You are perfect. But we understand that, every now and then, you need to add a little color to your cheeks and a little smoke to those eyes. Most cosmetics contain toxic chemicals that may cause harm and age you prematurely. Why use toxic cosmetics, many of which were tested on animals, when you can have your makeup and eat it too? You can make everything in your makeup bag from items you already have in your kitchen and some from your local health food store.
What’s in Your Makeup Bag?
The effects of makeup on your health are more than just skin-deep. Your makeup bag harbors more horrors than you can shake a sharp stick at: everything from lead to asbestos and quite a few nasty things in between. Some of the ingredients moonlight as stabilizers for pesticides and industrial cleaners. Can we all agree that something that’s used to clean a factory floor probably shouldn’t be cleaning your delicate face?
The ugly truth about the beauty industry is that many of these chemicals have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and infertility, as well as skin irritation and eczema.
Here is a list of the chemicals with the most dire health consequences:
These endocrine disrupters found in synthetic fragrances and nail polish have been linked to breast cancer and early puberty in girls. Studies have also found high phthalate levels in people suffering from diabetes. Phthalates have been linked to obesity in children. 1
Used as an anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and as a preservative, parabens have been found in biopsies of breast tumors. Parabens are thought to be present in 75-90 percent of cosmetic products. The problem is that these are considered part of the “trade secret” ingredients, so cosmetic companies aren’t required to list them on the label. They are found in a wide range of creams, lotions, and antiperspirants. 2 3 4
3. Ethylene Oxide
The National Toxicology Program classifies ethylene oxide as a known carcinogen. It is found in shampoos and fragrances and has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.
Found in a plethora of products, including sunscreens, lipsticks, foundations, nail polishes, and toothpastes with whitening properties, lead is a neurotoxin that is known to reduce fertility and may result in learning and language disabilities and behavioral problems. 5
A popular anti-bacterial, triclosan can be found in cleansers, antiperspirants, cosmetics, and toothpastes. Triclosan is actually classified as a pesticide, and it can have serious effects on your hormones, especially those associated with the thyroid, which regulate the metabolism. Widespread use of triclosan in hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial soaps is linked to increased bacterial resistance. 6 7
Antiperspirant contains anti-bacterial chemicals and zinc, which have been linked to breast cancer and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Toss your underarm sticks and make your own in two shakes of a lamb’s tail – you probably already have everything you need! 8 9
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons baking soda
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
Mix all the ingredients into a stiff paste and spoon into an empty underarm deodorant stick. Cool in the fridge until firm. Apply as usual.
Note: if it is very warm in your home, keep the deodorant in the fridge so that the coconut oil doesn’t liquefy.
Face Powder and Eye Shadow
Talc, a known toxic substance, is found in face powders and eye shadows, where it acts as an anti-caking agent. Talc contains asbestos, which causes cancer in the breast and lungs. 10
Face powders and eye shadows also contain zinc and may cause skin irritation with extended use. Dr. Donald Grant, dermatitis specialist, says, “Unfortunately I do see an awful lot of women who have eczema or inflammation on their eyelids and nowhere else. The tissue around the eyes dries out as you get older.”
If you want alluring peepers and perfect skin, you can cook up your own beauty regimen in no time at all.
- Cocoa powder for brown eye shadow
- Beet powder for pink eye shadow
- Spirulina for green eye shadow
- Activated charcoal for black/gray eye shadow
- Nutmeg for golden brown eye shadow
For the eye shadows, use one-quarter of a teaspoon of arrowroot as your base. Now add color until you get the shade you desire.
For face powder, start with one tablespoon of arrowroot and slowly add cocoa and nutmeg until you get a shade that matches your skin tone. 11
Note: for a creamier eye shadow, add one-eighth of a teaspoon of shea butter, which will help to moisturise your lids and prevent the eye shadow from rubbing off.
Mascara and Eyeliner
Smokey eyes can be healthily achieved when you follow this easy recipe that serves as both an eyeliner and mascara. Use an old mascara tube and a brush to apply the mixture. To clean the mascara tube, soak it in very hot water for 10 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.
- 3/4 tsp beeswax
- 1/2 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp shea butter
- 2 tsp aloe vera gel
- 1 capsule activated charcoal
You can find all these ingredients at your local health food store. Place the beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, and aloe vera in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place the ingredients in a glass or metal bowl in a pot of water.
Heat gently over a very low heat until all the ingredients are melted and mixed. Break open the capsule, add the charcoal, and mix well. Use a funnel to pour the mixture into the mascara tube or pour it into a container for eyeliner.
If you don’t have a funnel, pour the mixture into a plastic bag, snip a corner off, and then squeeze the bag so that the mixture can be piped into the mascara tube without spilling. 12
About the author:
Nikki Fotheringham is a green-living expert and the editor of Greenmoxie.com. She lives in Toronto with her husband and a very bad dog.
Reprinted with permission from our friends at fix.com/blog