Do you read makeup labels like you read food labels? After reading this post by my guest author, Deja Cronley from DejaVuOrganics.com, you’ll be better equipped to read the labels and determine if you may want to change the makeup you’re using. Without further ado, here’s Deja…
Today was the day. I was fifteen years old and my mom finally agreed to take me shopping. It felt like I had waited forever for this day but it had really only been about two years which, in teen time, felt like forever.
We walked into the store and my stomach flipped. I was in awe of all the choices in front of me. Browns, tans, reds, purples, greens. When I thought of make up the only colors that came to mind were brown, beige, and black but there was so much more here.
My mom guided me to the counter and told the lady she wanted to show me some basic tips on how to make makeup look natural. She matched my skin tone for base makeup, showed me how to apply a touch of eyeliner and mascara, and then slapped on a fluorescent purple lipstick. Just kidding- she stuck to a natural pink.
My days of being enthralled with makeup are now behind me but occasionally I still like to throw on a bit of makeup to feel extra pretty so I was sad when I discovered just how bad some cosmetics can possibly be.
Possibly. I’m sure you noticed that word because, here’s the thing, safety testing is not required for the industrial chemicals which are added to personal care products. According to the Office of Cosmetics and Colors at the federal Food and Drug Administration, “…a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA.”
Basically, they can use anything because it has never been proven to be harmful. Talk about backwards.
And, since our skin is our biggest organ and absorbs everything around us, that means anything we use gets direct access to our circulatory and lymphatic system day after day, use after use.
Dangerous Ingredients to Avoid in Cosmetics
There are literally tens of thousands of ingredients used in cosmetics, none of which have been proven to be safe. A lot have side effects including skin and lung irritation (which can both develop into serious problems) however, some of the worst ingredients I have found are listed below.
|Butylated compounds (bht, bha)||Endocrine disruptors linked to organ, developmental, and reproductive toxicity.|
|Imidazolidinyl Urea (and other formaldehyde releasing preservatives)||Known allergen and toxicant; possible carcinogen.|
|Lead||Technically lead is not supposed to be used in cosmetics but it is still found possibly in some color additives through contamination.|
|Octinoxate||An unstable chemical linked with endocrine disruption and thyroid disorders which have been linked to.|
|Parabens||Endocrine disruptor which mimics estrogen in the body and has been found in breast cancer tumors in 19/20 women.|
|Polyethylene Glycols||Targets the liver and kidneys and can cause kidney failure. It also allows other chemicals to be more readily absorbed through the skin.|
|Phthalates||Another endocrine disruptor; known to cause early onset of puberty which has been linked to increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer.|
|Synthetic Colors||Environmental toxin and allergen.|
|Synthetic Fragrances||Toxic Endocrine disruptors and possible carcinogens.|
Kind of scary, right?
Non-Toxic Makeup to Use Instead
At this point you are probably wondering “So what the heck can I use without poisoning myself?”
Thankfully, there is now an amazing database developed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) called Skin Deep. EWG is a non-profit organization who is dedicated to educating the public and the environment about different chemicals in cosmetics, cleaning, food, and our water.
They have put together a database with thousands of cosmetics and have broken them down by their ingredients and then graded them for safety and environmental effect.
If you want to know how safe (or toxic) your current makeup is, you can look it up and see the score it has been assigned with 1 being the least toxic and 10 being the most. You can also simply hover over ‘Makeup’ and then select what you are looking for to get an itemized list of the cleanest makeup available.
A Few Final Thoughts
Sometimes the thought of changing something we are comfortable and familiar with can be scary. I get it, I do. My husband literally had to convince me to get a new bag instead of patching up the one I have had for ten years now. It’s comfortable and familiar and I know all the pockets.
However, changes can also be fun and, here’s a small secret, you don’t have to change everything at once. 1) That would be heck of expensive and 2) it can be a little too scary or even frustrating. Especially with something like makeup which can sometimes require a little trial and error.
Instead of replacing everything at once, just try to look for natural alternatives as you start to run out of things and eventually your makeup will be toxin free.
Have you ever tried any natural brands of makeup that worked well? If so, share them below!
About the author: Deja Cronley is a Registered Nurse turned Blogger. She fell in love with natural living four years ago and has dedicated herself to educating others about organics. She loves Crossfit, the beach, and playing with her kids. Read more about organic, non-toxic living at DejaVuOrganics.com.