Green Your Beauty Routine

The average woman uses 168 different ingredients on a daily basis, and over her lifetime she will ingest 4 pounds of lipstick.  Studies show that your skin can absorb up to 90% of a given chemical that is topically applied - in other words, it is a giant sponge.

Makeup artist Kristen Arnett joined us to talk about some of the chemicals in cosmetics and show us some alternatives that can work just as well as, or better than conventional products.

Parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen, which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers. Parabens can cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis and Rosacea in individuals with paraben allergies, a small percentage of the general population. Studies indicate that methylparaben applied on the skin reacts with UVB leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage.  Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors and estrogen mimics. Phthalates and parabens can show up in the urine a mere 20 minutes after application of a cosmetic or body care product that contains them.

Mineral oil is not usually found naturally but is a by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline, and related to petroleum jelly.  It is a known comedogen, that is, it plugs up pores and can cause a worsening of acne.

Sodium Lauryl (or Laureth) Sulfate is a controversial foaming agent that exists in majority of the products on the market today.  It’s a powerful degreaser that leaves the skin vulnerable to environmental attacks.  You’ll find it in hand soap, shampoo, face wash, even toothpaste.

Using natural products is environmentally friendly because it doesn’t create demand for the production of toxic chemicals or leave harmful residue during disposal into the sewer or landfills. July 20th a new bill was introduced to Congress called the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 to ask the government to establish better safety guidelines and accountability for the cosmetics industry.  10 Ingredients to watch for:

  1. Parabens
  2. Formaledhyde
  3. Synthetic Fragrances and Colors – look for labels that say phthalate –free
  4. DEA and TEA (diethanolamine and triethanolamine)
  5. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate
  6. Propylene glycol
  7. PVP/VA co-polymer
  8. Diazolidinyl urea and imidazolidinyl urea
  9. Petroleum/Mineral Oil
  10. Triclosan

As a professional makeup artist, my standards for products are enormously high.  Here are some which I feel perform as well as, or better than, the more chemical-filled products on the market:

  • Burt’s Bees Orange Essences Facial Cleanser
  • Jason Naturals Super C Cleanser
  • 100% Pure Nourishing Facial Oil
  • Jurlique Moisture Replenishing Day Cream
  • Josie Maran Argan Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30
  • Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
  • Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals Foundation
  • RMS Beauty Un-Cover Concealer
  • ZuZu Luxe Mascara
  • 100% Pure Bronzer
  • Zuzu Luxe Bronzer
  • Jenulence Alkanet Root DMAE tinted Lip Balm
  • Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Fig
  • Revolution Organics Freedom Glow Beauty Balm
  • 100% Pure Cheek and Lip Tint in Sugar Plum
  • Primitive Lip Liner, Lip Gloss and Lipstick
  • Jane Iredale Eyeshadow and Eyeliner
  • RMS Beauty Living Luminizer
  • Jason Naturals Sea Fresh Toothpaste (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Flouride free)
  • Alterna Shampoo, Conditioner, Working Hair Spray

For more information on chemicals in cosmetics, click here.  For more information on Kristen Arnett, visit her website.


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