Let’s Talk About Toxins
It’s common knowledge there are potentially harmful chemicals in a lot of common household products. But did you know these chemicals are also in a lot of the beauty products you apply to your skin, hair, and face every day? Of course, you’re probably not going to get cancer from your lipgloss, but consider the implications of that. It can’t be great for your body or skin (not to mention the environment) to apply these chemicals day in and day out. So what are some red flags to watch out for?
1. BHA and BHT
BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are synthetic antioxidants. They’re often used as preservatives in lipsticks, moisturizers, and many other cosmetic products. These chemicals can be responsible for allergenic reactions, as well as interfere with hormonal fluctuations and are listed as a possible human carcinogen. Always check the ingredient label to make sure BHT or BHA aren’t listed to avoid products with either of these compounds.
2. DEA and DEA Compounds
DEA (diethanolamine) are commonly found in moisturizers and sunscreens, and the compounds can be found in many soaps, cleansers, and shampoo products. DEA can be responsible for skin and eye irritation, and high doses of these chemicals has been linked to liver cancer. It’s also bad for our friends in the ocean, since it’s toxic to aquamarine life. Different names for DEA compounds on ingredient labels include:
- Cocamide DEA
- Cocamide MEA
- DEA-Cetyl Phosphate
- DEA Oleth-3 Phosphate
- Lauramide DEA
- Linoleamide MEA
- Myristamide DEA
Parabens are one of the most commonly used preservatives in cosmetics: 75-90% of cosmetic products contain parabens. They create hormonal fluctuations and changes, as well as being linked with cancer, and can create early skin damage. The most common ingredient names to look out for are:
Don’t worry though. As our society becomes more eco-friendly and naturally inclined, it’s becoming a lot easier to find transparent and naturally beautiful products on store shelves and online. Here are five of the best options for transitioning your makeup to toxic-free beauty products. The key word is transition, by the way. You don’t have to burn all your cosmetics, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Many of these products are budget friendly. Just replace your old products with new, natural makeup as you run out.
When you arrive at the Beauty Counter site, check out their Never List tab. They list all the ingredients they don’t use, making their products transparent and high quality. Their products won’t break the bank either: running the price range from about $20-$50, a trip to their website for essentials will cost you about the same as the average Sephora purchases.
2. 100% Pure
This company is one that truly aligns their mission with their name. 100% Pure is just what it says it is: pure from toxins, chemicals, and harmful animal testing. Their shampoos and conditioners are some of the best-smelling, high quality products: for around only 25$ a product!
Looking for lipsticks that stay all night and don’t contain harmful preservatives? Look no further, because Ilia is killing the game with their organic formulas. Bonus? All of Ilia’s products come in recycled casing. With a price tag of $25, your lips could be even healthier and colorful by swapping your usual MAC lipstick for one of Ilia’s gorgeous selections.
Have you been wanting to try out that gorgeous Instagrammable hydrating rose face mist? Head on over to Herbivore Botanicals, where the products ($12- $80) are eco-friendly, natural, and organic. Packed in recycled and reusable containers, their face mists are not only incredibly good for you, but perfect for that late night beauty pick hashtag, especially since their price is about $16 for basic essentials.
Elate Cosmetics are vegan, cruelty-free, toxin-free, and gluten-free. Their mission is sustainable practices. Their eyeshadows are deeply pigmented, and at about $16 a pop, won’t break your bank while you’re looking for the perfect smokey eye collection.
Always Check Your Ingredient Label
If you’re not sure what a chemical is, or what an ingredient is: Google it! Or, if you’re quickly picking up some products, download EWG’s Healthy Living App. All you have to do is scan the item you’re looking at, and it will show you the organic score based on chemicals, testing, and toxins.
Don’t Forget the Environment
It’s important to treat ourselves and our bodies well, but it’s also important to make sure products are being environmentally responsible! Make sure your products are cruelty-free (they’ll say on the label if they are), and try to support brands that use recycled materials for packaging!
Do Your Research
The more you know, the better decisions you can make about your lifestyle and beauty choices. Take the time to come up with a list of responsible brands that you like, and support them. Your choices control the economy, and it’s important to support companies and brands that are making the right choices!