Cosmetics has come a long way during the course of history. The use of makeup has been around since ancient Egypt, and has played a very crucial role in the development of different cultures. It continues to be an important part of everyday life, so much so that women in the U.S. alone spend close to $300,000 on cosmetics in an entire lifetime.
The only problem, however, is the fact that many of the beauty products we use may contain a number of toxic materials that may cause serious side effects.
What’s In Your Lipstick?
According to a report by the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C., over 595 companies that manufactured beauty products use 88 different chemicals. Twelve of these (mercury, methylene glycol and formaldehyde, to name a few) were recently banned in California when Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2762 into law.
Other states are expected to follow through considering that there is always a need to enact or strengthen consumer protection laws and hold cosmetics companies accountable for health complications caused by their products. Until then, consumers will have to do their part by making informed choices and avoiding products containing carcinogenic materials. This is easier said than done, given that not all companies provide a full disclosure of the ingredients and processes they are using.
What remains as the best way to maintain a toxic-free beauty regimen is to make the switch towards organic products. It’s an important decision to make on your part, but there are ways to help you transition to a more health-conscious as well as environmentally sound beauty routine.
Five Tips to Saying “Bye-Bye” to Bad Beauty
They say beauty is subjective, but different beauty products may contain more or less the same type and amount of chemicals, mostly preservatives like parabens and sulfates. What’s more, these products may already be an important part of your everyday beauty needs and switching to alternatives may require some time to get used to. On the other hand, you can use these five tips to make the process less hectic on your part:
1. Start Thinking Green
To get started with your toxic-free beauty regimen, you will need to commit yourself to going green. For sure, it’s not as simple as it sounds since it involves a drastic shift towards different alternatives.
Nonetheless, embracing healthier and more eco-friendly alternatives starts with keeping an open mind, doing a lot of research, and understanding the difference between what is organic and inorganic, among others. It’s also important to realize the ethical and environmental implications of using products made from natural ingredients.
Green beauty is not just a trend you need to follow. It’s a change in lifestyle you need to commit to because of the number of benefits it brings. Aside from helping you lead a toxic-free lifestyle, green beauty costs less to maintain. Moreover, you also get to do your part in saving the environment by turning away from beauty products that act as pollutants.
2. Check for Toxic Materials
As soon as you commit to a greener beauty regimen, you need to have a good idea of the ingredients that famous brands often infuse their products with, especially those that may contain toxins. California’s AB 2762 may have identified 12 of the most dangerous chemicals in cosmetics, but there is a lot more out there that you need to be aware of.
You don’t need to be an expert in chemistry to do this. You just have to take a closer look at the labels and do research on each synthetic ingredient. When it comes to personal care products, most of these including well-known brands may contain SLS or SLES, sulfates which act as water pollutants.
It’s also important to watch out for products that contain synthetic colors. Most cosmetic products such as lipsticks are made from coal tar, a material used for creating darker pigments. Coal tar is highly flammable and prolonged exposure can cause itchiness, dryness, irritation and a burning sensation on the skin.
Before you go on a shopping spree for makeup and beauty products, it pays to give the packaging a second look and determine if it’s really worth purchasing.
3. Is the Product Cruelty-Free?
In their commitment to create consumer products that are safe for humans, many big names in the cosmetics industry resort to animal testing. Mice, monkeys, and guinea pigs are often the subject of inhumane experiments that aim to introduce safer and more effective products to the market.
Even as these companies are following consumer protection regulation, Cruelty Free International says that more has to be done in terms of coming up with alternative testing methods that are humane and backed by science.
This means a lot to you as a consumer since cruelty-free products are derived from natural sources. Moreover, the fact that these products require regulatory tests proves that they do not pose a significant threat to both animals and humans. Olbas, which specializes in manufacturing essential oils, puts a guarantee on their cruelty-free products. Sure enough, there are also cosmetics manufacturers that do well without animal testing. You may have to add “cruelty-free” to your criteria for natural beauty products worth spending on.
4. Finding the Right Brand or Supplier
As you learn more about important beauty alternatives and the kinds of chemicals you need to avoid, you may want to find a brand or supplier that has got you covered when it comes to natural and cruelty-free ingredients.
For this, you may want to join online forums or social media groups that discuss green beauty. You can also search for tutorials or do a simple Google search to find wellness centers and shops that sell organic beauty products made from CBD oil, vanilla extract, and other alternative ingredients. Before you consider purchasing, you might want to get a second opinion from your physician or dermatologist.
Making the switch towards healthier and eco-friendly beauty habits is an important decision to make. It can also be a very worthwhile investment considering the fact that it’s risk-free. You only need to make the right choices and learn more how you can maintain a beauty regimen without any trade offs.