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There is so much to consider when you purchase your makeup. Is it the right shade? Do you know how to use it? Will it slide right in with the rest of your makeup routine? Is the brand itself reliable, or will the makeup come right off within a couple of hours? But even more importantly, you should be asking if the makeup you are choosing is healthy for your skin. Many companies promise safe cosmetics, but do they actually deliver?
Makeup itself can be unhealthy if you use the wrong products, sleep in your makeup, or don’t use the kind that is appropriate for your skin. However, wearing makeup every day is not a bad thing. It's important to know what you are looking for and choose the right kind.
Everyone’s skin is different, but there are basic rules that can help you avoid makeup that is inherently unhealthy. Some manufacturers put chemicals in their products that are synthetic or harsh on your sensitive skin.
Want to make the smartest choice next time you're makeup shopping?
Keep reading so you can learn all about what you should and shouldn’t look for in a product.
Top 10 Chemicals You Should Avoid in Cosmetics
You most likely avoid chemicals in the food you eat that are toxic for your body. So why should you put toxic chemicals straight into your skin through your makeup? Using these chemical-laden products every day is a guarantee that your skin will become unhealthy and even more bad things will be happening underneath the surface layers.
Avoid these 10 chemicals in all of your products, whatever it takes!
1. Parabens. These are sneaky ones to catch because they have different names. They usually begin with prefixes containing:
Parabens are commonly used in makeup products because they act as a preservative to stop bacteria from growing.
Sounds great, right?
Except for that fact that studies have shown these parabens also produce properties that are similar to estrogen and increase your risk of breast and other type of cancer. In fact, even the tumors that were biopsied were found to have parabens still in them.
2. Fragrance or parfums. It simply makes the product smell more pleasant. This is because the combination of natural and synthetic products can produce not so sweet scents. But these synthetic fragrances or parfums also affect your body’s hormones. They have also been linked to lung disease and increased dermatitis.
3. Formaldehyde. Kind of a no brainer, right? Who would want to use a product on their skin that's used in embalming? But some makeup companies sneak it right by you. In fact, it’s found in the majority of:
- Nail polishes
- Body cleanses and washes
- Eye shadows and other cosmetics
Formaldehyde is used as a preservative in these products, but it is considered to a be carcinogenic.
4. Phthalates. Similar to parabens, these guys come in all sorts of different names. Dibutyl, diethyl, and dimethyl are often found in most makeup products such as:
- Nail polish
Phthlates are endocrine disruptors that are also linked to breast cancer, but these harsh chemicals also have been known to cause birth defects. Be careful though, they aren’t always obvious, since they can fall under the fragrance or parfum category.
5. Propylene glycol. Often used in sunscreen, this product is a known skin conditioning agent that also qualifies as a skin irritant. It penetrates your skin, causing rashes, hives, and even dermatitis. This chemical is present in many moisturizers, makeup products, and hair products.
6. Artificial or synthetic colors. Just about everything has a color in it. Pay special attention when letters D and C come before the name of the color; consider that a warning. These colors are labeled carcinogens, but they are found in multiple makeup products, especially lipsticks.
7. Sodium lauryl sulphate. This chemical, or its partner chemical sodium laureth sulphate, is found in almost all body and face cleaning products, mascaras, and even household cleaning products. When these chemicals interact with certain other chemicals, they have been found to form nitrosamines, which are carcinogens.
Triclosan – A known endocrine disruptor that affects the thryoid and your reproductive hormones, this chemical is often found in products that require antimicrobial chemicals, like hand sanitizers and even toothpaste and deodorant.
Toluene – Let’s stick with the fact that if it’s difficult to pronounce, it’s likely not good for you, and continue that into toluene. It’s often seen in ingredient lists as benzene, phenylmethane, or methylbenzene. These chemicals are called petrochemicals because they are made from oil sources like petroleum or tar.
The vapors of toluene chemicals have been linked to developmental damage in fetuses and also disrupts your immune system.
Benzophenones, etc. These are chemical sunscreens that come in a multitude of names, like PABAs, avobenzone, exthoxycinnmate (think – pronunciation issues). They absorbe UV light, which is an endocrine disruptor as well. These products can cause damage to your cells as well as cancers.
What are the Safest Cosmetic Brands?
Avoiding all ten of those chemicals isn’t always easy, but if you know the cosmetic brands to stick to, that helps you narrow the field.
Commonly touted as safe for human use, these just some of the brands that are recommended by MadeSafe.org, an organization that analyzes chemicals in multiple types of products and offers the results for public use, and other experts:
100% Pure – Highly recommended by makeup experts across the board, 100% Pure’s products are, as they say, 100% pure ingredients. Try their caffeine eye cream for anti-aging and dark circle reducing treatments, and say goodbye to puffy eye circles and dull, lifeless eyes after a long night.
Annmarie Skincare – Annmarie’s aloe-herb facial cleanser is perfect for all skin types. It’s combination of natural ingredients balances your skin’s oils to exactly what you need that day.
Burt’s Bees – Although Burt’s Bees has an extensive line of products from makeup to cleansers, if you are looking for a foundation with healthy, nourishing ingredients, try their Goodness Glows liquid makeup.
Au Naturale – As the name implies, this all natural product line offers healthy alternatives to most makeup products. Try their vegan organic lip gloss and you’ll never want to go back to your other brand.
Vapour – Cruelty-free, GMO-free, gluten free, and made from only organic ingredients, this product line offers everything you need in your makeup routine. The Vapour Organic Clarity beauty makeup remover is a crowd favorite, too.
The Best Ingredients for Good Skin
You don’t have to have an at-home spa treatment with sliced cucumbers and avocado all over your face to get good skin. Instead, look for products that contain these ingredients:
Coconut oil – Coconut oil strengthens your skin’s tissues and removes dead cells. This oil also has many antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiviral properties to it that helps fight chronic skin diseases.
Tea tree oil – An excellent acne treatment, tea tree oil is a centuries old natural ingredient with minimal side effects.
Apple cider vinegar – It’s an acquired taste, but when it’s used as a skin care product, apple cider vinegar helps clear up acne, detoxes the gut, and helps improve liver function.
Himalayan sea salt – Natural sea salts, like Himalayan, soothe your skin, reduce breakouts, and improve and retain moisture. They also balance out oily skin and eliminate dead skin cells.
Why Should You Avoid Talc in All Cosmetics?
In a league of its own, talc is yet another ingredient to avoid. Talc is often used to dilute strong pigments. This ingredient has also been linked to ovarian cancer.
Talc itself is a mineral that is mined from places all around the world. It’s the softest mineral found, so it’s easy to use in multiple products. However, some talc contains amounts of asbestos, a known carcinogen. Even if the talc is asbestos-free, it’s best to avoid it, especially in the genital areas.
Healthy Habits to Practice for Your Skin and Cosmetics
Healthy habits start with purchasing products that are not irritating to your skin and don’t have the unsafe chemicals listed above, but even good products won’t work if you don’t practice a healthy skin care routine.
Beauty is so much more than skin deep. It starts at a cellular level, inside your body, and everything you eat and drink affects your skin health. Part of your routine should include a healthy, balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients and without chemicals and grease.
Keeping your skin clean is another part of skin health. Be sure you wash your face twice a day without harsh cleaning chemicals. Always use a moisturizer, but be sure it is oil-free, and if it includes an SPF, or your foundation does, that’s even better. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Combining all of these healthy habits along with safe cosmetics and beauty products will ensure that your skin is radiant, fresh, and youthful looking, no matter what your age!