Over 60% of what you put on your skin, whether it be your face wash, moisturizer, or just your blush, gets soaked into your bloodstream in under a minute. How many years have you been wearing your favorite lipstick? Think of all the applications throughout the years and the effects it might have in the long run. Scary stuff, huh?
Just because a makeup brand is expensive does not mean that it isn’t harmful to your health. With the popularity of makeup, there are a lot of “faux” brand eyeshadow and highlighter palettes. Where are these being made? What’s in my makeup? I’m not trying to frighten you too much, I promise, but knowledge is power! Let’s learn about some of the main groups of nasty things that get sneaked into our cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, etc. on a regular basis, how to identify them, and some smart alternatives to try.
The FDA is pretty lenient on what can be put in skin care and cosmetics. A lot of things that are banned in Canada, Europe, Japan, etc. are very welcomed in America. It just means we have to be a little more cautious and knowledgeable ourselves. Smart is sexy! So, what’s in my makeup, you ask?
-Anything ending in “methyl” (methylcellulose)
-Anything ending in “eth” (myreth, laureth)
-Anything ending with “butyl” (butyl alcohol, butylene glycol)
Parabens are used in most cosmetics and skin care products because they lock in moisture. The chemical can break you out like a 16-year- old boy going through puberty because it can block your pores up something fierce. Petroleums have been linked to endocrine system disruption and have also been classified as a possible human carcinogen and possible mutagen by the European Union according to EWG.org.
The Environmental Working Group has an amazing skincare and cosmetic database for levels of toxicity in products called Skin Deep. Also, if you have any questions about a particular ingredient in any of your personal products, just type it in and learn the safety rating!
-PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid)
Be careful slathering yourself in sunscreen this summer. I know that sounds crazy, but just stop for a second and take a gander at those ingredients you are putting all over the largest organ your body owns. If you are seeing any of the chemicals listed above, little red lights should start flashing in your brain. Most of these (especially PABA) were introduced into the sunscreen formulas to absorb the sun’s harmful UV rays. According to Livestrong.com, it was studied in the 80s and it was classified as a carcinogen, making it hugely unpopular…but not unpopular enough to take off the market. It has been known to damage skin cell DNA and speed up the aging process.
Steer clear of all of those “chock-full-of-chems” sunscreens and try something like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for a big day out in the sun. If you are looking for something daily to replace your sunscreen in your foundation, try layering it underneath before putting your foundation on. Elta MD has a wonderful chemical free formula and limelight by Alcone has a pressed pomifera oil from the Osage orange that has a naturally occurring SPF in it. It’s actually good for your skin and is a wonderful moisturizer prior to your daily makeup routine!
These tricky little guys are linked in with the petroleums, but I wanted to specifically recognize them because they are so devious. Web MD states that parabens can mimic our estrogen hormones, linking them to breast cancer. Some people can have paraben allergies, as well. Contact dermatitis, rosacea, and hives are just a few of the topical issues this chemical can wreak. Parabens can also mess with our skin cells so it can actually speed up the aging process. So many of our products seem counter-productive when you really do your research. If you have an option, always choose paraben free!
We have covered a lot of the main ickies but I really wanted to throw this one in because it is so appalling. Formaldehyde is used in cosmetics, hair dyes, and nail polishes. No, it is not just for the preservation of human remains, folks. It can really mess up your throat, eyes, nose, and is an all around skin irritant. It’s strange to think that someone that works in a salon can have the same health issues from dying someone’s hair that a mortician can have embalming bodies. It makes you think twice, and makes you want to read those labels!
Now that we know that what you put on your body is the same as what you put in your body, please be careful and read your ingredients! The contents are listed highest to lowest percentage-wise, so make sure to look at the top 5 or 6 ingredients and the “active ingredients.” With the FDA’s laxity on regulations, we need to arm ourselves with knowledge to make the right decisions for our bodies. There are products available in today’s market that have healthy alternatives. You just have to do a little bit of research to find what is right for you.
What’s in my makeup? Ask this to not only keep yourself looking insanely amazing, but also to keep those carcinogens at arm’s length and feel amazing, as well. Also remember to check out the EWG Skin Deep© Cosmetics Database for a wonderful wealth of information.
Stay safe lovies! Xo