Ever wondered what makes up make up? In this article we dig into some of the hidden nasties in many chemical-based cosmetic products and show you why it is time to dump your toxic makeup, replacing them with natural options instead!
There are many contradictions in life. One of the biggest? The fact that makeup is designed to help you look at your best, but so much of it can actually contribute to irritation, blemishes & poor health.
An alarming amount of makeup consists of chemicals that can be harmful to your skin and your body. This can have frustrating consequences if you are someone who uses cosmetics regularly or if your skin is sensitive.
For this reason, it’s really important to pay close attention to what is going into the products that are going onto your face and body. In this article, we’ll take you through the reasons why it’s time to start considering natural makeup alternatives.
What makes up make up?
Your typical cosmetic product will consist of between 15 and 50 different chemicals. Researchers estimate that, as the the average woman uses between 9 and 15 personal care products a day, women place approximately 515 different chemicals on their skin each day due to use of cosmetics.
Makeup can be broken down into some key categories of chemicals:
- Colouring agents
- Glimmer and shine
What toxins are in traditional make up?
These key ingredients combine to produce the cosmetic products traditionally sold. There are many types of chemicals within these categories that you need to be wary of, particulary with heavy use.
Formaldehyde is a chemical usually associated with embalming, but also used in the manufacture of many cosmetics as a preservative.
Formaldehyde is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization. It can also cause skin and sensory irritation, as well as breathing difficulties when inhaled.
There are tight regulations on the amount of formaldehyde that is allowed in consumer products in Australia, but if you have sensitive skin, even extremely small amounts can cause you trouble.
A similar thing goes for the phthalates, many of which have been banned in cosmetics in the UK and US, but only restricted in Australia. Regulated levels are safe, but should also be avoided if you have sensitive skin. They are known to be disruptive to the endocrine system, responsible for hormone production.
Perhaps the most infamous makeup chemical is parabens. Parabens have been strongly linked with replicating the effects of estrogen, which can increase the rate of tumour growth. For this reason, parabens are linked with breast cancer and should be avoided!
There are many more common cosmetic ingredients that you shouldn’t be all too happy about applying to your face regularly. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to ensure you are looking beautiful without having to overexpose yourself to these nasty toxins.
What is natural makeup?
Natural makeup refers to products that, while not necessarily consisting entirely of organic ingredients, strongly focus on using natural elements rather than chemicals. These are great because they use ingredients that are less irritating to your skin, meaning you can wear your makeup more often and more confidently.
Natural makeup is a particularly good idea for people with sensitive skin, who are more prone to suffering from the negative side effects of chemical ingredients.
It can also be great in relation to other sensitive areas. For example, for people with sensitive eyes, a mascara that utilises a natural ingredient such as almond oil is an amazing alternative (we think it’s an amazing alternative for everybody, to be honest).
Another great benefit of natural makeup is that they tend to contain more awesome supplements such as vitamins, due to their use of organic ingredients. For example, the mascara above is packed full of vitamin E.
What to look out for?
While many natural makeup products are really awesome alternatives, you still have to be wary as a consumer in this market. There is no legislated definition of what “natural” really means when it comes to cosmetics, so some businesses try to take advantage.
Don’t merely buy a makeup product because it is labelled as ‘natural’. Always be sure to read further into the what the ingredients are to ensure just how natural it really is. Some will even contain the chemicals we discussed earlier, if you aren’t careful!
Don’t be scared off, however! Google is your friend, and it’s not hard to find information about the different makeup products on the market. It’s always important to do your research before purchasing any product that you plan on applying to your skin.
A large amount of chemical-based cosmetics on the market are designed with aesthetics and durability in mind. Unfortunately, the product’s effect on your skin is often a second rate factor.
For you, this should be one of the most important factors! There are plenty of great natural makeup options that help you look beautiful, but few that also take care of your skin.
A lot of chemical based cosmetics contain hidden nasties that have been strongly linked or proven to have irritable effects on your skin. Some are even linked with disrupting hormone production and replicating the effects of estrogen.
This is a big worry, particularly for those with sensitive skin, Fortunately, many awesome natural makeup products provide a superb alternative.
Natural makeup products are based in organic ingredients that nourish the skin, while still giving you that radiating glow. While you should always be wary of what brands claim is natural or not, you have no excuse not to go down the natural path when it comes to picking your favourite cosmetics.