HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR MAKEUP IS TOXIC
15 dangerous ingredients in your makeup to avoid.
Did you know that a woman consumes almost 7 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime? Most of it whenever she eats or drinks, that’s like having a meal with a side of petrolatum and synthetic dyes! Or that the eyeliner you use to tightline could get transferred into your eyes and potentially cause cancer? Let’s not even get started on the foundation that stays in your pores even after you’ve done your nightly cleansing ritual.
If you’ve ever wondered if there are any adverse side effects to wearing makeup, this article is for you! Read on to find out more about what harmful chemicals and toxins we are exposed to when we do our makeup every morning.
The Pursuit of Beauty
In the era of waterproof eyeliner, liquid lipsticks, false lashes, and just about any formulation of foundation you can think of, it is a great time to be involved with makeup! For most of us, we enjoy dolling up our faces with a vast number of products ranging from primer to highlighters and ending off with the perfect mix of two shades of lipstick – the full works! For some, the simple pairing of a layer of BB cream and a swipe of lip gloss renders us presentable enough to leave the house. Whichever way you wear it, putting on makeup is a big part of the feminine experience – and herein begins the never-ending pursuit of beauty and the products necessary to achieve it.
Dangers of Chemical Makeup
As pretty and confident as we feel with our flawless highlights and winged liner on, have we ever considered the potential consequences of putting on layers of this stuff on our face every day? In light of numerous studies in the recent years, the cosmetics industry has come under close scrutiny over the use of artificial ingredients that may result in cancers, further aggravate skin allergies, damage the nervous system, and in some cases be harmful to pregnant women and their unborn babies. Though the makeup we apply is on the surface of our skin, we sometimes fail to realize that through long-term use and daily exposure, the nano-particles found in our makeup stay on our skin and from there, are absorbed into the bloodstream. Once this occurs, there is no telling what they can do to our organs and our health!
The average woman starts wearing makeup at the age of 14 (though that number is decreasing significantly), and uses an average of 10 products at a time. Assuming a lifespan of 80 years and an average wear-time of 7 hours, that’s a whopping 163,520 hours that we expose ourselves to a number of toxic and potentially harmful chemicals. Are we really going to assume that this causes no long-term harm on our health at all?
The question now is: How do we know if the makeup we’re using is safe for us?
Our answer to you - It’s all in the LABELS.
Get to Know Your Labels
To begin – it is important to note some facts about labels and exactly what information they provide.
There should always be a label
While this may seem worthy of an eye roll followed with a “duh!”, we cannot stress enough how important it is to check that all products must have prominent labels (be it on the product or as an insert) with important information about the product, one of these being the list of ingredients. It goes without saying that if there isn’t a label of some sort, put it back and walk away.
Labels should have at least 2 types of information
There are varying types of information that a manufacturer can choose to include on their labels. However, the bare minimum should always include a concise list of ingredients used to make the product, and it’s shelf life once the product is open and exposed to environmental factors like air, sunlight, temperature, and cross contamination.
There is a standard for how ingredients are listed
Most labels follow the standard set out by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which states that ingredients should be listed according to “descending order of predominance” – meaning that the first ingredient you see will tell you what most of the product is made up of. This point will come in handy later on when we discuss how to tell if a product is authentic and safe.
However, this rule is with the exception of a few other types of ingredients. For example, if the ingredient is an approved active drug ingredient, it will be listed before all the other ingredients so that users are aware of any potential effects on the skin. If there are color dyes, these are usually listed after all other ingredients, with their respective color codes.
However, not all ingredients used are required to be listed
While manufacturers should try to be as transparent as possible when listing ingredients, there are some ingredients that they are not required to include. Ingredients that are approved by the FDA to be “trade secrets” may be omitted along with incidental ingredients that are used in insignificant amounts during the process of manufacturing.
However, because of this omission, consumers are not given the complete picture of what the product contains or could have come into contact with to really determine if it is safe for them, especially in the event of possible allergic reactions.
It’s where you’ll find all the important information
Besides ingredients, you may also find other information like manufacturer’s details, date of manufacture and expiry, directions for use, and any relevant warning or precautionary advice.
Now that we have that in check, it’s time to look at the toxic ingredients we have been talking about.
15 Ingredients To Avoid
To look your best without harming yourself, here are 15 ingredients you never want to see on your next makeup shopping spree, and why.
Commonly found in:
- Facial/Shower Cleansers and Scrubs
As one of the most common preservatives present in cosmetic products (estimated 75% - 90% of all cosmetics), Parabens and its harmful effects on the human body are unavoidable as they are found in everyday products such as makeup, shampoo and lotions.
