L’Oreal, Cover Girl, Maybelline, Wet ‘n’ Wild, the list goes on: These are all brand names we’ve all probably grown up with, or at least know as well as we know how to find our local Target.
TV, radio, the Internet, billboards, magazines…commercial cosmetics companies have all of these covered, but what about the dark side of the beauty industry?
Cosmetics giants may not care about your health, but you should. Read on to learn 10 good reasons why switching to natural cosmetics is a must.
1. They’re Safe
One of the scariest things about commercial cosmetics is the fact that they aren’t heavily regulated by the US federal government, nor are they subject to pre-market safety testing. What we do know is that many common compounds in mass-market makeup are known to be carcinogenic, including Benzophenone (and related compounds), carbon black, formeldehydes and many more.
SafeCosmetics.Org is a great source of information on the subject. Stay safe, steer clear and go organic.
2. They Help Give You Glowing Skin
Organic cosmetics include components like oils, plant extracts and other natural ingredients that moisturize and soothe skin. According to Stephanie Brown, a former Aveda educator and current Goldgrass Home beauty consultant, this type of makeup is formulated without pesticides, synthetics, herbicides and other harmful ingredients, using only the good stuff (i.e., plant-derived ingredients).
Synthetics vs. naturals? The choice is clear — just like your skin on organics!
3. They Don’t Hurt the Environment
Commercial cosmetics packaging contributes greatly to the mountains of non-biodegradable waste piling up on the planet. Worse yet, they include ingredients like nanoparticles and mercury, which can damage ecosystems when introduced via wastewater, according to Linda Sharps of TakePart.
Do the environment (and yourself!) a favor, and stick with natural cosmetics companies that use recyclable and/or biodegradable packaging and who forgo environmentally damaging chemicals.
Related Article: 13 Simple Ways to Organize Your Makeup Right Now
4. You Can Make Your Own
This is where the fun really begins. You can make virtually any cosmetic you can dream up — lip balm, lipstick, eyeshadow, nail polish, face masks, blush, powders — with yummy ingredients like cocoa powder, sugar, coconut oil, cinnamon, you name it!
Skip the harsh chemicals and toxins, and host a DIY makeup party instead. To learn how to concoct your own ultra-fun DIY rainbow lip scrub, check out this video by beauty guru Karina Garcia:
5. They Smell Yummy
Because organic makeup uses ingredients like cocoa powder and cinnamon, they often smell as amazing as they are healthy. For ladies who are accustomed to the synthetic fragrances used by cosmetics conglomerates, some natural products may smell strange at first, but rest assured: You are doing yourself and the environment a favor by skipping the synthetics.
For the safest scent possible when you’re looking for a great perfume, look for essential oils, which you can find at almost any natural foods distributor.
6. They Don’t Cause Birth Defects
Frighteningly, research points to commercial cosmetics as a potential contributor to birth defects. This makeup often contains a controversial chemical called phthalates, which BirthDefects.org states can be inhaled as a vapor, or absorbed directly through the skin.
The mother’s intake of this chemical may likely contribute to birth defects like premature birth, low birth weight and abnormal development.
7. They’re Cruelty-Free
Most of us are aware of the horrific animal testing that goes on behind the laboratory doors of major makeup retailers. Straight from the Humane Society, just a few ways animals are injured during testing is by having irritants rubbed into their eyes and/or skin without offering any pain relief, force-feeding and “lethal-dose” tests (yep, it’s just as tragic and horrible as it sounds).
Here is a list of PETA’s cruelty-free cosmetics you can be proud to support.
8. There Are Many Options to Choose From
As awareness of the dangers of commercial makeup become increasingly mainstream, more and more small companies are manufacturing organic beauty products to meet the demand for safe, effective cosmetics.
Now, even beauty giant Sephora offers an all-natural makeup line! Exciting new makeup lines and nail polishes are being developed every day. Go to it, girl!
9. They Have a Proven Safety Track Record
The ingredients in natural beauty products have a very long history of being safe for use. Obviously, most of the plants, minerals and herbs on organic ingredient lists have been used by humans for hundreds, if not thousands of years — safely.
The same cannot be said for the mass market variety. According to neuropathic doctor Dr. Jody Krukowski, popular cosmetics contain more than a thousand ingredients banned in other countries. Those are some scary stats.
10. They Don’t Mess With Your Hormones
Hormone-mimicking chemicals common in products like nail polishes, hairsprays and fragrances — phthalates in particular — have been linked to early puberty in both girls and boys in early elementary school.
According to the Mayo Clinic, possible complications of early puberty include shortened height and social and emotional problems, among others. OBGYN Dr. Laura Corio, an MD at Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC, also says phthalates can disrupt your hormonal makeup, leading to early menopause. Organic beauty products, on the other hand, forgo these dangerous chemicals altogether.
Will you start using natural cosmetics today?
So there you have it: 10 compelling reasons why organic makeup is safer and more effective than commercial cosmetics.
Even if you only switch to a few natural products at first — and even then just to stay on the safe side for yourself and for your loved ones, for the environment or even just for the beauty benefits these products give — the change may just give you the peace of mind of knowing you’re making the best, most informed beauty decisions you can.
Start big or small, but do so knowing you and your loved ones can be beautiful and safe.