Why It’s Time to Ditch Your Toxic Makeup
If you’re a makeup lover like myself, or maybe you’re new to the makeup scene but don’t know where to start, this blog is for you. How much attention should we be paying to the ingredients in our everyday products? The natural deodorant trend took the internet by a storm. So why isn’t anyone talking about the harmful ingredients in our other everyday products?!
Our skin is our biggest and, arguably, our most important organ. It performs many vital functions for us, including protecting all of our other vital organs as well as our bones, muscles, ligaments and nerves (it’s basically a built-in shield). Remember when your teachers and parents told you to never draw on yourself as a kid because your skin absorbs everything you put on it? They were right! Kind of. Our skin absorbs 60% of what we put on it. After applying a product to your skin, it only takes 26 seconds to hit our bloodstream. This is why it’s so important to be conscious of what we’re putting on our skin every day.
We all know that the leading harsh chemical of drugstore deodorants is aluminum. What you might not know is that you won’t find it in just deodorant. Cosmetic companies have been putting aluminum powder in their products as a colourant for decades. Why is it harmful? Although the effects of aluminum show up differently for each person, aluminum has been directly linked to organ-system toxicity, hormone imbalances, and neurotoxicity since it builds up in the body over time. Some people may use products with aluminum their entire life and not experience the negative effects, but some may use it a handful of times and experience awful side effects.
Women (and men!) around the world are experiencing negative effects of harmful products and they might not even know it. Harmful ingredients are causing chronic skin issues, and no one is talking about it. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it might be time to take a look at what you’re using!
- Skin irritation. Perfume is the #1 cause of skin irritation!
- Itchy, irritated eyes as well as conjunctivitis (pink eye), styes and blepharitis (infection of lash follicles). Be sure to chuck your mascara after three months! Mascara tubes are breeding grounds for bacteria since the wand directly touches the hair and skin.
- Sullen looking skin. If your skin is yellowish with dark circles, it may be time to check for expired makeup! You should be throwing powder products away after two years and liquid products after six months. Makeup does expire!
- Fluctuating moods. Mercury in cosmetics is harmful because it has been directly linked to brain, kidney and lung damage. It’s most commonly found in cheap night/anti-aging creams.
- Hair loss. Harsh metals (like mercury) in cosmetics, skin care and hair care can cause this.
- Memory loss. Another effect of mercury. It can also lead to a lifetime of impairments and birth defects.
- Headaches, vertigo, twitching. Mercury, again. (Ever wonder why your eye won’t stop twitching?)
- Anxiety and depression. Metal poisoning has been directly linked to these mental health issues.
Even though there might only be very small amounts of these horrible substances in our beauty products and skin care products, exposure over a long period of time can be seriously harmful. With the United States having only 11 banned chemicals for use in cosmetics and beauty products (the EU has over 1300 banned, Canada has 500 banned), it is hard to have faith that our products are clean. So, how can you make the switch to healthier products?
The first step to changing your cosmetics and skin care habits is to know what harmful ingredients to look for! Here is a small list of some major things to avoid:
- Fragrance. Like I mentioned above, perfume is the number one cause of skin irritation. Thanks to spotty laws in the states, thousands of chemicals can be listed under the one word “Fragrance” or “Parfum” on an ingredients list. Avoid fragrance at all costs!
- Mineral oils. It is easy to be fooled by this. We generally associate the word “minerals” as something healthy, but mineral oils are anything but. They have been known to cause shortness of breath due to lung irritation.
- Parabens! This is a very commonly known issue these days and a lot of companies have forgone it in their products but there are tons of companies that still use it. Parabens are a preservative. If the product has water in it, chances are it’s full of parabens as well.
- Heavy metals. Like I mentioned above, heavy metals are hormone disruptors, linked to respiratory issues and learning disabilities.
- Sodium sulfates. This one is common in many personal products, as well as household cleaners. It acts as a degreaser, which is why you can find it in products like toothpaste. Should beauty products and household cleaners share ingredients? Probably not!
Take the time and do the research. Look at the ingredients list on the back of your products. If they match the lists above, you should probably stop using them. Then look up natural and organic brands! Don’t be afraid to try new products too. So many online only makeup brands offer samples! My favourite brands are 100% Pure and Juice Beauty. You can find their products on our online store!
It may seem like a daunting task to change over your entire makeup collection, beauty or skin care collection over to natural and organic. But the good news is you don’t have to do it all at once! Firstly, do a mini purge. Get rid of those old dusty, half used products that are probably expired now anyways. Replace your products strategically. Once you run out of your drugstore mascara, try a natural one! (Honest Beauty’s mascara is my HOLY GRAIL of mascaras and you can get it delivered to your door the next day thanks to Amazon).
If you’re going to start somewhere, invest in a natural primer and moisturizer! You always want to moisturize your skin with natural, chemical free products. Primers act as a barrier between your skin and makeup so a natural primer will shield your skin from the harshness of the rest of your products, while sealing in your moisturizer.
One last tip, download the app Think Dirty! You can scan the barcode on tons of products, and it will tell you how toxic it is on a scale of 1-10 and list the worst ingredients in the product. Super useful!
Thanks for following along! I hope this has inspired some of you to make healthier beauty choices. You do not have to sacrifice your health for beauty.