While there exists natural parabens which can be found at insignificant levels in certain foods, these are usually not harmful as the body digests and breaks them down – reducing their effect (if any) on estrogen levels. However, when applied directly to the skin, these chemicals skip the metabolism stage and can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream and organs.
One of the dangers of excessive exposure to Parabens is its potential to disrupt a woman’s hormone function (in particular estrogen levels) as they are able to imitate the female sex hormone, thus becoming an endocrine disruptor. Parabens were also found to be present in human breast cancer tissue – which presents possible links between this harmful chemical and breast cancer.
Commonly found in:
- Color cosmetics
- Fragranced Lotions
- Body Washes
- Hair Care Products
- Nail Polish and Treatment
Phthalates are a common synthetic chemical found in eye shadows, blushes, fragranced lotions, and nail polish and treatment to name a few. They are a popular choice among manufacturers because they are more affordable and versatile. One of the most common forms is Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), which is listed by the European Union to be one of the most worrying components in cosmetics .
DBP can cause disruption to hormone functions as well as reproductive health in the form of harm to the unborn child, or impaired fertility. When DBP is absorbed through the skin, it can interact with existing chemicals in the body and increase the risk of genetic mutations, although it has not been proven to be a mutagen itself. Lab tests also note that side effects such as liver and kidney failure may occur in the long run due to exposure to high levels of Phthalates.
Certain fragrances can also contain significant levels of Phthalates as a hidden ingredient to help scents last longer; but we may not know just how much there is because fragrances are commonly accepted as trade secrets and may not need to be declared on a product label.
Commonly found in:
- Lip Products
- Hair Products
BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) are chemical compounds which mimic antioxidants, and are often found in lipsticks and moisturizes as preservatives.
Yet another commonly known human carcinogen, BHA and BHT may also trigger certain allergies on the skin. BHA is so toxic that it can even cause damage to organism in the water when it is flushed out or rinsed down our drains. Some governments even regulate that products containing BHA as an ingredient must contain warnings to inform consumers on its potential to cause cancer. There is also evidence to suggest that exposure to high levels of BHT might affect the reproductive health of humans, both male and female.
Coal Tar Dyes
Commonly found in:
- Hair Dyes
Coal tar is formulated through a complex blend of hundreds of petroleum-based chemicals contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (read “Petrolatum” below). It is mainly used as coloring in cosmetics and hair products and their presence can be identified on product labels as “P-Phenylenediamine” or “C.I.” and a five digit number that follows.
This harmful chemical is widely known to be a cancer causing ingredient. Significant evidence exists which links the presence of P-phenylenediamine to varying types of cancer, though not enough to confirm it as the main cause. During it’s formulation process, small amounts of heavy metals and aluminum (these will be explored in the following points) may often be introduced as a contaminant – leading to neurotoxicity as well.
While not immediately toxic to us in small doses, they are definitely present in makeup that may be ingested such as lipstick. The European Union has determined that P-phenylenediamine can be dangerous through ingestion or inhalation, and is extremely harmful in the long run towards aquatic environments too.
Synthetic Fragrances & ‘Parfum’
Commonly found in:
- Body Lotion
- Skin Care
- Most Personal Care Products
Although an expected ingredient in perfumes and deodorants, small amounts of fragrances and parfum can also be found in products marked “fragrance-free” or “unscented”, and most personal care products. The terms “fragrance” or “parfum” are a summary for a complicated blend of a hundred or even thousand types chemicals – there really is no telling just what is in the product because most fragrance ingredients need not be listed.
This ambiguous term is host to numerous possibilities of harmful toxins and chemicals – most of which are not even tested for safety. Many of these unidentified chemicals can be the cause of skin irritation and allergies, and more drastic effects include the development or triggering of asthma and migraines.
Individuals who suffer from multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) or environmentally linked illnesses are most susceptible to these side effects, but the majority is still at risk for skin irritation or runny eyes and nose. Due to its complex nature and unclear formulation, there is no wondering why fragrances are the second most common cause of skin irritation and other serious health side effects.
Lab tests of popular perfumes have shown that an average of 14 chemicals per product are not listed on the label. These include those that can trigger allergic reactions or disrupt proper hormone function. To learn more, here is a report by Environmental Defence.
Commonly found in:
- Soaps/Bubble Bath
- Products that lather
Polyethylene Glycols (PEGs) are petroleum-based compounds that are commonly used in cosmetics as fillers, softeners, and moisture-carriers. These compounds are commonly present as the base for cream products such as conditioners and moisturisers, and are classified as a known carcinogen. Excessive exposure to PEGs may result in damage to the nervous system and an interference in human development.
