There was a time that I used to be totally clueless on makeup products; so much so that I would just peruse through aisles of big chain stores aimlessly buying whatever I wanted while searching for the cheapest price I could get it. At the same time, I would eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted not really caring about the fat content, ingredients, etc. Cut to 5 years later and the health kick that everyone seemed to get on at the same time, I’ve found myself now being FULLY aware of not only what is in my food but my makeup as well. Granted I am older and ingredients seem to have a greater effect on me than they did before. (Now? Jelly Donuts = Jelly Rolls!)
Though, I am puzzled by one thing: Why do people care more about what goes inside their body and not so much what is put on it? Of course, I am referring to makeup and not clothes. Sure it’s one thing to consume too much fat and sodium but with the same token, it’s equally dangerous to apply some harmful chemicals hidden in foundation all on your face. Our skin is something that we have and will always wear and it should be treated with the utmost care!
When I started taking makeup ingredients seriously I started from the beginning and the source. I checked the ingredients label thinking it would be easy to read and instantly I was confused. More accurate, it was hard AF to decode! There were words like phthalates* or polyethylene glycols*. Seriously what does that even mean?? So I decided to do further research and it took months to finally be able to read ingredients and know what they are.
Upon my research, I also discovered there are tons and tons of ingredients that are not only unhealthy but also dangerous and detrimental to our skin! You would think the FDA regulates this and that it’s illegal to buy products containing Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) which may be toxic to organs. It is most commonly found in hair color and moisturizers. Formaldehyde is commonly used as a preservative in cosmetics. But it's effect? A known carcinogen that is also linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity!
At this point, my head was spinning. How is this even legal right? Well, the problem is that the FDA does not have the proper funding and (wo)man-power to properly police all of the many different products—not just in makeup—that get pushed out on shelves everywhere. So it is, in fact, our job to be a conscious-consumer and know what we are buying. It’s kind of like the junk food aisle at the grocery store: You KNOW it’s bad for you but to what extent is it in each and every product?
Some makeup companies will try to trick you and proclaim they only use a small number of harmful ingredients like Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA)*. But think about it, the average makeup consumer uses 10 products a day! So while each product may contain a small amount you’re using that small amount many times over.
So how do you know what brands are healthy and which ones aren’t? What ingredients are dangerous and which ones are safe? Because I don’t want you to do months and months of research I’ll break it down for you. And if you don’t want to read anymore and just want to get right down to products you can look at my top 10 cruelty-free makeup brands. The cool thing about cruelty-free makeup is that most of the brands are healthy too!
When we buy cheap makeup we are losing out on good quality ingredients. Again I’ll use the junk food example. A bag of chips is much cheaper than fruits and veggies—and lasts longer. And yeah, it probably tastes better depending on your mood but that’s just all the chemicals tricking your brain. Think of what is hidden underneath: fat, sodium, sugar, etc. All stuff that we might not see the effects of now but certainly in the future. It’s the same for makeup. We may not see the effects of these chemicals but we definitely will over time.
So be nice to your skin and invest (always think of yourself as an investment) in good, quality makeup brands. It may be more expensive but keep thinking of it as a skin detox. It’s healthier and worth it. And if you really can’t afford it then just get the essentials that cover most of our skin like foundation and skincare. Also, save your money for one super healthy moisturizer because your skin will look amazing and stay that way over time. More, if you need help deciding what to buy, here are a few brands that I highly suggest.
Side note: better brands are more expensive because healthier ingredients cost more. Again, it’s the same as the grocery store.
healthy brands to try
BeautyCounter - Amazing brand that is doing a lot for the healthy cosmetic movement! They’re known for their amazing skincare line. If you need brightening, plumping, or balancing they’ve got you covered.
100% Pure- So pure the makeup is made from fruits, veggies, and flowers!
W3LL People - “The ultimate toxin free eco-luxe cosmetics made in small batches." This brand can also be found at Target. SIDE NOTE - I will say in all honesty that I am not a fan of their liquid eyeliner. However, I love the other products they have to offer such as this mascara.
Lush - A brand known for being health conscious and environmentally safe.
Exciting news! Lush is coming out with foundations! I’m so excited because their products are known for being healthy and the best quality. Stay tuned for the foundation release because you’re not going to want to miss it.
Have I convinced you that healthy makeup is the way to go? I hope so because we need to push for a market with more transparency in what we are using on our faces every day. It is up to you to make that decision to take care of your beautiful skin and support brands that actually care about you—the consumer.
*Phthalates - Phthalates are known to disrupt the endocrine system and may cause birth defects.
*Polyethylene Glycols - a carcinogen commonly found in creams, sunscreen, shampoo, etc.
*Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA) - linked to allergies, skin toxicity, hormone disruption, and inhibited fetal brain development. It can be found in hair dyes, mascara, foundation, fragrances, sunscreens, dry cleaning solvents, paint, pharmaceuticals.