Why Switch to Natural and Organic Makeup
If you apply makeup to your skin every day or even if it’s just for that special occasion, it may be time to take a good look at the products in your makeup bag and make the switch to cleaner, plant-derived cosmetics. After-all, it’s estimated that 60% of what you put on your body is absorbed into your skin and since the ingredients in cosmetics aren’t tightly regulated or tested by the government, the result is daily exposure to potentially toxic chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, talc and lead. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics estimates that the average person is exposed to 127 toxic chemicals from their cosmetics each day!
Plant-based cosmetics that offer safer ingredients are much gentler on your skin and the environment. Let’s examine some of the key ingredients to watch out for and some of the key ingredients to look for when shopping for cosmetics.
Parabens, the Hormone Disruptor
Chemicals that bind to your hormone receptors that mimic the function of your endogenous hormones such as estrogen, are in your conventional makeup products. Parabens are only one of the chemicals included on this list, a common preservative that may increase your risk of certain cancers and promote developmental and birth defects. And yes, these hormone disrupting chemicals get into your body.
According to a study published in the journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, parabens and phthalates were detected in the urine samples of teenage girls. However, once the makeup was swapped for non-toxic brands, the concentration of these chemicals reduced to between 25 and 45 per cent within three days.
The best natural and organic blush to buy: Mineral Fusion’s Blush in Smashing contains a powerful blend of pomegranate, white tea, red tea and sea kelp, plus Vitamins C and E to defend skin against radical damage and get that healthy pink glow.
Talc in Your Powder
You can find talc in skin powders and blush. Talc wicks moisture and prevents caking for a mattifying finish. However, talc can clog your pores, irritate your skin and increase acne lesions in those who are acne prone. Talc can also be contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen. A better option is to look for ingredients such as arrowroot powder and kaolin clay which can do the same job as talc with less risk of skin irritation.
The best non toxic foundation to buy: We love Mineral Fusion’s Liquid Mineral Foundation, which comes in Warm, Neutral, Olive and Deep shades. Not only do you get full, flawless coverage, but it’s formulated with the natural UV protection of minerals and only the safest ingredients, including licorice root, aloe vera and lavender to soothe the skin all day.
Lead in Your Lipstick
Lead isn’t in your household paint anymore, and it’s routinely removed from homes during major renovations. So why is it in your lipstick? Lipstick is perhaps the one makeup item that sits on and sometimes gets into your mouth. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found lead in over half of the 33 brands of lipstick they tested!
Although lead is not allowed in cosmetics, it may appear in your favorite lipstick or eyeshadow due to the contamination of raw ingredients or as a by-product of the manufacturing process. Lead is a carcinogen and a developmental toxin that can cross the placenta. It may be time to add a new, naturally-derived lip staple to your makeup essentials.
The best organic lipstick brands: Burt’s Bees not only carries your favorite lip balm, but amazing all-natural lipstick shades as well. Try Burt’s Bees 100% natural moisturizing lipstick in Brimming Berry or Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon in Redwood Forest.
For a longer lasting hold, try Zorah lipstick in Japan. It’s anti-aging, vegan and gluten-free, made with pure mineral pigments and argan oil for ultra hydration.
Fragrances and Phthalates
Manufacturers do not have to disclose the ingredients in fragrances used in your skin care products as these chemical concoctions are known to be trade secrets – one fragrance can be composed of multiple chemicals causing skin irritation, allergies and respiratory symptoms. By avoiding products that have ‘fragrance’ listed as an ingredient, you will reduce your exposure to the phthalates lurking in fragrances and used as lubricants in cosmetics.
The best non-toxic and natural mascara: Swap your current mascara with a natural and organic lash booster, like Zorah Biocosmetics Mascara, or Suncoat Sugar Based Mascara, which uses natural multi-sugar biopolymer instead of synthetic chemicals.
Helpful Ingredients to Look For
There are many clean and safer brands available in the marketplace today and the good thing about clean makeup is that the ingredients are often nourishing to the skin that lies under your makeup. Look for products that contain oils such as almond, coconut, shea and cocoa butter and those that use pigments derived from plants including black tea and tomato. Natural antioxidants such as turmeric and vitamin c brighten your complexion and may repair skin damage.
It is up to you as the consumer to learn about the ingredients in your skin care products and to vote with your dollar by choosing cruelty-free makeup from companies with safer ingredients on their labels.