Under certain processing methods, the negative effects of PEG may be further worsened due to possible contamination with a compound known as 1,4-dioxane. Not only is 1,4-dioxane a cancer causing compound, it is a highly indestructible chemical which can contaminate the ecosystem when it is flushed out into drains and thereafter, rivers.
Besides being a carcinogen, PEGs have also been found to cause irritation and toxicity when used on damaged or broken skin. The biggest irony is that PEGs act as an enhancer; which helps to increase the permeability of the skin, and hence allow for a higher absorption rate of the product — along with all its harmful ingredients.
Commonly found in:
Petrolatum is a type of mineral oil jelly (i.e. petroleum jelly) commonly found in balms, skin care, hair care products and lipstick/lipgloss. As petrolatum melts at close to body temperature, once applied it breaks down and forms a waterproof seal across the area of use. It is hence most often used as a moisturizing agent to help lock in moisture in the skin or hair.
The main concern about Petrolatum is its susceptibility to contamination with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs.). This occurs when the petrolatum has not gone through stringent refinement processes. As with most other harmful chemicals, PAHs have been shown to be cancer-causing and can also trigger skin allergies and irritation.
Through prolonged periods of exposure and even consumption (think lipsticks) of petrolatum products, the risk of cancer and skin allergies increases. So the next time you purchase any moisturizing products, look out for any mineral oil or petroleum-based ingredients!
Commonly found in:
- Baby Oils
- Cleansing Oils (Makeup Remover)
Mineral oils are a by-product derived from petroleum and are used mainly as preservatives, as well as a lubricating agent to help retain moisture. It is an extremely affordable ingredient is therefor very common in products targeted to remove dirt and oil-based makeup from the skin, such an cleansing oils, or as a base in foundation that is marketed to be hydrating or moisturizing.
Being made from petroleum, these can also be contaminated with PAHs which can clog our pores and impair the skin’s natural ability to detox – resulting in skin reactions such as acne or breakouts. Long term use of mineral oils without proper cleansing will then suffocate the layers of the skin, leading to and inefficient cell turnover rates signs of premature aging. Liver damage is also a possible outcome as it is overworked while trying to break down mineral oil that enters our system. This can lead to a compromised immune system and poor health in general.
Siloxanes (D4 & D5)
Commonly found in:
- Hair Care
- Face Primers
Siloxanes are silicon-based ingredients used in skin care products to help soften, smoothen and moisturize. Widely used in makeup, deodorants, and moisturizers, siloxanes can interrupt regular hormone function and be damaging to the liver.
Two common types of siloxane known as Cyclotetrasiloxane and Cyclopentasiloxane — or D4 and D5 — are toxic, persistent, and have the potential to bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms – meaning it is nearly impossible to destroy and can build up in the fatty tissues of marine animals like fish when exposed to the aquatic environment. D4 has also been categorized as an endocrine disruptor, interfering with human hormone function and in turn impairing fertility and reproductive health. High doses of D5 have also been found to cause uterine tumours and may influence neurotransmitters in the nervous system.
Commonly found in:
- Products that lather
Sodium Laureth Sulfate, commonly known as SLS/SLES, is a lathering agent used in shampoos, cleansers and anything that produces bubbles and foam.
Long term contact with SLS has been linked to a variety of side effects such as eye damage, depression, laboured breathing, and diarrhoea. This is due to the fact that SLS remains in our system for up to five days, entering and contaminating the heart, liver, lungs and brain. SLS has also been a suspected cause of severe skin irritation to the point where the skin’s immune system is damaged and its layers start to separate and inflame.
SLS and other ethoxylates are believed to be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer (see “PEGs”). These ingredients can be identified with the letter “eth” in their (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).
Commonly found in:
- Antibacterial Soaps and Detergents
- Toothpaste and Tooth Whitening Products
- Shaving Products
- Color Cosmetics
Triclosan is an antibacterial agent found in deodorants, sanitizers and other antibacterial products. It is also commonly used as a preservative in makeup to guard against the growth of bacteria, fungus and mildew.
Being a compound with medical applications, Triclosan can pass through skin and is suspected of being and endocrine disruptor. Scientists have even found traces of this chemical urine – implying that the toxin lingers in the body for a long time and may leave residual levels even after being passed out.
When we use such products and they are flushed out through our sewage system and into the rivers and seas, triclosan can also cause irreversible damage to the fragile ecosystems in the water – reacting with natural bacteria to create other toxic by-products.
