Why Green Beauty? 9 Reasons to Love All Natural Makeup

These days it’s difficult to avoid hearing about the effects of what we put in or on our body. A lot of people have been paying attention and are much more thoughtful about the food they eat, but haven’t made the leap to changing the cosmetics they use.

You want to make the switch to all natural makeup, but you also don’t want to stop using your favorite shampoo, or lipstick, or that sunscreen that doesn’t make you break out. It might take a while to find its green mate, but ditching your drugstore mascara for a natural one is totally worth it. Here’s why.

Top 3 Reasons to Choose All Natural Makeup

1. Drug store and department store products aren’t regulated

I used to assume that the government made sure that the cosmetics we used were safe for us just like with drugs and food. Well, depending on which country your cosmetics are produced in, some are safer than others. The cosmetic industry is essentially self-regulating, and most large companies don’t do a great job at it. And why should they when according to the Office of Cosmetics and Colors at the federal Food and Drug Administration, “…a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA.” (FDA 2012)

With the average woman putting hundreds of different synthetic chemicals on their body every day, it’s no wonder that some of these are carcinogens and allergens when the manufacturers bottom line is producing things as cheaply as possible.

2. Not regulated means anything goes

Shocked to learn that about toxic ingredients in your makeup and skin care products? Well, maybe you didn’t know because cosmetics companies aren’t forced to list all the ingredients. And you’d think products for babies and children would be better regulated, right? Nope. Products created for children like shampoos, detanglers, sunscreens and moisturizers are just as harmful as their grown-up equivalents. We’re not even safe from sunscreen! Products that have ingredients intended to help absorb it past the epidermis and into the dermal layer are considered the worst.

One of the most problematic products are perfumes. When products are marked as “unscented,” they’re frequently filled with chemicals that only give the illusion that a product has no scent. In other words, the scent is unscented. What’s more, companies don’t have to divulge the ingredients of the fragrances that they include because of “trade secret” copyright laws. It could be an essential oil, or it could be twenty different chemicals. As long as law doesn’t ban the ingredient, they can include it in any combination they want, even when those combinations haven’t been tested for possible toxicity.

3. All filler (and it could be a killer)

So no regulation means that chemicals that haven’t been properly tested (let alone tested in certain combinations) are being used in place of natural ingredients for the simple fact that they cost less. Though that cost sometimes translates to cheaper toothpaste, facial cleansers or foundations, the cost is really on our bodies. Over time all these toxins and carcinogens build up, resulting in health problems that may not be immediate, but are nevertheless damaging or worse.

Okay, But What’s In It for Me (besides better health)?

“It’s sooooooo hard!” is something I’ve heard a lot of friends and family say when I talk to them about making the transition to green makeup. To be completely honest, going down the road to a healthier beauty routine might be tough when you start (I know it was for me.) All natural makeup and skin care products can be pricier, or your skin might breakout when trying new stuff. Don’t panic! Instead, consider the many benefits of natural skin care products, such as…

1. Bang for your buck

When you buy cosmetics from companies that don’t mass produce and that have an environmental mission, you’re getting a better quality product that isn’t filled with preservatives. This typically means you use less, and it lasts longer. It’s the difference between an amazing home-baked pie and a gas station pastry. It may be more expensive and time consuming to buy all the ingredients and make the pie (aka doing the research and buying the product) but in the end, per serving it’s cheaper and healthier than that weird cherry Danish from 7-11.

To continue with my somewhat tortured pie metaphor, just like when you crash from a sugar high with that gross-but-tasty pastry, your skin might need a bit of recovery time. This isn’t true for everyone; so don’t let it deter you. And even if you might see a pimple now, it’s worth it to avoid cancer later.

2. Show love to people and animals

Companies that care about things like nature and organic ingredients typically care more about the living things in it, namely people and animals. You’re more likely to find employees at smaller, environmentally conscious, healthier companies make a living wage, versus the employees of big brand name ones. On top of that, by buying products produced by these eco-conscious natural beauty companies, you’re essentially supporting their greater environmental and community efforts. For example – one brand we love, Juice Beauty, is actively involved in manufacturing with solar power, using recycled paper and soy ink, and supporting USDA certified organic farmers.

You’re also more likely to see labels that read “vegan” (which means it doesn’t contain anything derived from animals) and “cruelty-free” (which usually means the final product hasn’t been tested on animals.) If you really love cute critters, make sure to find out if the company promises that they acquire the ingredients from businesses that don’t test on animals, or that they don’t sell their products in countries where animal testing is mandatory.

3. Delicious, mouth-watering makeup!

Not only does our skin absorb much of what’s put on it, but we also help out quite a bit by (accidentally) eating some of our makeup (yum! lead lipstick!) Well, if you’re going to end up ingesting the stuff – might as well get the best stuff, right? Natural beauty companies that use actual natural products like coconut oil, cocoa, and herbs are making sure that you’re eating things that are actually good for your body (or in the very least not bad for it.)

My favorite hair removal product is basically honey and sugar. Sounds a lot better than calcium hydroxide (lime) and sodium hydroxide (lye) that are found in Nair, huh?

4. Be good to your skin…

This makes me sound so old, but I just don’t remember hearing of so many skin conditions when I was growing up. Now it seems like everyone and their dogs have got some sort of skin condition – eczema, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and on and on the list goes. Personally, one of the biggest motivators to go green beauty were little patches of psoriasis that developed around my nose sometime in my 30s. The last thing I wanted to apply to this red, often-broken skin was a medley of toxins.

As you already know, many cosmetics and skin care products contain industrial chemicals that’re harsh and irritating, especially to skin that’s already sensitive. Natural and organic products, on the other hand, are devoid of these allergens and irritants. Not to mention, many of them use filler ingredients that are actually soothing, naturally nourishing and good for your skin.

5. …And it’ll be good to you

Your skin absorbs over 60% of what you put on it. And when you replace skin care products containing carcinogens like parabens and phthalates as well as skin disruptors like mineral oil and PEGs with natural products that are full of antioxidants and healthy fats – your skin’s going to be pretty darn happy about it.

Not only are you eliminating those pesky ingredients that sap your skin’s natural moisture and make it more susceptible to aging and bacteria, you’re also supplying it with free radical scavenging antioxidants and deeply nourishing healthy fats that’ll help combat sunspots and keep wrinkles at bay. Double win.

6. It’s pretty darn easy to make the switch

In case you need another reason to go green (beauty) – here’s the last thing I’ll say about it: It’s never been easier to go au naturale.

Thanks to so many of us finding out about the sneaky toxins in our beauty products and demanding better solutions, there has been a boom in organic, natural beauty companies on the market offering organic, natural beauty products that are actually really damn good at what they do (hint: making us glow even harder!)

Think it’ll be hard to replace that perfect shade of red, red (but toxic) lipstick? Nope – there are lead-free natural lipsticks in every shade of scarlet. Wondering how you’ll ever find a foundation that conceals everything you don’t want the world to see yet? Check out some full-coverage all-natural concealers that actually conceal and heal your skin.

Seriously, we green beauty junkies have oodles of options now. The time is now, aspiring green beauty. The time is now.

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