In my Sage Cycles workshop 1 I go through all the various toxins to avoid for a healthy cycle and fertility. I am so passionate about this topic that I felt I needed to do a public access blog post on it. While I admit I am no expert in the field of makeup, I have tried a lot of products myself and while I was working in health food stores. I’ll give suggestions for my favourite brands but please comment your favourites below so we can continue to share the love with conscious brands.
Why is organic makeup important?
In Australia, and many other countries, there is currently no standard or governing board to monitor and control what goes into beauty and skin care products. Unless you read the labels, you wouldn’t know what you are putting on your skin and even then, you probably have no idea what those long words even mean. In my opinion they are poison. So here’s some of the nasty toxins, chemicals and heavy metals you might find lurking in your makeup draw.
1. Phthalates are a group of chemicals that may be disruptive to the endocrine system, which is responsible for hormone production. Such interference can lead to developmental, reproductive, and neurological damage. These can often be found in deodorant, nail polish and lip balm, but they can also be hidden under the name “fragrance”, and that is a whole other store I will get to.
2. Fragrance is a generalised term used on thousands of products to describe any number of chemicals. The word fragrance means that manufacturers don’t have to list any of the one to who knows how many ingredients you may find under that label. If you see anything labelled fragrance it’s best to avoid it unless it's natural such as essential oils. There’s a documentary on Netflix called “Stink” which is definitely worth watching. If you see fragrance on creams, lotions, perfumes, cleaning products or anything else in your home, I’d ditch it if I were you.
3. Lead is something we are all well aware is bad for us. Lead is a proven neurotoxin linked to miscarriage, reduced fertility, and delays in the onset of puberty for females.
It is a toxic heavy metal; however it is actually still found in a lot of beauty products. You won’t actually see lead on the label of your products but it comes from colour additives and contamination in large conventional companies. The best way to avoid it is by choosing companies that use natural colours.
4. Formaldehyde, yes again you already know this is bad, it’s not so easy to spot though. It can be called DMDM hydantoin, BHUT (butylated hydroxytoluene), bronopol, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydrozymethylglycinate, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quarternium-15, Quaternium-18, Quaternium-26. Quaternium-15 is one of the more common ones, used in mascara, pressed powders, and eyeliners. In addition to potentially causing cancer, this ingredient can cause skin sensitivities and irritation.
Polyethylene glycols, or PEGs, are petroleum-based compounds that are used to thicken, soften, and gelatinise cosmetics, making them a common ingredient in cream-based products. These are carcinogenic, neuro-toxins and harmful to human development. They also take a long time to degrade in the environment.
5. BHA and BHT are preservatives found in a huge number of products. They are endocrine disruptors, may induce skin allergies, estrogen mimicking and are linked to organ, developmental, and reproductive toxicity.
6. Parabens is something you’ll see as a “paraben free” label on many products now so it’s pretty easy to stay away from it. I always read the label anyway because I’m sure on most conventional products, there’s something even worse in its place. Parabens can mimic estrogen, and have been detected in human breast cancer tissue. They also interfere with reproduction, the nervous system, and the immune system.
I know you are already overwhelmed from everything I have just mentioned, but heres a list of things to avoid. I used this as a reference when shopping to see what to buy and not to buy.
BPA, phthalates and other plastic chemicals are endocrine disrupting; these substances have adverse side effects on our health because they alter our endocrine system or hormone systems. This affects our cycles as well as other systems in the body such as you thyroid. Other common names for these plastics include DHEP or DiBP, DINP, DnOP, DIDP DBP, BBP, and DEHP.
Isn’t is so ironic that that products we use to make us seem more feminine, actually contain ingredients that block our female hormones and of course our femininity, fertility and producing healthy babies?
So here’s the easier part, how to choose products
Choose certified organic first unless you can clearly read the label and distinguish the difference between good and bad. When you see the name “organic” make sure its actually certified organic though. Many companies say words like natural/ organic/ from nature but they’re still filled with nasty ingredients.
Vegan is mostly as safe option. It means the company doesn’t test on animals and it also means that the colours aren’t from animals, but still follow the list from above.
To help you on your path to toxic free beauty here are some brands that I have already tried and absolutely love!
Inika I love for their beautiful eyeshadows, powders, brow pens and actually I love everything they make. They are definitely the “Mac or Mecca” of natural makeups.
Raww is a little cheaper and isn’t certified organic but I have spent a lot of time looking up the ingredients in their products and they are clean. I love their blush, bronzer, illuminator and mascara. Their mascara is my favourite out of the hundred natural ones I have tried.
Everescents is what I am using for shampoo and conditioner at the moment. When I started using organic shampoo my hair started growing a lot faster than it used to, what a bonus.
Noosa Basics has such a lovely sea spray but they also have great floss, deodorant, lip balm, scrub and natural lube.
Eco Tan is for those of you who are addicted to self-tanner, I know there are a lot of you out there. I actually find eco tan to be much more natural looking than any other conventional product out there. It’s certified organic and has a range of products to suit your golden needs.
Margaret River hemp Co have a beautiful range of lotions and creams. I love their pace cream and body butter. The face cream is amazing for sensitive skin and acne. They use beautiful smelling essential oils like geranium and frankincense too. We also use their soap bars!
There are actually so many more products out there, I have just listed my favourites. I love using essential oils as a perfume and do DIY wherever I can too. The best products can be found in health food stores and natural beauty shops.
Depths of beauty is another amazing person and resource to follow for guidance!
Again, if you love a natural beauty product that I haven’t listed then please share it below so we can all expand our range of knowledge.