We are what we eat…and put on our faces. With the potential side effects of the chemicals in makeup including things like cancer, reproductive and hormonal problems, birth defects or brain damage, the more educated we are as consumers the better.
The first step is learning which chemicals to avoid. Check out the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics or the Environmental Working Group for up to date information on new studies. EWG’s Skin Deep database is also a great resource where you can enter the name of a product you use and search for both ingredients and associated health effects.
Labels that explicitly state, paraben-, phthalate- or PCB-free are a good place to start. For products that contain food ingredients like avocado, honey or cinnamon, search for the USDA-organic certified label. Know your organic terms before you go. “100% organic” means the ingredients must be (you guessed it!) 100% organic, while a product with “organic ingredients” must only
contain an organic ingredient here and there.
As with all advertising, watch phrasing carefully. Don’t be fooled by the words “green” or “natural” which, in some products have as much validity as saying a drink has “natural flavors” when in fact chemicals outnumber them ten to one.
If you want to enhance your natural beauty naturally, break up with your normal routine. The beauty industry is making great strides toward delivering natural products. If you’re having trouble finding what you need, reach out to your network, see what others are using and connect with other like-minded folks who are concerned with similar issues. And of course, the internet is a great resource for deals and information on natural hair care, makeup, personal and skin care products.
The chemicals that make cameos in our beauty regimens are scary, but there are plenty of great natural options if you’re willing to do a little research.