Steps on how to avoid harmful toxins in your daily makeup routine! Did you know your makeup likely contains heavy metals like lead and mercury, hormone disruptors like phthalates and parabens and carcinogens hiding under words like “fragrance?” Learn all about how to identify toxins in your makeup and my favorite safer makeup brand!
Oh makeup… as Lauren Conrad put it at the ripe age of sixteen, “It’s like art for our face.” And I couldn’t agree more. Makeup is an artistic expression for many of us, a way for us to stand out or make a statement, and often times just a fun morning ritual that makes us feel more awake and ready for the day.
Makeup’s history spans thousands of years at this point with the first “products” created from earthly clay, copper and ash.
In modern day times, most cosmetics in the marketplace contain a mix of:
parabens (widely recognized hormone disruptors)1,4-dioxane (a potent carcinogen),
heavy metals (like lead, mercury and arsenic),
phthalates (endocrine disruptors and carcinogens)
PEGs (often contaminated with carcinogens),
fragrance/parfum & flavorings (which require no disclosure or testing and can contains hundreds of thousands of chemicals),
hydrolyzed wheat protein (thought to be unlikely to cause a gluten reaction except in very sensitive individuals),
retinyl palmitate (a cell disrupting potential carcinogen),
mineral oil (which can be contaminated with more dioxane),
You can probably figure out which of those ingredients you want to be putting on your skin every morning and kissing your kids or partner with and which you do not.
The Cosmetic Industry Is Hardly Regulated
The FDA does not approve cosmetic ingredients before they hit the market with the exception of colorants.
The FDA does not require “fragrance” or “flavoring” ingredients to be expanded on or made transparent to the public. Those words can mean absolutely any chemical, whether or not it has been tested for safety.
The FDA is currently unable to issue mandatory recalls of cosmetics with known toxins in them such as lead or arsenic. That’s right. If L’Oreal knows their lipstick contains lead (as third-party testing has revealed), they have no obligation to pull it from the drugstore shelves.
The FDA has no legal limits on heavy metals in cosmetics despite Health Canada’s guidance on the issue.
Heavy Metals in Cosmetics Are Rampant
“Natural” mineral makeup is often times more likely to be contaminated than non-mineral makeup as the mining and manufacturing process of minerals makes heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium more bioavailable.
The vast (vast) majority of cosmetics companies do not test their sources or their end products for heavy metals which can be contaminated in harmful amounts with repeated chronic exposure (such as daily or weekly use). Repeat exposure is key here. The FDA has recommended cosmetic companies set the level of allowable lead in lip products to 10 ppm but it does not require this limit nor does it test marketplace products nor issue recalls if products exceed this amount.
What Makes Beautycounter’s Makeup Different:
Beautycounter triple tests each batch of color cosmetics for 12 of the most common heavy metals including lead, mercury, arsenic, nickel, cadmium and copper. We aim for non-detectable levels in every batch and often times achieve that or very low levels of 0.5 ppm (which is why we don’t believe any cosmetics company can truly call themselves “heavy metal free” for true transparency). I have yet to find another cosmetics company going to this level of testing for every single batch of ingredients and final product.
Is Talc In Makeup Harmful?
In recent years, talc has gotten a bad rap in the media after a well-publicized lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson alleged their baby powder directly caused reproductive cancer. It turns out it wasn’t talc that was the issue but the asbestos-laden talc that J&J was sourcing for their best-selling baby powder. Sufficient evidence exists that J&J hid their knowledge of this asbestos contamination for decades from the public.
What Makes Beautycounter’s Makeup Different:
Beautycounter sources only certified asbestos-free talc which is both tested by our trusted source as well as our own third-party tester for every single batch.
MY 5 MUST-HAVE HIGH-PERFORMING SAFER MAKEUP PRODUCTS
These five Beautycounter makeup products perform like my old MAC & Sephora favorites & I’m always getting compliments on my makeup when I wear them!
1. Tint Skin Foundation: a lightweight, breathable and buildable foundation that helps you achieve that bright, hydrated and slightly luminous glow. It’s not a heavy matte foundation, which I prefer, as heavier foundations cause me to breakout or my skin to look dull and dry.
2.Luminous Highlighter & the limited edition First Light Highlighter Palette: These new highlighters are the best I’ve ever used (and I’m coming from MAC & Sephora) – finely milled cocoa butter powder helps them go on naturally but provide a noticeable and gorgeous glow. Apply to your cheekbones, bridge of nose, cupid’s bow, shoulders & anywhere else you want a natural glow with either the Powder Brush or Fan Brush. They can be used as eyeshadows too!
3. Color Intense Lipstick: I personally prefer a more matte, long-lasting lipstick so Beautycounter really upped the ante with this lipstick line. Safer lipsticks have the reputation or wearing off fast but not here! Don’t be fooled by the name – there are plenty of neutral colors including Brunch, Backstage, and First Date (for a light rosy pink). No gluten or soy either and you can rest assured you won’t be slathering your lips in lead or mercury as well! There’s even a limited edition Holiday Mini Lipstick Vault that contain 8 colors for less than $10 EACH!
4. Velvet Eyeshadow Palette in Classic: To me, this is the perfect all-in-one day to night palette. Browns, neutrals and golds look beautiful on all skin tones and you can really achieve the most natural to a bold, dramatic look with this palette. I recommend the All Over, Crease and Precisioneyeshadow brushes for applying Beautycounter’s eyeshadows. Great mix of mattes & shimmers for all ages.
5. Touchup Concealer Pen: A sleepy mama’s dream come true for under-eye darkness, redness or breakouts. I love this Chanel-inspired concealer pen and how long it lasts me too. Just a few dabs under my eyes and in the corner of my nose where I’m prone to redness, and I’m looking like I got more than 6 hours of broken toddler-banging-on-our-door sleep!