“Maybe she’s born with it? Maybe it’s Maybelline?” …ever wondered if that plumping lipstick of yours could be plumping more than just your lips?? The cosmetic industry is pretty much unregulated (read more about this here), and there can be all kinds of hidden dangers… toxins, fake hormones, chemicals (oh my!) in your makeup and skin care… even chemicals that could alter your hormones and cause unwanted excess weight! Sorry to tell ya’ ladies, but there’s plenty of evidence to support the idea that non natural makeup brands are contributing to a host of health issues (including weight-related ones!)…
How is this possible?! Let me break it down for you…
Here are a few of the chemicals found in many commonly used cosmetics…
…and heads up, they’re not just in your makeup. You’ll likely find these sneaky culprits hiding out in other areas around your bathroom, like your shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, & more!
Why they’re in there in the first place… Parabens are used to prevent the growth of microbes in cosmetic products and can be absorbed through skin, blood, and the digestive system. (1) They’re used to prevent microbial growth in products that have a high water content, for longer self-life.
Why Parabens are concerning… Endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity, mimic estrogen, allergies, and immunotoxicity (2)
- A study done in 2004 showed that parabens were found to have accumulated in human breast tissue and were found in breast tumors.
- Another study done in 2013 found that “parabens…are present in human breast tissue at concentrations sufficient to stimulate the proliferation of MCF-7 (breast cancer) cells”.
(aka: butylated hydroxyanisole)
Why it’s in there… BHA is used in more than just makeup, it’s also found in many food products, some pharmaceutical drugs (such as simvastatin), and jet fuel… and is used as a preservative and stabilizer. It’s a synthetic antioxidant, primarily used to keep fats from going rancid. It’s actually labeled as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA, even though this study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2011) states that
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in experimental animals.
Why BHA is concerning… Endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), persistence and bioaccumulation, ecotoxicology, and um, did I mention it’s known to cause cancer?!
Why they’re in there… First off, what is a phthalate, and how the heck do you pronounce it?! Basically it’s a chemical compound used in all Kinds of stuff, generally to make plastics softer (think vinyl shower curtains & rubber duckies). In cosmetics they’re used to moisturize and soften skin, to dissolve and coalesce ingredients, and to make nail polish more flexible after it dries. (source)
They’re also used to make products more fragrant and can be listed as “fragrance” in the ingredients, so be aware of this vague terminology.
Oh yeah, and it’s pronounced, THAL-ate 😉
Why Phthalates are concerning… This article by EWG pretty much sums it up, and there’s a Lot to sum up. Pthalates cause endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity, persistence and bioacculation, and ecotoxicology. They’ve been linked to metabolic disorders (ie: obesity and diabetes) and are known to cause cancer. Phthalates are also readily absorbed by the skin, making them particularly concerning in personal care products.
…Ok, so how is my makeup making me fat??
So, BHA probably won’t make you fat, but do you really want to be “consuming” a chemical through your skin that is Known to cause cancer?! No thanks, I’ll pass.
Parabens & Phthalates on the other hand, (besides also having a great likelihood of contributing to a higher risk of cancer, among a ton of other health complications) have the ability to mimic the effects of the hormone estrogen in the body.
Estrogen signals the body to convert calories into, you guessed it… Fat! (source)
They even give synthetic estrogen to cattle to fatten them up! And, because this ‘estrogen’ is synthetic, it’s not biodegradable, but it is fat-soluble… which means you can store more for later! Yay!
Alright, so the truth is that using one foundation with a paraben or a phthalate in it probably won’t make you fat, but when you think about how many products you may be consuming (in various ways) that contain similar chemical compounds, and the fact that your body accumulates these chemicals, and then has a really difficult time getting rid of them… it’s safe to say we’ve got an issue!
And, I don’t know about you, but when I look at the intense amount of evidence indicating that these chemicals can contribute to and may actually cause cancer, the fact that they may be making me fat is pretty much the last thing on my mind!
Non Toxic Makeup Solutions
After all my research, and being shocked and horrified to find so many deadly chemical-offenders lurking in my makeup, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste… (you get the idea), I had to figure out what do do about it.
I’m not a total girlie-girl, but trust me when I say, I love my makeup… I Need my makeup. So the hunt was on for a solution…
There are actually several options for purchase out there, but I found that many of them came with a pretty hefty price-tag, which, I’m not totally against, because usually they last longer than the drug-store stuff, and you know… you get what you pay for… or that the wearability just wasn’t all that awesome. Both of those things, price-point and long-lasting wear with clean colors are really important to me. I want to be sure that the products I invest in are really worth it.
Here are my favorite options…
I was so incredibly excited to have discovered Beautycounter… they’re kinda like Mary Kay meets organic, safe, gorgeous cosmetics & beauty (but without the whole, Mary Kay Lady vibe, haha). I instantly fell in love with their Countertime Skin Care Collection & Tint Skin Foundation. Their cosmetics are awesome and classic, and they last through my long 12-hour shifts, which is a total must.
I love their mission… to get safe products into the hands of everyone.
They’ve set out to provide safe cosmetics to women, and make a better world for our children. They have chosen to ban over 1,500 chemicals (currently there are only 11 banned in the US, and 1,300 banned in the UK) from their products, and are open and honest about everything that goes into them… which is easy, since they’ve got nothing to hide!
You can also become a consultant with Beautycounter, and provide education and great products to your friends, family, and others you care about!
Interested in becoming a Beautycounter Consultant?
Shoot me a quick email here, so we can discuss your options!
2. DIY Beauty
I’m not a huge DIY’er, but there are a few things that I love making at home because it saves money and the products work great! I particularly like my tallow skin cream & my DIY root lifting hair spray.
I also cannot say enough about how much I LOVE this book by Heather Dessinger. DIY Organic Beauty Recipes has been my Beauty Bible through my whole “to-natural” transition!
There are countless useful recipes on how to make your own non-toxic makeup, beauty, and personal care products that are natural, safe, and (most importantly) Effective! She even includes recipes to use for baby!
It’s an e-book, so you can download to your computer, iPad/Nook, phone, etc… and, in my opinion it is well worth the investment!
What are your non-toxic, natural makeup solutions?