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How I Got Turned Off Synthetic Cosmetics

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blush-banner-6.jpgWhy Mineral Make Up Changed My Life

There is some very scary information out there about the ingredients being used in products that are sold to us under the guise of being healthy, natural and beautiful. This scary reality has taken me on a path I never thought possible, making my own mineral make up. Many companies will say they are natural or organic, using slick advertising and big money sell us on the idea. Even if it says ‘Mineral’ on the package, it may still contain nasty stuff. In actuality, even the most expensive brands, are using cheap toxic fillers like talc and bismuth oxychloride. These companies will test on animals even though it isn’t necessary. So how do you protect yourself, the animals and the environment from the cosmetic giants? READ THE LABEL. Companies intentionally make it difficult to read those labels by using tiny letters all in capitals with little space between the words. You may feel like you need a chemistry degree just to decipher the code! But fear not, there are a few main nasty ingredients to watch out for and generally the fewer ingredients the better. Also look for Latin names. The INCI code for listing ingredients in cosmetics is standard. This means that all natural plant and animal ingredients must be listed in Latin. The common name isn’t even necessary!?

do’s and do not’s about mineral make up ingredientsapple-blossom-new.jpg

do look for things like arrowroot powder (Maranta Arundinacea), rice powder (Oryza Sativa) , corn starch (Zea Mays) , and kaolin clay. These ingredients absorb oil naturally as well as allow the skin to breathe.

do look for mica. This razor-thin rock gives powders a shimmery glow that helps reflect light and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It’s also why mineral foundations are buildable, the thin layers provide customizable coverage.

do look for zinc oxide. Not only a natural sunscreen, zinc oxide also kills bacteria and works as an anti-inflammatory, making it a good acne-fighter.

do look for Silk Protein/powder. Crushed silk fibers will diffuse light and fill in minor wrinkles and imperfections. It gives powder foundations a smooth light feel and provides healing amino acids. (note, silk fibers are not vegan)

do look for Plant and Vegetable oils. These natural alternatives replace the traditional polymers used to keep makeup colors on your skin, and also help the pigments in mascara stick to lashes. For example, sweet almond and sunflower oils nourish your lips and keep them well-hydrated without the scary side effects.

do look for natural waxes. This may include bee’s wax and plant waxes. They perform as polymers to keep make up  on your skin. (note, bee's wax is not vegan)

do not buy make up with lots of preservatives. Synthetic liquid make up is made with water. Water provides a nice comfy home for bacteria to grow. So this makes a strong preservative necessary to keep that product uncontaminated and preserved for all eternity. Here are a few of the most common nasty chemicals to avoid: phenoxyethanol, formaldehyde, PEG-any number, dimethicone, polyoxyethylene, anything-paraben, Diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA), propylene glycol, 1-4 dioxane and list goes on on on on…..(stay tuned to a future post where I will explain why these chemicals are so nasty.)

do not buy any make up containing Coal Tar Dyes, FD&C dyes and Lake dyes. Coal tar is a complex chemical mixture that includes a number of suspected and known carcinogens, such as benzene, toluene, naphthalene, anthracene, xylene, creosote oils and benzo[a]pyrene, which is know to cause cancer.

do not buy any make up that contains cheap fillers like bismuth oxychloride, or alc. these have all been inked to various cancers.

do not trust in a brand because it is popular or expensive or because every professional make up artist is using it. Even if all their advertisements say how amazing it is and it works like a dream. Over time the reality will sink in and present itself as ageing, dry, damaged skin. Have you ever wondered about why men seem to age more gracefully than women? One key factor, men don’t wear make up or slather their faces with expensive creams, to make them look younger. If you want to compare what your skin might look like if you hadn’t worn cosmetics or exposed it to the sun, just take a peek at an area on your body that has not been exposed to the sun, like the underside of your arm. Compare this to your face. See the difference?

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Stephanie Storm, Creative Designer, Artist, Nature Obsessed.

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