if you’re going to be making your own products, you educate yourself about what ingredients are in those products and what are some of the derivatives that could potentially be harmful,” she said.

Read the CNET article: TikTok is full of homemade lip glosses. But should you buy them?