The commercial sunscreens that we know of are made up chemicals that react when exposed sunlight. These reactions occur between active and inactive ingredients found in the sunscreen, and the surface layers of our skin. More serious reactions may include skin inflammation, allergic reactions and photo genotoxic (DNA altering) effects.
The following are just a few of the unregulated chemicals that manufacturers are free to use in their formulation of sunscreens:
Oxybenzone: has been proven to be absorb into the skin and cause photosensitivity. As a result, there is an increase in production of harmful free radicals which attack healthy DNA cells. This reaction has been cited as one of the causes of melanoma cases with sunscreen users. Some studies have shown it to mimic estrogen, suggesting that it may cause breast cancer.
Octyl methoxycinnamate: Octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC) is the key chemical used in all sunscreens as it has the ability to block out UVB rays. It is therefore present in almost all brands of broad-spectrum sunscreen. Yet, the irony of this is that OMC has been shown to be particularly toxic when exposed to sunshine and causing harm to our skin anyway. Some concerns associated with OMC include cell mutation (and death) upon exposure to sunlight. Reproductive and organ toxicity in the liver are also a side effect as OMC is quite easily absorbed into the skin. Just like Oxybenzone, studies have shown that OMC has the potential to promote harmful free radicals.
Retinyl Palmitate: Retinyl Palmitate, a form of Vitamin A, is used in chemical sunscreen formulations because it is believed to be anti-aging and an anti-oxidant. However, the opposite could be true - when used in sunscreen and exposed to sunlight, Retinyl Palmitate may actually be a catalyst to the development of skin lesions and tumors.
Commonly found in:
- Antiperspirant Products
- Cosmetic Colors
Aluminum compounds are a common ingredient used for its antiperspirant function. These compounds form a temporary barrier in the sweat duct that hinders the flow of perspiration to the skin’s surface. This is believed to cause toxins from the sweat to flow back into the bloodstream.
Researchers have found that when applied and left on frequently on the skin near the breast, it may be absorbed and disrupt estrogen levels. As estrogen may potentially promote the growth of breast cancer cells, Aluminum has been linked to causing breast cancer. Aluminum is also used in lipstick and other cosmetic products as a thickening agent, hence presenting the risk of ingestion when used in areas near the mouth. The average person will ingest close to 1.5kg of aluminum in their lifetime. That is the equivalent of 21 square metres of aluminum foil.
Heavy Metals – Lead, and Mercury
Commonly found in:
- Lip Products
- Nail Color
Heavy metals found in the products we use can accumulate in our body in the long run and lead to an array of health related side effects such as cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, neurological disorders, muscle and organ damage, the list goes on. Many of these metals are believed to be the cause of fluctuating hormone levels and respiratory toxins.
Lead: A neurotoxin commonly present in cosmetics among other materials. Many well loved drugstore makeup brands use high levels of lead in their products and especially in their lipsticks.
Expectant mothers and their unborn children are at an increased risk of lead poisoning as it can permeate through the placenta and into the brain during the fetal development stage, and later on can still be transferred to infants while nursing.The safe blood level of lead is unknown, and even the slightest amounts have been proven dangerous to a the development of the fetus.
When absorb into our system, lead tends to accumulate in our bones and tissues, but also in the liver, kidneys, and lungs. Long term exposure of even small amounts of lead can also do damage to the vital systems in our body; namely cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems. Lead exposure also have relations to miscarriage, fertility problems, delays in puberty and other severe organ damage – it is no surprise that this heavy metal is also carcinogenic.
Mercury: This neurotoxin is extremely common metal in makeup such as lipsticks and lip gloss, eye liner, mascara, and eye shadow. Mercury is also present in whitening, anti-aging, and antiseptic creams.
Even in the smallest amounts, Mercury is absorbed very easily through the skin and can enter the bloodstream. Constant exposure to mercury comes with serious health side effects. Just like Lead, it can take a toll on our organs, our nervous system and pose a risk on the lives of unborn babies and infants.
Commonly found in:
- Baby Powder
- Shower products
- Feminine Hygiene Products
- Eye Shadow
- Face Masks
In the recent years, a red flag has come up on Talc – which is an ingredient in almost all powder-based products. Among other risks, the inhalation of talc can cause respiratory disorders as it gets clogged up in our lungs – a risk worth bearing in mind especially when using baby powder on our children.
Talc is a well known cancer-causing mineral that is strongly associated with ovarian cancer. This is especially true in instances where there is frequent use of talc in the female genital area. Being a finely milled powder, the Talc particles can seep into our bloodstream and become lodged in the lining of the ovaries or the lungs – causing numerous and potentially cancerous tumors to form.
