Detox is a scary word. It gets thrown around all over the health and wellness industry. Need to lose weight? Detox! Need to clear yourself of impurities? DETOX! It’s kind of annoying, frankly. I’m not knocking all detoxes, but it’s one of those terms I hate using because it’s overused and thrown around too often.
But you know what? I just don’t have a better word for this new blog series. Detox literally means: a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. And that’s exactly what this series is intended to help you do…
Detox Your Life series is going to be about ridding your life of toxic or unhealthy substances. I’m not only talking about juice or water cleanses here. These are easy, simple things you can all do to holistically detoxify your lives! It doesn’t only need to be about food. Health is so much more than that, like… say, taking a critical look at what you wear on your face every single day.
Let’s Detox Your Makeup Bag
Ready? If you’re anything like me, you don’t have much of a makeup bag (I really can’t be bothered to wear it unless I’m doing something special), but that being said, I still have the basics – eye shadow, mascara, foundation, etc. And most of it is “natural” makeup.
I decided to take a leap into the world of “natural” beauty products. Yes, it was scary leaving behind my MAC foundation and perfect mascara I had found. The thing about makeup is that once you find a product that works for you, you never ever ever want to leave. So yes, I was worried I wouldn’t find love again in the natural makeup world.
But I’m here. I’m still alive. I made it on the other side, and I’ve got a few pretty awesome products to boot. But why did I make some of these changes?
The David Suzuki Foundation conducted a survey on Canadian’s cosmetics and determined that 80% of products had at least ONE ingredient from their Dirty Dozen list for Health & Beauty products. What’s worse? More than half of the products had multiple ingredients. This survey is about 5 years old, but I’m sure the results today wouldn’t be much different. This dirty dozen includes ingredients like:
- BHT/BHA: suspected endocrine disrupters, which may cause cancer.
- Formaldehyde releasing preservatives: releases formaldehyde, which can cause cancer.
- Parabens: suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions (not good).
- Coal tar dyes (p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number): may cause cancer and be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
All right… Are you convinced yet? To find the full list of the dirty dozen chemicals, check it out here.
If you wear your makeup every single day, you’re a great candidate for a good product-detox. I’m not saying go without makeup (although that’s the best for your skin), but take a critical look at what you’re letting soak into your body. Maybe it’s time for a change? Maybe you’re ready for some natural makeup in your life?
How do you know if your makeup is toxic?
The David Suzuki Foundation has done significant research on this topic and currently has a Dirty Dozen list for Health & Beauty products. Print it off, bring it with you to the store, and make sure your makeup’s ingredients don’t end up on that list.
But remember – these 12 ingredients are just the beginning. There are many more than 12 toxic ingredients in makeup. Do your research and learn about each ingredient. Understand how much it’s been studied, and what the studies have showed.
Interestingly, the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database has studied a number of traditional cosmetics and gives each of them a rating depending on what’s in them. It also gives a great breakdown of the ingredients, and how “toxic” each of them might be. Take a few minutes and search for your products. You may see them, you may not, but it’s a great place to start.
Where can I get natural makeup, with clean ingredients?
Check out your local health food store – many of them have makeup products and these are less likely to be filled with toxic chemicals. They’re not all perfect, but they’re probably a little safer than those you get at Walmart. Do your due diligence and research the ingredients.
Large wellness websites like Vitacost and Well.ca have big make-up sections. The ingredients are listed right on the website with user reviews rating the effectiveness of the product. This is hugely helpful when contemplating a new brand.
Another great resource for natural makeup is natural health bloggers. Check out websites like Organic Beauty Talk, Living Pretty, Naturally, and Organic Beauty Blogger. They write about organic and natural makeup options and have some good product reviews.
Phew. That is a lot of info. You guys lost yet? Hang in just a LITTLE longer!
As I mentioned, these are all great places to start. But no matter where you get your makeup from, bottom line – check the ingredients. That’s the best way to ensure it’s clean and toxin-free. And always double-check it against the EWG website. Just because it says it’s “natural” doesn’t always mean it’s clean.
What do I use?
These are the few products I’ve found and loved so far:
- Gabriel Costmetics Foundation: who doesn’t love makeup made with sesame seed oil, avocado extract and shea butter? This colour matches my skin pretty perfectly, which can be a challenge if you know how pale I am!
- eos and Burt’s Bees lip balm: both brands create great lip chaps that are loaded with coconut oil, beeswax and olive oils. Nourishing and safe.
- Ecco Bella FlowerColor mascara: not a perfect ingredient list, but it works well. When this bottle is done, I’ll try to find something with cleaner ingredients. Regardless, it’s still better than what you’ll find at the drug store.
- Earth’s Beauty Foundation Powder Plus: I usually top off my liquid foundation with this powder to help set it. It doesn’t have much coverage as a foundation on its own, but I love layering it. Plus it’s main ingredient is arrowroot – the plant. Yep!
- Acure Moroccan Argan oil: I use this as a moisturizer on my face, and small amounts on the ends of my wet hair to keep hydrate them. With 100% USDA certified organic Argan oil, this stuff is amazing. Super moisturizing, and I got this one at a very good price.
If you’re telling me that your makeup bag is packed full of products, perhaps it’s not financially reasonable to go and replace everything. I get that. Start with the few, key products you wear on a daily basis (those are the most important ones) and go from there. Every next step you take is a step in the right direction.
And I promise you all, it’s completely possible to find great, natural makeup products. You just need to know where to look, and what to look for!
Do you wear natural or organic beauty products?