Your skin is the largest organ of the body and it does not filter what we put on it. In fact it absorbs everything. If you can’t read, pronounce, or understand what is in your cosmetics, you shouldn’t even think about using it.
Most women are so used to seeing the odd ingredients in shampoos, lotions, makeup, and cleansers, or don’t even read the ingredient label at all. Why would anyone stop using a product sold with beautiful packaging and a gorgeous spokes model if it works well? The truth is that many of the questionable ingredients are extremely toxic, irritants, cancer causing, suppress the immune system, create nervous and respiratory disorders, damage DNA, cause allergies, and are carcinogenic, and some even estrogenic. It is much easier not to be concerned. Ignorance is bliss at times, but when it comes to your health it is crucial to know the facts.
Before using another product with unknown ingredients, gather every cosmetic that you own, including your makeup bag, and pile them up on the table. Print out this list of ingredients to avoid and see what products have what. Don’t be surprised if the ingredients aren’t listed on some products. If you can’t find the ingredients because it was on the box you threw away, look up the cosmetic online and gather the ingredient list that way. Also don’t be blind to products that are labeled “organic” and “natural.” They may have a few organic or natural ingredients yet some still have other serious chemicals.
If you are like me, I had a hard time tossing all of the gratis cosmetics from my job, and the really cute makeup palettes. I had tons of cream blush, liner pots, eye shadows, lipsticks, etc. One day I just tossed all of it. I was going to have to find another way to represent myself beautifully at my auditions, and at work. My health was more important than even my favorite eye shadow.
This story does have a happy ending don’t worry! I found some amazing products that have even better results than what I was using before, because they don’t irritate or clog my pores, and the quality of the product is actually better because the ingredients are better. I also learned how to make some awesome DIY skin care and makeup products, even creating some of my own recipes. But first read the ingredients that should not be used on our beautiful bodies.
Butylene Glycol–Petroleum Derived
Diazolidinyl Urea–Formaldehyde Creating Chemical
Dimethicone Copolyol–Silicone Derived
Hydantoin–Formaldehyde Creating Chemical
Imidazolidinyl Urea–Formaldehyde Creating Chemical
PEG (Polyethylene Glycol)
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Synthetic Colors-FD&C and D&C
Talc (possible abestiform fibers contaminants)
Don’t stress about revamping everything at once if that doesn’t financially work for you. Instead as one product is finished, replace it with a “green” healthy product that I’m sure you will love. You can also create many of your own cosmetics fairly easily. My absolute favorite source for my natural cosmetic supplies is Mountain Rose Herbs which offers organic ingredients and has high quality products.
Research your cosmetic products and ingredients for even more information. Creating an eco-friendly beauty routine is healthy for you and the environment. Everything that we use becomes part of our water supply. Even such a simple thing as changing your shampoo can make a big difference for you and the earth.
(Updated October 2012–Image by D Sharon Pruitt)