For many women, makeup is a part of our everyday lives. Women collectively spend billions of dollars each year on makeup, and a great many of us wear it every single day. But have you ever stopped to think about what’s in all that stuff that you put on your face?
Why Use Natural Makeup?
You might be surprised to learn just how loosely regulated the cosmetics industry is. The Food and Drug Administration does not review or approve cosmetic products or ingredients, and manufacturers are not required to conduct testing before putting products on the market. There are rules that regulate labeling, but they simply aren’t strict enough. Some dangerous ingredients can be referred to with general terms such as “fragrance,” and others are not required to appear on the label because they are by-products of reactions between other ingredients.
Much has been learned about the dangers of chemicals used in makeup. Still, many cosmetics companies continue to use these ingredients because they are cheaper and easier to obtain. But a growing number of manufacturers have begun to use more natural ingredients in their products.
There are many reasons that natural makeup is better for our health and our skin. These include:
* Some of the chemicals used in cosmetics are known to be dangerous. Mercury, for example, is hazardous to our health in numerous ways, yet it continues to be used in cosmetics and deodorants. Other hazardous chemicals found in makeup include lead acetate, formaldehyde, tolulene, phthalates and petrochemicals.
* Some ingredients are not particularly harmful on their own, but can form dangerous compounds when combined with other chemicals. So a chemical in your foundation could come into contact with a chemical in your blush and create a new, hazardous chemical.
* Oone exposure to a small amount of a given chemical is unlikely to cause major harm. However, daily use of cosmetics containing these chemicals allows them to build up in our bodies. This can lead to hormonal imbalances, reproductive problems, cancer and more. Parabens are one such ingredient that may be implicated in breast cancer.
* Natural products are usually less likely to cause sensitivity. It is possible to develop an allergy to anything, but synthetic chemicals are more likely to cause adverse reactions.
Is Your Makeup Truly Natural?
In light of the increased awareness of the dangers of certain chemicals, some companies have begun to label their products “safe” and “natural.” The problem is that these terms are not regulated either. Unlike terms used in food labeling, these words can appear on cosmetics packaging without any specific requirements.
In other words, those words are meaningless.
So it is up to us to read labels and research the companies that we buy cosmetics from. Some companies have shown their dedication to eliminating dangerous chemicals in their products by signing the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. This is a pledge to replace hazardous chemicals in their products with safe alternatives within three years. While the compact is not overseen by the government, it does have strict requirements for signers.
Natural makeup is not yet the norm, but it is becoming more popular. And as more users learn of the dangers of chemicals commonly used in cosmetics, it can only become more mainstream. Until then, it’s up to us to seek out companies that care about their customers enough to avoid using hazardous ingredients.
Download the free natural beauty guide here.