So, now that we’re aware of this, should we all start a bonfire to burn all the foundations, eyeliners and palettes we have, and swear off makeup forever? Not at all! Wearing makeup is not a bad thing – we just need to know how to choose the safest options when it comes to makeup so that we can have a beauty experience that is as safe as it is fun!
Going Organic - Here’s why Organic Makeup is the answer to all this
Now that you know a little more about the types of chemicals found in your skin care and makeup, you’d be even more shocked to know that an average woman is exposed to more than 100 variations of these chemicals even before they leave her bathroom in the morning. The skin is the largest organ of the human body, so just imagine the massive rates at which it is absorbing the chemicals it come into contact with. It is time to make a change.
Here are the top 8 reasons why we believe you should choose organic cosmetic products.
Gentle on Your Skin
Organic makeup is made with nutrients that will benefit your skin. From nourishing minerals like magnesium, calcium, mica and zinc oxide to botanical ingredients like tea tree oil, rosemary extracts and green tea, these products of nature soothe and protect the skin.
Most makeup contains harsh chemicals that are bad for sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, it is wise to choose organic makeup because it is less irritating. By using products with high concentrations of the ingredients listed above, your skin’s overall condition will naturally improve.
The three major ingredients found in mineral makeups–titanium oxide, zinc oxide, and iron oxide–offer protection against sun damage and premature aging of the skin, decreasing the risk of skin cancer. Aside from providing long-lasting coverage, titanium oxide also provides ultraviolet protection with its built-in SPF 15. Zinc oxide provides sun protection against UVA rays (ultraviolet A) and UVB rays (ultraviolet B). Last of all, iron oxide provides UV protection aside from giving the mineral foundations and eye shadows their hues.
Protects Our Future Generations
Many chemicals found in our daily skincare have been linked to birth defects, and more recently, one of the well-known household names for baby products has been linked to cancer. It’s scary to think most people in our generation grew up swearing by these well-marketed brands. According to Ronnie Cummins, Director of the Organic Consumers Administration in the U.S., “Pregnant women with higher levels of phthalates commonly found in fragrances, shampoos, cosmetics and nail polishes are more likely to have children who display disruptive behavior years later.” Children are innocent and shouldn’t become victims of the adult world. When you use organic cosmetics you make a silent contribution to the wellbeing of future generations.
Protects the Environment
Many of the products we use daily are petrochemical-based. These chemicals pollute our water supply as they get flushed from our bathrooms. The situation is akin to an oil spill leaking from our plumbing around the size of the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
This vicious chain reaction takes the lives of animals, plants and in turn, humans. We are not just harming ourselves, but also the world we live in. Organic cosmetic products are better for the environment because organic farming eliminates the use of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers. Fertilizers and chemicals all have a destructive effect on our water, soil and health.
Organically grown plants also do not have any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as these may pose a significant threat to both human and environmental health. Therefore, through looking out for your own health, you’re also helping to protect our fragile ecosystem. That is what we call a “win-win” situation.
Heals and Repairs Your Skin
Many of us who use cosmetic products layer our faces with countless products–toner, serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, concealer, foundation again, blush, and bronzer. Not to mention eye cream, 3 different shades of shadow, eyeliner, brow powder - the list goes on. Imagine how many chemicals have been actively seeping into our skin! We might wake up the next day to severe outbreaks, a sign of rebellion from our delicate skin for mistreating it. Then we wonder why our skin reacts this way.
Our bodies send us clear signals when we mistreat it. We must be sensitive to the needs of our bodies and learn to read warning signals before our skin goes berserk.
When you use organic cosmetics, you skin feels much more balanced and shows less signs of angst. If your skin is used to organic cosmetics and you use chemical-based products again for a day, your skin will likely break out the next day as the organic products have become your body’s new norm. A key benefit of organic makeup is that you don’t need to worry about breakouts or other bad reactions.
Prevents Premature Aging
As opposed to regular cosmetics, Organic cosmetics do not contain harmful chemicals and fillers that can accelerate the rate of aging as these chemicals are absorbed into the skin and clog the pores - causing skin to be sallow and unhealthy. Lines and wrinkles are also emphasized when using regular makeup as they contain waxes and silicones that settle into the ridges on our skin.
Apart from the minerals mentioned above that help to protect from sun damage (and thus slow down aging), Organic makeup also contains natural ingredients that are derived from plants that help to boost collagen production and encourage efficient cell turnover. You can say hello to healthy, supple skin all year round!
