5 Toxic Ingredients in Your Make Up
Do You Know What’s In Your Make Up Bag?
I switched to an all natural skincare routine about 3 months ago. When I did my guest post for Roccabox – “My 10 Step Natural Skincare Routine“, I had already done the bulk of my research into skincare at that time and had begun my work into make up.
Ingredients are essentially similar, there are a couple of exceptions such as 1,4 – Dioxane which is found in products that foam, not something you want with your make up! But for the most part, you can look for these ingredients in both your skincare and make up.
There are more ingredients to look out for than what we have in this list. These are just some of the worst and most common ingredients you will find, so make sure to read the lists on the back if you can. Another thing to add, I have tried for a while to find make up on the UK high street that has little to none of these in – it is HARD.
If you choose to read more into this you can find there are a lot of make up products/brands online that are free from a lot of nasties, but they are on the pricer side. You can argue it is 100% worth the investment but unless you making enough disposable income, for most people like me it takes time to fully transition so don’t panic if you can’t change everything across straight away.
Used as a preservative in cosmetics to limit bacterial growth, it is linked to high risk skin irritations including lungs, organ system toxicity & impact the nervous system. It can be found in foundations, lip gloss, concealer, lip balm & mascara and they can be especially bad for nursing mothers and infants. When looking at the label you are keeping an eye out for Phenoxyethanol, 2-Phenoxyethanol & PhE.
Retinol is a chemical name of the micronutrient vitamin A, it can be very harmful when added to cosmetic products in certain forms. One of them is Retinyl Palmitate, but you are also looking for: retinol, retinyl acetate, retinyl & tretinoin. It is commonly used in foundations and is a possible carcinogen, can cause organ toxicity & changes in the body on a cellular level.
Titanium dioxide is used in a variety of products and is especially dangerous in pressed and loose powders where it can be inhaled. It is designated by The International Agency for Research on Cancer as a carcinogen with possible increased chances of lung cancer upon frequent inhalation. You are either looking for the regular name or TiO2, remember to be cautious when looking for powders for blush, foundation & bronzer.
Linked to several health concerns, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are preservatives that are linked to organ system toxicity, development toxicity & cancer. When reading the labels you can look for the names above in bold, you can find these in various make up products especially lip products.
These ingredients are built around fluorine and can be found in pressed powders, bronzer, blush, mascara & lip balm. On the ingredients list, you are looking for other names like Polyperfluoromethylisopropyl Ether, DEA-C8-18 Perfluoroalkylethyl Phosphate & Teflon, mouthful.
“PTFE is generated using another fluorinated compound, perfluorooctonoic acid (PFOA), which may leave residual amounts of PFOA in the final ingredient.” It is these small amounts that have been linked to cancer, mammary cancer & reproductive toxicity.
It is fair to say that yes, these ingredients can fend off bacteria and help the product perform better. But the amount of damage they can cause over a long period of exposure just doesn’t seem worth it.
Top tips for starting to go chemical free:
- Start by looking for products with the least amount of harmful chemicals. You will be lucky to find any with zero on the UK high street, so try for the least amount that you can to start with.
- When identifying chemicals, pick the lesser of two evils and look for the worst ones. Unsure where to start? Once you’ve ruled out the ones above, check out the Skin Deep Database this incredible site (and app) ranks products on different levels of cancer concern, irritation etc. The website is better for ingredients and the app for products, they cover food too!
3. Make your own! There are sooooo many online guides/tutorials on how to make your own make up products with natural ingredients! It’s the next step I want to take for a cleaner make up bag.