Dominyka’s Green Report: Spring Clean Your Makeup Bag!

Oh the Good Old Spring Clean has arrived. I bet you started sorting out your closets: winter woollies packed away, spring summer floaty dresses untucked from the depths of the cupboards. Well at least you have thought about it…I know I certainly have.

One thing you’ll have probably overlooked, though, in the Spring Clean routine is your everyday make up bag! Have you changed your mascara in the past 3 months? You totally should have as there is so much bacteria lurking on your wands due to contact with your eyes and oxygen everyday. Bacteria loves oxygen and moisture. Every time you touch your cosmetics, you introduce new bacteria. FYI you should never, ever share your mascara! I have HORROR stories from fashion weeks, when there is ‘no time’ to use clean mascara wand.

But that’s not why I want you to Spring Clean your makeup bag. The cleanliness of the cosmetics is pretty obvious, what’s not so obvious is that a lot of ingredients used in skincare and cosmetic can actually affect our health. I am sure you have heard of parabens, SLS, and even aluminium being harmful for our bodies (I also wrote about it in my previous posts), but have you heard about heavy metals and cancer causing ingredients in your make up? Here is a little break down for you:

Lead – appears in cosmetics (specifically in lipsticks) as a contaminant. Lead is a known neurotoxin. Since a lipstick is applied on our lips, you can be sure it will end up in our bodies easily and can start a build up. It can cause depression, aggressive behaviour and miscarriages (1). Of course chemist don’t put lead in cosmetics on purpose, but lead shows up during chemical processing of heavy metals and by processing carbon, which is coal. You need primarily colours to do all colours, for example: blue comes from cobalt, yellow from sulphite’ (2). FDA, followed by ‘Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’, lead the research of their own on 400 lipsticks in 2010 and found variety of amounts of lead in all of the lipsticks. (3)(4) We are individually susceptible to different ingredients and their amounts, but why to settle for the ‘risk’ factor.

Petroleum Distillates/Solvents – especially common in mascara as well as other makeup, nail, hair and skincare products. It is extracted by distillation during the refining of crude oil (yuk). It is not the same as petroleum jelly or mineral oil, yet it is same family, solvents are higher in toxicity. Even though it does really depend where it is sourced from, as it can be harmless, I avoid anything that has petrochemicals in it. Period. The risks of petroleum distillates and solvents can be anything from UTCD -undifferentiated connective tissue disease, with symptoms varied from rashes to an enlarged heart, to a contamination with butadiene – a known carcinogen (1). Again, why risking, when there are so many fantastic options (wait for it :)) without these crazy worries.

Me thinks, that is enough with the chemistry and onto what options we have out there for us. Unfortunately I do not have any DIY for making your own makeup (I haven’t quite cracked those skills yet), but I have tried and tested amazing makeup products and I shall share with you where to get it from!

Gone are the days when natural and organic make up was chalky and patchy, now there are amazingtechnologies where this makeup is good enough to use for photo shoots (check out my headshot, all the makeup options listed are being used in this photo)

By Ashley Bernes

And with growing demand, the number of makeup artists that use only ‘green makeup’ is growing too. Great news for those in the industry. HOORAY! I have worked with a few already, like Rebecca Casciano and Lou Dartford. If it is good enough for fashion shoots, it is good enough for everyday use too. How amazing to actually use products that double act – as a treatment and enhancing your already beautiful features.

I understand that it can be a little heavy on our wallet to completely change your kit, so my suggestion would be to start with mascara and lipstick and take it from there.

Like with conventional makeup, it will take time to play around with what really works for you, but I promise your health will thank you later and you will LOVE all these beautiful brands.

The Brands: RMS Beauty, ILIA Beauty, Lavera, W3ll People, Kjaer Weis, Hynt Beauty, Modern Minerals, Alima Pure, NU EVOLUTION Cosmetics, UNE, Dr. Hauschka, Organic Pharmacy

Where to get it: UK – Content Beauty, Planet Organic, Whole Foods, Organic Pharmacy; US – Credo Beauty, Follain, CAP beauty, ABC Carpet and Home, Whole Foods; Online – Naturisimo, Safe & Chic, Integrity Botanicals, The Detox Market, Verdant Beauty.

Know what you put on your skin, I remind you it is our largest organ. Here is also some readings, if you would like to dig deeper, which I highly recommend: 1. ‘No More Dirty Looks’ by Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt – fun and informative read, with a tone of ‘you do not have to be a chemist to actually understand it’ ;

2. ‘Tox In Tox Out’ by Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith – another fantastic read on research made fun, at times scary, but none the less important to know.

3.​https://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/PotentialContaminants/ucm452836.htm

4. ​https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/science-update/lead-lipsticks-safe-levels-unintentional-lead-contam ination-confirmed

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