Peace of Mind
The beauty industry is not strict on regulations when it comes to the labelling of ingredients. This leads to the omitting of any harmful ingredients from the list, and hence consumers do not have the complete picture of just what they are putting on their face. Many beauty brands are also not required to test their ingredients for safety, and thus the use of possibly harmful chemicals goes unnoticed.
Organic makeup brands use organic ingredients that have been checked, tested and certified against a regulatory standard. This gives you peace of mind knowing that the beauty products you use and consume are safe, and will not cause long-term or irreversible harm when used on a daily basis.
Especially for women who wear makeup on the daily for extended periods of the day, this is an added bonus when it comes to their beauty routine.
It's All About A Holistic Lifestyle
Most of us understand and agree with the need to live a healthy lifestyle. We take all precautions to look after our bodies by watching our diets, getting regular exercise and sufficient sleep, and living an active lifestyle. But taking care of our internal well-being alone is not enough.
We have to also look after our external wellbeing to complete this holistic lifestyle. Just like we need to watch what we eat, we also need to give consideration to what we apply on our skin everyday as the harmful chemicals found in regular cosmetics do get absorbed and have adverse effects on our immunity, our organs and our health.
Now that you know, it's time to make the switch! Here's to a lifestyle that is beneficial not only to yourself, but to the planet as well!
How Organic is “Organic”? – Discerning labels for product authenticity
Even so, if you see the word “organic” you might be getting tricked. In the world of marketing, this title is used very loosely on product labels to increase their perceived value. Therefore, when you read an ingredient label, you must look out for more than just the words “organic” or “all natural.”
Read on to learn the 3 key differences we have discovered between different grades of organic products.
Composition of organic content
The ingredients of truly organic products are usually things you are familiar with like eucalyptus or rose. Products that are faking their organic status will have long, hard-to-pronounce chemical names like methenamine or thimerosal. Overall, the ingredients list of authentic organic products will be also significantly shorter than their non- organic counterparts.
Concentration of key ingredients
Any product will be pricier if there is a higher concentration of the essential ingredients. If you look at the ingredients list, it is common to see water or aqua listed first. This indicates the product is mostly composed of water as the ingredients are listed in order of their level of concentration in the product. When you see water listed first, there will be a lower concentration of the essential ingredient.
Take aloe gel for example: if aloe is the first ingredient on the list, then the ingredient with the highest concentration in that product is aloe.
Look for products that do not list water or aqua first. This means the product will have a higher concentration of its essential ingredient. Although this can mean a higher price tag, the price seems lower when you remember you’re getting more for your money, because with a highly concentrated product you don’t need to use as much of the product as you would with a less concentrated product.
Processing of chemical content (if any)
There is much controversy around certain minerals commonly used in makeup, such as titanium dioxide. But did you know that titanium dioxide can be either naturally or synthetically derived?
Synthetically derived titanium dioxide results in very small mineral particles called nanoparticles. These unbelievably tiny particles can enter your bloodstream, get absorbed by your body tissues and build up over time causing untold damage. Naturally derived titanium dioxide results in larger macro-particles, which cannot be absorbed by the skin in dangerous quantities.
It’s important to understand what ingredients go into a product, but to take your understanding of a product a step deeper, learn how these ingredients are derived.
Where to from here?
Now that you have gained this new world of information, how can you make your next makeup haul both fun and safe?
Always read the labels
Just like how we are concerned with knowing what goes into our food, reading the label on any product you plan to put on your skin should simply be a habit before the product ever goes into your shopping cart. Ask, what is this, what is it made of and is it safe for my body?
Know your key ingredients
While the list of harmful ingredients seems endless, perhaps it would be more convenient to look out for the more common ones such as Parabens, Talc, Phthalates etc. Once you are familiar with the ingredients that are harmful to you, it will be much easier discerning if a product is indeed safe for use.
Shop at Reflections Organics
On the other hand, if you find it too stressful deciding if the next bottle of foundation you pick up at the drugstore is harmful to your health, how about making a switch to going organic!
Reflections Organics carries a comprehensive range of professional standard makeup – everything from concealers and foundations, to 24 shades of eyeshadow and 22 shades of lipsticks and glosses! We assure you that all our products are formulated with only the best organic and natural ingredients, with naturally derived preservatives and pigments, so you will be protecting your skin even while you’re wearing makeup. The best part is, you get all these without having to break the bank!
Whatever your makeup needs are, you can be sure Reflections has got you covered!
If you wear glasses, you may think that they’re the solution to hiding your face on a bad day. However, glasses actually bring attention to your face and your eyes get lost behind them. Here are a few tips to make your glasses a part of your look and to instantly add definition to your eyes!
