We talk quite a bit about the importance of fueling your body with healthy and clean foods. Many of us are conscious to buy organic produce and look for products with whole food ingredients. But cosmetics can feel like a foreign land. Most of the time we don’t even know where to start. Mineral make-up sounds like a good idea but honestly, we had no idea.
So we did some digging and found some truly fascinating and mind-boggling facts about your average cosmetic brand. Here are 4 ingredients to avoid so you can arm yourself with information next time you hit up Sephora.
If this ingredient sounds familiar it’s because you can find it in many places, like makeup, shampoo, moisturizer, and other skin products. They’re a type of preservative that you’ll see listed as ingredients like butylparaben, methylparaben, or propylparaben on your favourite brand packaging.
Parabens have gotten quite a bit of attention over the past few years because although their purpose is to preserve the shelf life of products they have been found to enter our skin and disrupt hormone function which isn’t great for the environment either.
We wouldn’t immediately toss all your beauty products that contain parabens but when looking to replace them, look for a natural or paraben-free option.
We’ve touched briefly on the devastating effect of all the plastic in our atmosphere before, particularly microbeads or microplastics. Polyethylene are microbeads that are often found in exfoliating products to help scrub our skin but they’re causing damage in our atmosphere long after we’ve gotten silky smooth legs. Not only that, but these synthetic chemicals are frequently contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which the U.S. government considers a probable human carcinogen and readily penetrates the skin. We’ll stick to salt scrubs thank you.
Yes, you read that right. Petroleum distillates are found in some mascaras and are produced in the same places where oil is made for your car. And being a carcinogen, they’re as unpleasant as you think, being linked to skin irritations, drowsiness, and headaches.
This one is a no-brainer, right? Who is buying beauty products with this chemical in it? You might be as shocked as we were to learn that it’s quite common in nail polish. In fact, pregnant women are advised to avoid nail polish altogether.
The good news is that big brands like OPI have pledged to remove it from their products. Still, it doesn’t hurt to check the label.
It’s a big task to start to look for natural, mineral-based, and holistic make-up and beauty products. But take heart knowing that there are new brands popping up with ingredient transparency every day like 100% Pure, Alima, or Lush.
Looking for more info on glowing skin? Read our article on Superfoods for Glowing Skin!