Makeup is an essential beauty item used by women all over the world, and many females are in no hurry to ditch this daily necessity. While choosing to wear makeup may help enhance one’s personal appearance and self-esteem, it also exposes the wearer to a range of health concerns. Research is beginning to reveal that some ingredients in beauty and personal care products may be linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, sparking outrage among many professionals in the health and wellness communities. Fortunately, effective alternatives to chemically-produced makeup and beauty products are available to fight these growing health concerns. Here are the 6 reasons why I recommend only organic cosmetics:
Organic Makeup Benefits
1. Eco Friendly
Conventional beauty products utilize petroleum-based ingredients and usually rely on a host of other chemicals for their production process. These compounds are typically harsh substances, like petroleum, aluminum, and lead, all of which require extensive mining. Much of this is done in some of the world's most beautiful and sensitive areas, like the Amazon rainforest, and miles of land are destroyed and stripped of vital wildlife every year.
In fact, the most common personal care products of all – antiperspirants – utilize aluminum. Not only is aluminum mining responsible for the destruction of wide swaths of rainforests in South America, but research has clearly tied it to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Choosing aluminum-free deodorant is perhaps one of the best ways to prevent exposure to this dangerous compound.
2. No Harsh Chemicals
Although they may be effective for improving appearance, albeit temporarily, the chemicals in conventional makeup are often very harsh on skin and may promote irritation or allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. A reddish and haggard hue is certainly not going to help you look your best! More importantly, many of the chemicals used in non-organic makeup are downright poisonous to the endocrine system. Parabens and phthalates are two common examples of substances that are used extensively in cosmetics. Both of these compounds have been linked to cancer and type II diabetes,[3, 4] and the Environmental Protection Agency warns against their exposure.
3. Natural Fragrance
Many people shop with their nose when it comes to personal care products, similarly to the way most people “eat with their eyes” before actually placing any of the food into their mouths. The two human senses will usually help determine a product’s worthiness in the minds of consumers. Scents in the majority of beauty products consist of a mixture of chemicals, and these chemicals can be inhaled throughout the day by people who wear such beauty products.
Man-made aromas expose the body to a number of toxic effects, and some research has linked them to cancer, nervous system disorders, allergies, and birth defects. Not only do humans inhale these chemicals into their lungs, they also expose their skin to these toxic compounds. When choosing beauty products, always make sure that the scents are derived from 100% natural ingredients. Essential oils are perhaps one of the best natural perfumes in the world and the most concentrated in terms of aroma. That being said, keep in mind that a little dab goes a long way.
Your skin has the ability to absorb certain compounds; however, a protective barrier is able to keep dangerous compounds, to some degree, out of the body. Even then, research still concludes that personal care products, when applied topically, can damage bodily systems and lead to untold health consequences. One of the key rules for makeup, and any beauty product is basic and straightforward: if you can’t eat it, don’t wear it.
Cocoa butter is one of the leading natural moisturizers out there, providing essential fatty acids for healthy, youthful skin. Organic makeup, especially liquid foundation, may have cocoa butter or various nutrient-rich oils to provide a smoother, more youthful look. Extracts of white tea, grapes, apricots, and pomegranate seeds provide antioxidant protection and may inhibit collagenase and elastase, two enzymes that break down the integrity and elasticity of the skin. Aside from allergies, you can’t go wrong when choosing a makeup that contains added nutritive components and herbal extracts.
5. Protection from Premature Aging
Makeup made with natural minerals generally provides a certain level of sun protection. The skin on the face is thinner and more susceptible to UV-related skin aging, so choosing a mineral-rich, organic cosmetic product may help support healthy, youthful-looking skin. Many organic products also provide antioxidants like vitamin C, which has been demonstrated to provide sun-shielding benefits. Choosing the right makeup is especially important during the summer months when the sun is at its strongest.
6. Gentle on Your Skin
My sixth reason for being an advocate of organic cosmetics is that they're gentler on the skin. Of course, this statement is really just a summary of the other five reasons you should choose organic cosmetics. Why on earth would you want to use harsh chemicals on your skin that are not only dangerous to both your health and the earth, but also rough on your skin?
How can it be beautifying to use a product that dries your skin, making it look tired and dull? Even if there's a temporary benefit from chemical-based cosmetics, that benefit comes at a cost: your future beauty. Do you want your skin to age prematurely? Do you want to increase your risk of suffering from a chronic disease? There's certainly nothing beautiful about that!
The Bottom Line
It's obvious to me that true beauty comes from glowing health, with cosmetics simply being an adjunct. When it comes to your food and your makeup, always choose organic. This way, you can be sure you are doing yourself, and the planet, a great deal of good. To promote a beautiful, radiant glow, it’s important that you consume a diet rich in raw vegetation and to get plenty of physical activity every day. Also, by getting enough sleep, managing stress, and practicing positive thinking, you can transform your personal attitude to that of serenity. Beauty comes from within, and it starts with you!
- Darbre PD. "Aluminum, antiperspirants and breast cancer." J Inorg Biochem. 2005 Sep;99(9):1912-9.
- Masahiro Kawahara and Midori Kato-Negishi. "Link between Aluminum and the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease: The Integration of the Aluminum and Amyloid Cascade Hypotheses." Int J Alzheimers Dis. 2011; 2011: 276393.
- Crinnion WJ. "Toxic effects of the easily avoidable phthalates and parabens." Alternative Medicine Review. September 15, 2010. PMID: 21155623.
- Trasande L, Spanier AJ, Sathyanarayana S, Attina TM, Blustein J. "Urinary Phthalates and Increased Insulin Resistance in Adolescents." Pediatrics. September 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.03.072.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Phthalates Action Plan Summary." EPA. Fact Sheet.
- United States Environmental Protection Agency. "Toluene." EPA. Fact Sheet. April 1992.
- Gasser P, Lati E, Peno-Mazzarino L, Bouzoud D, Allegaert L, Bernaert H. "Cocoa polyphenols and their influence on parameters involved in ex vivo skin restructuring." Int J Cosmet Sci. 2008 Oct;30(5):339-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2008.00457.x.
- Tamsyn SA Thring, Pauline Hili and Declan P Naughton. "Anti-collagenase, anti-elastase and anti-oxidant activities of extracts from 21 plants." BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2009, 9:27. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-9-27.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.