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Women who wear make-up every day could be absorbing nearly 5lbs of the stuff into their skin every year, according to research reported in The Telegraph. According to the Weird Converter, that’s equivilent to 13 hockey pucks.

Many use more than 20 different beauty products a day striving to look their best while nine out of 10 apply make-up which is past its use by date.

Dependence on cosmetics and toiletries means that a cocktail of 4lb 6oz of chemicals a year is absorbed into the body through the skin.

Some synthetic compounds involved have been linked to side effects ranging from skin irritation to premature ageing and cancer.

Yum. So what should you be looking out for on the label?

Among chemicals under scrutiny are parabens (para-hydroxybenzoic acids) which are preservatives used in products including soap, shampoo, deodorant and baby lotion. Traces of parabens have been found in breast tumour samples, although its link to the development of the cancer is disputed.

Sodium lauryl sulphate, used to help create lather in soaps, shampoo, shaving foam, toothpaste and bubble bath, can cause skin irritation.

Photo by shizoo23 [rhha], shared under a Creative Commons license