Eco-friendly, Safe, or Green Cosmetics, Natural Make Up, and Skin Care
Posted by Norman Fong
Eco-friendly or Green Cosmetics are starting to become mainstream. Companies are touting their products as being natural, no animal tested, organic, etc. There have been lawsuits over the wording. Natural Make Up is becoming more important to the entire cosmetic industry as well to consumers.
What should you look for in a green cosmetic, makeup, lotion, or hair care product?
Safer Lipstick and Lip Gloss
A UC Berkeley researcher found in 2012 that there are many dangerous chemicals in lipstick and lip gloss. Metals were found in every one of the 32 items tested. Toxic chemicals including lead, chromium, and cadnium were found.
A key takeaway is that all these substances are banned from cosmetics in Europe but not the US. Lobbyists and large companies have done a great job preventing safer cosmetics from being mandated in the US.
Consumers shouldn’t have to stay informed about these hidden dangers. Women who apply these products to their lips and lick them will be constantly exposing themselves to chemicals. Does your eco-friendly partner not kiss you? Now you know why!
We suggest you purchase European cosmetics due to their better safety laws. Green cosmetics may not tell you the entire story. You need to dig deeper and understand what’s in the product.
Problematic Ingredients in Cosmetics
The key ingredients to avoid include the following:
- Anti-aging creams with lactic, glycolic, AHA, and BHA acids – Additive that preserves fats and oils
- DMDM hydantoin and Imidazolidinyl urea
Fragrance and dyes – allergies, cancer, nervous system
- phthalate or dibutyl or diethylhexyl or just “fragrance”
- Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
- Parabens or “-paraben” – Hormone disrupter
- “PEG” and “-eth”
- Sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate – May cause hormone disruption, skin irritation
- Triclosan and triclocarban (anti-bacterial)
- Triethanolamine (TEA)
Here are some specific products with ingredients to watch for
- Hair dyes with ammonia, peroxide, p-phenylenediamine, diaminobenzene; all dark permanent hair dyes
- Hair Removers – Stick to Razors (Electric rechargable or blade replaceable, avoid disposable razrs), waxing with Soy based compounds. Avoid depilatories and Oral Contraceptives and Hormonal Treatments.
- Liquid hand soaps with triclosan
- Nail polish and removers containing formaldehyde, Toluene, Pthalates, Ethylacetate & N. Butyl Acetate
- Skin lighteners with hydroquinone
- Moisturizers containing paraben
- Sunscreens with oxybenzone – Oxybenzone has been linked to hormone disruption and low-birthweight babies.
- Body washes with sodium lauryl sulfate
- Feminine sanitary and hygiene products with bleached with chlorine or loaded with chemical fragrances
- Oral hygiene products with propylene glycol
Many cosmetic make up products have expiration dates, so be sure to observe them.
Triclosan is an anti-bacterial agent that used in many soaps and detergents. Scientific studies show that it disrupts reproductive hormone activities and brain signaling. It may hinder muscles and cause allergies.
Try not to buy any cleaner with this substance. The FDA has concluded that soap with this chemical is no better than plain soap and water.
Nail Polish Problems
A study in 2012 by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Department of Toxic Substance’s Control together with San Francisco’s Department of the Environment, California’s healthy nail salon collaborative, and the Campaign Safe Cosmetics found that many nail polish products which claim to be free of toxic chemicals, had at least traces of hazardous chemicals.
The following nail polishes were the ones with hazardous chemicals:
- Station 99 basecoat (made by Miss Professional Nail Products)
- Dare to Wear nail lacquer (made by LeChat Nail Care Products)
- Chelseu 650 Baby’s Breath nail lacquer (made by Miss Professional Nail Products)
- New York Summer nail color (made by Miss Professional Nail Products)
- Paris Spicy 298 nail lacquer (made by Mirage Corp.)
- Station 53 Red Pink nail color (made by Miss Professional Nail Products)
- Poshe fast-drying basecoat (made by Poshe Almell Products)
- Orly Flagstone Rush nail lacquer (made by Orli International)
- Nail Art Stripper Brush #117 Magenta Glitter (made by Omega Labs USA)
Testing Cosmetics without Animals
Animals have been used to test the safety of cosmetics for many years. This practice will be outlawed in the European Union in 2013. American companies are now working on computer models with complex algorithms to replace animal testing. These models will use animal testing results from the past to enhance accuracy. In 2012 L’Oreal began working with the EPA on this new testing technology. Lets hope that more companies do the same.
Aftershave for Men
Men take note, slapping on some burning aftershave on your face is probably not the best thing for your skin. Skin irritation and dryness may occur with products containing petroleum and other chemicals. Make some herbal aftershave.
Organic Cosmetics Lawsuit
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps has filed a lawsuit accusing some of the larges cosmetic firms of falsely advertising products as organic when some contained little organic material, contained synthetic chemicals, 1,4 Dioxane, or used petroleum products.
The term “organic” on personal care products has no meaning unless it is certified by the USDA. So look for this symbol.
Environmental Working Group has a safety guide to cosmetics and personal skin care product that you should consult before buying products.
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