Low tox makeup 101.
Let's straighten a few things out with the low-tox beauty world and embark on a non-toxic makeup 101. I'll take you through some of the "nasties", why they're the bad guys and how to find them, so you can make more informed choices. Click here for my favourite low-tox makeup brands that won't break the bank.
What is low-tox makeup?
You may also hear low-tox makeup referred to as clean makeup. Ethical makeup. 100% Natural makeup. Green makeup. Organic makeup. To be truly low-tox, green, clean, or ethical makeup it should be free from synthetic ingredients. Low-tox makeup is free from synthetic ingredients deemed to be toxic.
Don't be fooled into thinking vegan makeup indicates it's clean, green or 100% natural. Makeup can be labelled Vegan - that is, have no animal derivatives - yet be chock full of synthetic ingredients.
Your skin absorbs up to 60% of the ingredients you place on it.
That beautiful skin you’re wrapped in is your largest organ. It breathes in and expels out. Your skin absorbs up to 60% of the ingredients you place on it. Within as little as 26 seconds these ingredients are swimming around your bloodstream. Fact.
There are a pile of ingredients in makeup and personal care products that are directly linked to poor health, like
+ hormonal disfunction;
+ skin irritations and skin conditions;
+ impaired liver and other vital organ function; and
+ compromised fertility
+ tumors and cancers.
FACT: THE AVERAGE WOMAN APPLIES A MINIMUM OF 10 PRODUCTS TO YOUR SKIN DAILY
AND ABSORBS AROUND 130 CHEMICALS THROUGH YOUR BLOODSTREAM.
Let's look at the Top 3 Nasties you need to avoid in your makeup and why.
1. PARABENS - ISOBUTYLPARABEN, BUTYLPARABEN, METHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPARABEN
Lurking in almost every type of personal care product
Parabens are preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mould in products. Parabens can mimic the hormone oestrogen disrupting the endocrine system, which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers. Parabens can cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis and Rosacea. Studies indicate that methylparaben applied on the skin reacts with UVB leading to accelerated skin ageing and DNA damage. These chemicals are also endocrine disruptors and have been linked to fertility problems.
2. PETROLEUM/PARAFFIN/MINERAL OIL
Lurking in lip balm, lip stick, lip gloss, mascara, concealer, foundation, face powder, eye shadow, and a many more products. Mineral Oil is a petrochemical waste product derived from crude oil. It seals off the skin creating a barrier - like glad wrap - which feels smooth and slick yet doesn’t allow the skin to breath. Breathing is essential for the proper functioning of your skin. Slowing down your skin’s function and normal cell development, results in premature ageing and many other skin disorders such as contact dermatitis. I see contact dermatitis and peri-oral dermatitis in so many of my clients that I'm convinced it's endemic in women over 40.
3. SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCE/PARFUM
Lurking in almost any type of personal care product
The synthetic fragrances used in cosmetics can have as many as 200 ingredients. There is no way to know what the chemicals are because formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets. On the label it will simply read “fragrance.” Some problems caused by these chemicals include hormone disruption, headaches, dizziness, rash, hyper-pigmentation, violent coughing, vomiting, skin irritation. Look for labels that say, “phthalate–free”.
There is a myriad of other nasty ingredients lurking in makeup, skincare and personal care products. We have to tread carefully when claiming these ingredients are toxic. Some would argue that these toxic synthetic ingredients are diluted to a non-toxic level for use in cosmetics. The fact that they are toxic in the first instance and generally used for serious chemical applications like engine coolants, dehumectants, concrete floor cleaners, engine degreasers is enough for me to say if there are healthier alternatives derived from nature that are safe why wouldn't you choose them and just not take the gamble?
Your health is really everything. It's a real bummer that people wait until they, or a loved one, falls ill before waking up to going more natural and low-tox. Just do it.
Read the label.
You'll start to hear more about something called the "INCI". The INCI is systemised names internationally recognised to identify cosmetic ingredients. It's also the nickname for the ingredient listing. You will find the INCI either on the bottle or on the box. Keep your eyes peeled for my beauty blog post on ingerdient listsing and how to make sense of them. The BEST way to keep up to date with all things makeup and beauty is to sign up to my mailing list. You'll get a FREE Makeup Guide on the 15 makeup mistakes women make that will age you - and you'll never miss a beauty blog post. Click HERE to join my tribe.
Use ThinkDirty app to help you quickly navigate the INCI.
Download the app, scan the bardcode before you buy.
A quick word on Cruelty Free.
The Australian beauty and personal care industry is unregulated. yep, I can make a cream or lotion tomorrow and put it on the shelves no questions asked. The one regulation that has been implemented is that it is absolutely categorically illegal to sell a product in Australia that has been tested on animals. Australia has a No Animal Testing policy. We should really be able to expect brands to at the very least ALL be cruelty free.
Want to stop wasting money on products that don't suit you or aren't quite right for your face right now? Eager to get the right products for you?
Book in for an Ask Amanda session.
A 30 minute one-on-one personal beauty consultation. Click here to find out more.
Love the skin your in,
At Secrets from a Beauty Insider, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of beauty stuff. All of my picks are independently curated by me, either things I use myself, in my professional makeup kit or have tried, tested and fallen in love with. In the interest of full disclosure, if you buy something via one of the links on my website I may earn a small commission.