Serious question: have you read the labels on any of your beauty products recently? If you haven’t, I highly suggest doing so. 9 times out of 10, it’s utterly disturbing. On most cosmetics, no matter how expensive they are, you will find a litany of complicated, hard-to-pronounce ingredients. Many of these ingredients are generally harmless, but plenty of them are extremely harmful to the human body, yet are technically “legal” in the United States. A few, but not all, of the most common offenders include: parabens, synthetic dyes, artificial fragrance, BHT, and formaldehyde. Gross.
I studied Environmental Science in college and learned plenty about toxic ingredients found in plastics, car emissions, processed food, etc. Sure, it made me slightly neurotic, but knowledge is power, amiright? A little over a year ago, I started doing my own research on potentially harmful ingredients in cosmetics. I found the Environmental Working Group’s website, and was even able to plug in some products I was using to see how they were graded. Many of them were rated as extremely hazardous, so I knew it was time for a change.
Cleaning out an entire arsenal of beauty products can be a daunting task, but it’s totally worth it. To help my fellow earthy sistas out, I have included a few of my favorite products:
Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Beauty Bar
This stuff is awesome. It’s gentle yet effective, and keeps skin moisturized. It can be purchased at many health and grocery stores, and is a great value. One very hefty bar costs about $5.00 and lasts a long time (or maybe I just don’t shower enough?). The best part? It’s a total of three ingredients: saponified olive oil, water, and sodium chloride.
I. Love. This. Mascara. Granted, my expectations were admittedly quite low, but this mascara definitely competes with considerably more expensive mascaras I’ve used in the past. It is 100% free of harsh chemicals, parabens, and synthetic preservatives, colors, and fragrances, and 100% of the ingredients are from natural origin. It goes on easily, and the brush is designed to prevent any clumping and really lengthen the lashes. It layers well which helps transition eye makeup from day to night in a flash! Plus, it’s sold at many major retailers for around $10.00.
My one qualm is that it is not waterproof, but hey, ya can’t win ‘em all.
(Side note: like food, just because a beauty product is labeled “organic” or “natural,” it does not mean it’s safe or good for you! Be sure to double check the ingredients list).
Bite Beauty Lipstick
I have been using this lipstick since January and can’t get enough of it! Bite Beauty’s slogan is “lip color that’s good enough to eat” since they strive to use food grade ingredients to ultimately make a safer product.
Each lip product is handcrafted one at a time, and features a variety of organic fruit butters, Manuka honey, and antioxidants to help nourish and protect the pout. It is sold exclusively at Sephora, and offers a variety of lipsticks, crayons, glosses, etc. all around the $25.00 range.
(Editor’s note: upon further investigation, it appears there is a possibility they use synthetic dyes. Will double check.)
Unrefined Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
If you don’t have a jar of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, I highly recommend going out and buying one pronto. It is chock full of healthy saturated fats (not all fat is bad, y’all), so it’s a great substitute for unhealthier cooking oils, AND is the ultimate beauty tool.
It trumps any chemical-laden eye makeup remover with ease, makes an excellent nourishing hair masque, and can be used as a moisturizer– although, I find it can be a tad greasy to use on my whole body. There are an abundance of other benefits, so I’d recommend reading up on them!
If you’re curious to see how your current beauty products measure up, visit the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ or The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ page: http://www.safecosmetics.org. Both websites contain a plethora of alternatives, as well as comprehensive information regarding unsafe ingredients, and ways you can be a part of the movement to rid these harsh chemicals from every day products.
Let’s keep our faces and bodies beautiful, clean, and green!
[cover image: www.fashionofindian.com]