A common misconception is that glasses help to hide dark circles. However, they actually cast a shadow and can magnify dark circles. Keep a yellow toned concealer handy and blend thoroughly under the eyes in a triangular shape to help brighten up the eye area for a lifting effect.
Camouflage Cream US$30.
- Define your eyes: Eyebrows
If glasses help to frame your eyes, then your eyebrows help to frame your glasses – and in turn, your whole face. Keep those brows neatly groomed, and fill in any sparse areas with a brow powder for a natural, polished look.
Brow Powder US$29.
- Define your eyes: Eyeliner
Now that you’ve gotten attention with your glasses, it’s time to pull focus to your eyes. A crisp, dark eyeliner (we like the cat eye) is a great way to define your eyes behind your glasses, and help you look fresh and awake! If you’re feeling glamorous, take things up a notch with a smoky eye – we like smudging navy and plum tones (instead of black) for a natural smoky feel that won’t weigh your eyes down.
Liquid Liner $30.00
- Define your eyes: Volumizing Mascara
And for the finishing touch, LOTS of mascara! Skip on the lengthening or curling mascara, because who needs black streaks on your lenses every time you blink? Instead, go for a volumizing mascara that will thicken your lashes and really make your eyes pop!
Infinity Lash Mascara US$28.00
- Lip Color
This is the fun part! Complete your makeup with a bold lip if you’re keeping things simple with your eye makeup. Or, if you’ve gone with a smoky eye, swipe a soft nude shade to complete that sultry look. If you’ve got a pair of statement frames, then we say definitely go bold on bold with a bright intense pop of color to balance out your look!
Lip Butter US$30.00
Lip Glaze US$28.00
- Protip: Mattify
Red indentations with a rim of foundation on the nose are not a pretty sight. If you’re using cream or liquid foundation, blot away any excess and set with a powder to prevent your glasses from leaving a mark.
- Protip: Travel Brushes
Using travel brushes will allow you to go as close as possible to your mirror without the brush handles being in the way. So now you won’t be doing your makeup blind!
It’s time to stop hiding behind your glasses, and make them work for you instead!
Love is in the air! And Valentine’s means a day of flowers, candy, and kisses… Lots of kisses! But nothing damps the mood more than dry, cracked lips or lip colors that aren’t flattering at all. Thankfully, we’ve got a few of our favorite shades of Lip Butter and Lip Glaze to hook you up on your date! Made with nourishing organic ingredients like Coconut Oil and Mango Butter, your lips will be kept soft and smoochable all day (and night!).
Pink Cupcake – Picnic in the Park
As pretty as the butterflies and flowers, Pink Cupcake is a flattering shade of violet that will instantly brighten your complexion, and make your smile pop! Perfect for that picnic in the park, you’ll look as fresh as spring and he won’t be able to take his eyes off you!
Wild Cherry – Candle Lit Dinner
Classic red lips = sexy! Channel your inner vixen with a swipe of Wild Cherry – a bright cherry red that is alluring, and sophisticated. A shade that goes perfectly with a glass of bubbly, you’ll be drawing all the attention at dinner. Did someone say“ooh la la”?Grapefruit Sorbet – Theme Park date
For the outgoing and adventurous! Grapefruit Sorbet is a bright orange shade that shouts “FUN!” for a day at the theme park riding bumper cars and rollercoasters! Ending off the day with a scoop of refreshing sorbet makes for even sweeter kisses!Watermelon – Brunch & Movie
If your valentine is taking you out for brunch and a movie, Watermelon is your best bet to keeping it casual but classy. With this unique shade of coral that complements any skin tone, you’ll be too cute to handle! Here’s a tip: Swipe and blend a little on the apples of your cheeks to create a radiant blush all day!Berry Shimmer – Staycation
Clean white sheets, fluffy pillows AND room service? We say YES! Be a little flirty under the sheets with Berry Shimmer – our top pick for a pinkish nude lip, so there’s no need to worry about smudges ;) Even if you’re going makeup-free, dabbing a little over your lips adds a revitalizing glow to your out of bed look. Your man will be glad he chose to spend Valentine’s indoors this year.Toasted Almond – Going Artsy
A day at the galleries with your boo calls for Toasted Almond – a shimmery brown that conveys a sense of culture and elegance. This neutral shade works with a smokey eye or a pop of color on the lids, so we say play up your eyes with this one and keep his off the paintings and locked in on you!Whatever the shade of your lipstick, just step out with confidence and have fun!As our gift of LOVE to you, simply enter "ROLove17" at checkout to receive 15% OFF any of our Lip Butter and award winning Lip Glaze!Here’s wishing you a Happy Valentine’s filled with lots of love, kisses and chocolate!
