In this day of age, the skin is commonly thought of as a strong barrier protecting the body (and it is), but it is often forgotten how permeable it is. Lotions, potions, perfumes, deodorants, sunscreens, makeup, anti-[insert symptom here] cream, you name it- gets rubbed on, lathered, and re-applied. But where does it all go? How many pounds of parabens, sulfates, glycols, and chemicals you can’t pronounce is that a year? Those chemicals get absorbed into your blood stream and circulated around your body. Eventually, they end up getting processed by your liver, and if you have the right nutrient stores on hand they will be eliminated out of your body via urine or out your digestive track. But what if you don’t have the right nutrients on hand in your liver to process the chemical burden? Then what happens?
When the liver can’t process something properly for removal, it often stores it in adipose tissue where it is safer than it would be if it were to be left circulating in the body. But over time, these toxins can add up, and before you know it, you are carrying around a huge toxic burden. Not to mention these chemicals are often found in cancer samples:
“New research has detected the presence of paraben esters in 99 percent of breast cancer tissues sampled. Parabens are chemicals with estrogen-like properties, and estrogen is one of the hormones involved in the development of breast cancer” (Dr. Mercola, 2012).
So what can you do about this? First, reduce your toxic burden by using food on your skin. I like to [try] follow a simple rule: If I wouldn’t eat it, my skin probably doesn’t want to either. Of course, there are exceptions from time to time, but the key is the reduction of chemicals going into the body. The next best thing is to know the hazards of your makeup, and I love to use the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database for looking up products. So check it out, and find out your makeup’s score!
Less Toxic Products You’ll Love
If you’ve found out your makeup is toxic, I don’t want to leave you hanging! To help you out, here’s what’s in my makeup bag at this very second. Whenever possible, I’ve put an EWG Skin Deep Database rating next to the product. However, not every product is in their database, so in those cases, I’ve just made note of the brand’s approach to ingredient toxicity. I’m so happy to have finally found some cleaner products that I actually love putting on my skin!
Beautycounter (lower hazard):
Beautycounter was made for the health conscious consumer looking for less-toxic makeup. They have a list of 1,500 ingredients they will not use in their products, whereas the U.S. only bans 11! Additionally, all of their products are rated between 0-2 on the EWG’s Skindeep database, which takes away all the hassle and worries about what you are putting on your skin. Here are a few of my favorite products from them, but please note, you will only find their products online or through a Beautycounter consultant (not in a store near you, yet at least…):
- Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer <— my go-to lightweight tinted SPF for the Spring and Summer (EWG rating: 2)
- Color Sweep Blush Duo in Tawny/Whisper (EWG rating: 2)
- Lip Sheer in Twig (EWG rating: 1)
- Touchup Skin Concealer Pen (EWG rating: 2)
- Protect Stick Sunscreen with SPF 30 (EWG rating: 1)
Tarte (moderate hazard):
Tarte is a natural-ish brand that is committed to creating products without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, and synthetic fragrances. Here’s what’s in my makeup bag from them:
- Lights, Camera, Lashes Black Mascara (EWG rating: 4)
- Limited-edition Energy Noir Clay Palette (EWG rating: unknown)
- Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Angelic Nude (EWG rating: unknown)
- Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Pencil in Taupe (EWG rating: 3)
- Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation (EWG rating: unknown)
When it comes to reducing your exposure to chemicals, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing. Just do what you can, in baby steps when you are ready.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.com