Did you know the average woman puts over 500 synthetic chemicals on her body every day? Alarmingly, did you also know that the cosmetic industry does not require companies to test products for safety…meaning your lipstick, lotion, and makeup are not tested AT ALL!
Companies can put most anything in the products they produce since the US has not updated cosmetic regulations in more than 80 years. When I heard this statistic at an inflammation conference this past summer, I was blown away by the information given on what is in cosmetics and beauty products that most of us never give a second thought to.
AND as a side note our skin is the biggest organ in our body and thus the most important. Therefore, giving critical thought to what we put on our body is equally as important as what we eat or drink.
Several months ago, I started researching exactly what IS in our cosmetic and beauty products and which companies are thoughtful with their ingredients. I began the painful process of getting rid of and replacing my own products – cleansers, toners, lotions, and cosmetics.
What are some of the toxins prominent in products? There are too many to name, but some key ones are parabens, PFAS chemicals, and phthalates. Parabens are endocrine disruptors which means they disrupt your hormones (read more) and are frequently used in products such as foundations, moisturizers, and hair products. PFAS chemicals are commonly found in shaving cream, sunscreen and eye makeup and are linked to cancer and thyroid disease. Phthalates are the chemicals used in nail polish, perfumes, hair spray, lotions, etc. and are linked to obesity, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes risk.
One common ingredient to be aware of is PEG (polyethylene glycol) which comes from byproducts of petroleum, coal, and natural gas. PEG is used in many cosmetic products to help lubricate skin or hair, such as shampoo and anti-aging creams. It can also be used in suppositories, liquid prescriptions, and even vaccines. It is even used extensively in the industrial world for textiles, ceramics, plastics, etc. It is associated with digestive issues, electrolyte imbalances, and neurological problems. Many times, we experience one of these symptoms not realizing it is something we are using daily on our skin.
So where do you start? I’ve done a lot of the research for you in what I have purchased at retail cost with products that use ethical ingredients and work well. I am not paid by any company so I can be impartial and true to my value of presenting products that I like and use without influence.
These products are free of parabens, acrylates, phthalates, sulfates, triclosan, toluene, BHA, BHT, PEG, formaldehyde agents, gluten, lead, mercury, etc. One excellent resource is the EWG website. They rate many products (but not all due to the high number on the market) based on ingredients. It’s recommended to use ones that are “green” and rated a 1 or 2. Sephora also has a nice section on their website for clean beauty products. Another resource is the Biossance ingredient list library to look up ingredients in your products and how they rate.
My top companies for skincare and makeup are the following and not in any specific order: Osea, Luxeltion, Laurel, Beauty Counter, Well People, Vapour, Ilia Beauty, Lily Lolo, Rejuva Minerals, Oregon Rain Soap, Tahoe Eco, and Uncle Harry’s. They are all reasonably priced which was important to me.
The easiest place to order many products at once is The Detox Market, Credo Beauty, and Integrity Botanicals and otherwise their individual sites. A site that has a nice guide to natural and non-toxic makeup is The Beauty Proof.
You could be eating the cleanest whole foods organic diet but if you are putting toxic chemicals on your face or body daily it may be negatively impacting your health in ways you have no awareness of. Be patient with yourself with testing products and find things that work for you and have fun in your testing journey!
The following are my top choices so far in my journey of experimenting (with links to the products all of which I have personally tried) and I’ve indicated my number one preference if I have one.
Province Apothecary (Cedar and Black Spruce)