Chinese New Year – lots of yummy food and fun times with family, but also very long days out going around town visiting all our relatives (most of whom we only see this time of year, so we’ll need to look our best). We all wish we could bring our entire makeup kit with us for those mid day touchups so that we always look picture-ready… but alas, not all of us get to travel with our very own glam squad. It can also be a nightmare trying to pick only the most important products we’ll need so that it doesn’t take up too much space in our handbags.Fret not! Reflections to the rescue!With the help of our convenient and multi-functional products, we’ve narrowed it down to just 3 items so it’s guaranteed to all fit into your purse – AND leave more than enough room for those red packets!
Concealers are a must have when it comes to covering up that pesky blemish that reappears throughout the day, or refreshing the under eyes from any smudging and panda eyes.
- Camouflage Cream (88% Organic | Gluten-Free | Vegan | Cruelty-Free)
If you’re going for a bright colored lipstick this year, dab a little concealer all over your lips before touching up to help set the color for a long lasting look (till you get to your next stop and start munching on yummy cookies again!)
Touching up in a hurry before taking that perfect selfie means there isn’t time to deal with loose powders, or powder puffs falling out of the case. Enter our powder dispensing brush!Load this baby up with the powder foundation of your choice (we’d actually recommend our Sun Protection Powder for all day SPF protection), and all you’ll need is to pull it out, lightly dust over the t-zone and any shiny areas, and retract! Simple!
- Powder Dispensing Brush & Powder
The best part about organic makeup is that it’s safe for use any way you wish! Our favorite makeup hack is to use our Lip Butter on both the lips and cheeks - swipe across your lips and finish with two dabs on the cheeks (not too much as cream tends to stick to powder that has set on your face for a long time).Tap to blend out with your ring finger, and you’ll love the glowing finish that cream blushes can deliver. You could even try this with our Lip Glaze for a sheer look!We love this cheat code because it ensures that your blush and lip colors match, and your skin looks luminous throughout the day! Check out our lip butters in Wild Cherry and Watermelon – pretty shades for that perfect blush!We guarantee that these 3 items are all you’ll need to look effortlessly fresh throughout the day, even in the humidity! Now you’re all set to enjoy the day of festivities without worrying about your makeup smudging or melting.Happy feasting, and may the Year of the Rooster bring you an abundance of Love, Health and Prosperity!
- Lip Butter (85% Organic | Gluten-Free | Vegan | Cruelty-Free)
Now that you know about the benefits of organic ingredients and reasons why organic makeup and skin care is better for your skin, it’s time to make that change. However, sometimes this switch can be a little overwhelming and you don’t know where to start! Here are 4 simple tips on how you can slowly begin to introduce more organic products to your makeup kit, and eventually complete the switch without having to waste too many products.
- Start small
And by that we mean don’t go on a radical purge and throw out your entire kit! Start by replacing one or two products that you use the most often. You could start with your facial wash, or your makeup remover – items that get used up quickly, so that you can rotate through different organic brands to find one you like the most.
We recommend our All Natural No-Rinse Makeup remover if you’d like a convenient answer to removing your makeup and treating your skin at the same time!
- Try lipsticks
It’s always more fun to be able to play with different colors. So to really enjoy the experience, start your new organic makeup kit with different shades of lipsticks and have fun switching them up everyday! What’s even better is that they’re all made with natural ingredients so licking your lips after a meal won’t be harmful at all!
We have just what you need! Our best selling Lip Butters are 85% organic, and made with a mix of delicious ingredients like coconut oil and mango butter to help heal and soothe chapped lips!
- Know how to read the ingredients list
Many products claim to be organic or natural may not actually be completely so. The simplest way to decipher this is to learn how to read the ingredients list. On every label, the ingredients are listed according to the amount that is present in the product – the most being listed first. Therefore, a product may claim to be natural or organic, but only contain a small percentage of such ingredients. For example, an “organic” lipstick could be made of 70% chemical and 30% organic ingredients.
Once you know how to read the ingredients lists, you’ll be able to determine which products to invest in and rest assured that you’ll be spending on authentically organic products. Goodbye to clutters of products that aren’t actually what they claim to be!
- Find a brand you can relate to
Finally, going organic is more than just changing the products in your vanity – it is a lifestyle change. To fully live an organic life, find a brand that has a story or a set of philosophies that resonates with you. This way, you’ll be more inclined to support the brand and live the values that they stand for while getting your products!
Have a look at our brand story and see if it fits your lifestyle! We promise, you won’t be disappointed!