Makeup can make your skin look prettier. But, if you don't take care of it, it can also ruin your skin. Read on to learn the top tips for clean makeup.
In a world where many find themselves increasingly skeptical of what they put in their bodies, few worry about what they put ON their bodies. The next time you go shopping for makeup, pay some attention to the ingredients list.
The search for clean makeup, or safe makeup, depending on where you are is getting easier. Take solace that cosmetics have come a long way from some obvious nuh-huhs, there's still some wiggle room.
How long you store your makeup depends on its ingredients as well. Depending on if you go through makeup or simply toss it over time, knowing the ingredients helps budget for disposal.
Check out these tips to find the right products for keeping you healthy and beautiful.
Clean Makeup Realities
A little boilerplate before we get started. Not everyone reacts the same to everything. If you know you have an allergy or a sensitivity, keep that as your cardinal rule.
No matter how much an ingredient may be great for most, if you know it isn't good for you, stay safe.
Also, understand that everything is a chemical. Repeat: everything is a chemical. Reality is built of chemicals, so any 'chemical free' or 'natural' label you see is only telling you part of the story.
Clean doesn't mean cleaning. Makeup removal has its own set of do's and don'ts worth looking into. You want the process that removes your safe and clean makeup to be just as, well, safe and clean.
Clean, in this instance, means that it leaves your skin (and eyes and so on) as healthy or healthier than when you started.
A second note, you may read a lot about scary chemical names and 'possible carcinogens' in well-meaning, but overblown health articles.
One of the best ways to keep your skin healthy is to know when to throw out makeup.
Notes on Cancer and Carcinogenic
The IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) lists substances according to their cancer-causing effects.
This list of known to be carcinogenic to 'not classifiable' gets abused to show risks for cancer without noting the context. Risks for shark attack go up when you live in Maui versus Iowa, so to does the risk of cancer in an agent go up with exposure.
If you've read about the terrible group 2B carcinogen powers of coal tar in mascara, you probably didn't know that aloe is also a 2B carcinogen. Why? Because some industries make money selling aloe and they outrank the ones selling coal tar.
Notes on Toxic Ingredients
Do you know the LD50 of arsenic? Arsenic is toxic, right?
Do you know the LD50 of water? Did you know that water is also toxic?
Everything is toxic at a particular dose, that is what toxic even means. LD50 is the lethal dose at which 50% of subjects (typically lab rats) drop off.
It takes a lot more water to harm a rat than arsenic, but they both happen to be toxic.
When you hear someone complain about a toxic ingredient, ask them how much is a problem. This kind of fear-mongering does little to protect your health and a lot to make you pay more for equivalent products.
With this in mind, look for products that do right by your skin. Don't worry about potential exposure harm to x, y, and z unless you find yourself using pounds of it a day (which you won't).
Ingredients to Look For
These ingredients provide benefits to the skin and health of the majority of people.
Yes, aloe is great for your skin. It rejuvenates cells and helps with hydration without drying you out.
It also happens to be a source of antioxidants.
These wonderful almost overblown (but not quite) particles repair damage in cells. Found in foods you should be eating anyway they protect against stress.
How? That is an article in itself, basically, they keep free radicals from bonding with receptors and blocking signals you need to maintain healthy cells.
A compound found in soaps and your own skin. Glycerin is a staple ingredient in high-end makeup because it restores skin rather than stripping it.
Look for glycerin in foundations and lipsticks to avoid dryness and cracking.
A petroleum byproduct that moisturizes and fills in pores. It helps make skin subtle for most.
For some it can be a clogging agent, so try before you by on this one.
Another artificial product created from silica. It's soft, it's silky, and it protects without clogging or suffocating the skin.
Comes in many names with icone or siloxane at the end.
Ingredients to Avoid
These ingredients build up quickly or cause damage quickly.
Unlike aloe vera and coal tar, 2B carcinogen aluminum has more chance to build up and be absorbed.
While you would need to ingest a lot of it to be a problem, restricting exposure (since it's also found in soda, antacids, and deodorant) is a good choice.
A preservative and also something found in pears and apples in a quantity beyond what you find in you cute makeup.
The big problem is in repeated aerosolized exposure. A bad thing for an airbrush makeup kit.
Also, it has a higher chance than any other ingredient to cause skin irritation. Watch for this one to be phased out in time.
Knowing the difference between organic and inorganic lead is key. Organic lead is the dangerous stuff removed from paint and children's toys.
Still, lead is a neurotoxin which can cause damage. In huge doses, anyway. This is one to avoid if you work with makeup on a professional or industrial level but also the only ingredient actually requiring approval by the FDA.
These little organic compounds mimic estrogen and bind to receptors for that.
They are about 10,000 times weaker than the estradiol found in the pill.
If you are prone to hormone issues, skipping this ingredient doesn't hurt.
An antibacterial and antifungal used as a preservative. There is some risk in tests of lab animals that it can cause thyroid issues.
Like most things, huge doses beyond what you will normally run into is required.
The largest threat is how triclosan helps build up resistance to antibiotics in bacteria.
Feel Your Best
Getting to the crux of clean makeup is about knowing what works best for you. When you feel good, you look good. Makeup should help you to feel your best, maybe sigh at the putting on or taking off, but never fear the long-term effects.
Keep reading our blog for more insights.