Is Your Beauty Product Dangerous?

Amanda Goh investigates the risks of aluminium packaging.

Amanda Goh
9th May 2018

When contemplating on whether or not to buy a beauty product, there are many steps that lead us to the final purchase. These include whether it is worth the price, or if it will suit us. But, something we don’t consider as often is whether the packaging damages us.

With so many different types of beauty packaging these days, it is important to know what kind of packaging is the best for different products. Aluminium is being used more and more– whether it be kitchen utensils, cans, beauty products or foil. There are, of course many advantages in having aluminium products, such as it being a light weight, recyclable and ductile material. However, there are also disadvantages in using aluminium as packaging, especially for beauty products. There is an increasing number of researchers trying to determine the presence of elements in different products, one of which is aluminium. The aluminium contained in packaging may leech onto cosmetic products, which is put on our bodies, thus causing the products to be dangerous to use.

Although the usage of aluminium containers leaves us with benefits of it being air-tight and having a long shelf life, the possible effects of aluminium on the human body has gained more attention. While it is true that a small amount of aluminium intake would probably not kill you, the accumulation of aluminium in the body is a risk. In the 2013 documentary ‘Age of Aluminium’, it mentions a possible link between aluminium and cancer. Aluminium can be absorbed into the body and processed, causing metal particles to build up in the body over decades. Furthermore, one of the properties of aluminium products is that it easily passes through the blood-brain barrier. This worryingly shows that the use of aluminium packaging for beauty products may cause more harm than good to our bodies.

The manufacturers of items containing aluminium, particularly within the beauty and healthcare product industry, may need to reassess their approach to packaging in light of the research that shows aluminium could present a threat to our wellbeing. Given the open talk about aluminium, producers might soon discover themselves in scenarios where their customers are voicing concerns about their choice of materials.

Ultimately, we will have to wait and see what position researchers take on the impacts of aluminium on the body, and whether the public discussion and scientific research will increase. Regardless, producers and safeguards ought to implement risk management for the usage of aluminium in products and monitor its situation to reduce worst-case scenarios and risks.

Whilst on the topic of dangerous packaging, there are alternatives that can be, and should be used. To protect our health we should choose products which contain less aluminium and more “friendly” packaging which would do less harm to ourselves.

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