Do you know what you’re putting on your skin? Part 2

In part 1 of my skincare post I talked about my face care routine. In this post I want to talk about Makeup.

Our skin absorbs about 60% of anything we put on it and goes straight into the bloodstream, so it’s important to be conscious of what you’re putting on your skin because the effects of the ingredients they contain can be more than just skin deep.

In the U.S., major loopholes in federal law allow the cosmetic industry to put thousands of synthetic chemicals into personal care products even known cancer causing chemicals and more and more chemicals are being introduced without a shred of accountability, causing damage not only to you but to the environment as well.

Fortunately, there are companies who are aware of this and are making the effort to provide good, clean products that you can feel good about putting on your skin.

Here are some of the nasty ingredients that you’re likely to find in your makeup, even in your high end, super expensive, department store makeup.

Phthalates- a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are found in cosmetics like nail polish and in synthetic fragrance. Phthalate exposure has been linked to early puberty in girls, a risk factor for later-life for breast cancer. Some phthalates also act as weak estrogen in cell culture systems.

Triclosan- used in antibacterial soaps, deodorants and toothpastes to limit the growth of bacteria and mold. The chemical, which is classified as a pesticide, can affect the body’s hormone systemespecially thyroid hormones. Widespread use of triclosan may also contribute to bacterial resistance to antimicrobial agents.

 1,4-dioxane is not listed on ingredient labels. It is a petroleum-derived contaminant formed in the manufacture of shampoos, body wash, children’s bath products and other sudsing cosmetics. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has ranked it as a possible carcinogen, and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) has identified it as a reasonably anticipated carcinogen.

Parabens– a group of compounds widely used as an antifungal agent, preservative and antimicrobial in creams, lotions, ointments and other cosmetics, including underarm deodorants. They are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors.

Ethylene Oxide- is found in fragrances and is commonly used to manufacture popular brands of shampoo. It is classified as a known human carcinogen and is one of the 48 chemicals that the National Toxicology Program (NTP) identifies as mammary carcinogens in animals.

 Lead- may be a contaminant in over 650 cosmetic products, including sunscreens, foundation, nail colors, lipsticks and whitening toothpaste. Lead is a proven neurotoxin, linked to learning, language and behavioral problems. It has also been linked to miscarriage, reduced fertility in men and women, and delays in puberty onset in girls.

 Aluminum-is found in some underarm antiperspirants. Aluminum is a metal that mimics estrogen and can also cause direct damage to DNA. Studies have not shown a direct causal link to breast cancer risk, but breast tissue has been shown to concentrate aluminum in the same area where the highest proportion of breast cancers is originally diagnosed. There is an ingredient called magnesium aluminum silicate that should not be confused with aluminum the heavy metal. It is found in makeup but I’m ok with that because the aluminum molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin.


Don’t despair! All is not lost!

In order for me to purchase a product it must fulfill three requirements.

1. It MUST be cruelty free! No ifs ands or buts about this. If a company tests their products on animals, I want nothing to do with that company. Also, they cannot sell their products in China. Estee Lauder sells in China and Chinese law requires animal testing before cosmetics hit the shelves. Estee Lauder claims to be cruelty free “except where mandated by law.” Popular makeup lines like MAC and Bobbie Brown are under the Estee lauder umbrella and have chosen to continue misleading consumers that they are no longer cruelty free companies because they market in China.

Here are some unethical, bunny hurting cosmetics companies to look out for:

Avon, Biotherm, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and Bumble, Chanel, Carefree, Chanel, Chapstick, Clairol, Clean and Clear, Clinique, Clearasil, Dove, Donna Karan, Elizabeth Arden, Estée Lauder, Garnier, Giorgio Armani, Head & Shoulders, Helena Rubinstein, Herbal Essences, Jurlique, Kerastase, Kiehl’s, La Mer, L’Oreal, L’Occitane, Lancôme, M.A.C, Max Factor, Maybelline, Michael Kors, Missoni, Nair, Neutrogena, Olay, Old Spice, Pantene, Ponds, Redken, Revlon, Shiseido, SK-II, Sunsilk, Vee, and Vidal Sassoon. Find out if your makeup is cruelty free by visiting

2. It MUST be made in the U.S., Canada or Europe. Many “higher end” cosmetics are made in China. Let’s face it, China does not have a good track record. Also, if I’m going to pay a premium for quality, it’d better be made somewhere where it costs the manufacturer more to produce.               

3. It MUST be free of the above-mentioned chemicals. Now it’s virtually impossible to wear makeup without some sort of chemical and there are a lot more chemicals typically found in makeup, but the ones I mentioned are the most worrisome to me.

So now on to my makeup

I have chosen 2 brands, and although neither is perfect my goal is chemical exposure reduction, not complete elimination.

1. Tarte, Inc. – Tarte is a great company making really good products. I love their stuff! Some of their inventory has more chemicals than others, so you should definitely read the labels and pick your battles. Here’s what is in my makeup bag from Tarte:

  • Colored Clay CC Primer
  • Amazonian Clay full coverage foundation
  • Amazonian clay waterproof concealer
  • Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush
  • Skinny smoldereyes
  • Amazonian clay-“call of the wild” eye shadow palette (this might be discontinued but all their eye shadows are wonderful

2. Jane Iredale- What an impressive company! Not only are they dedicated to using clean ingredients; they also support environmental organizations working hard to make a difference. I’m new to this line and have not built up a collection but I love it so far. Here’s what’s in my makeup bag from Jane Iredale:

  • Smooth affair primer
  • Pure pressed base
  • PureGloss

Jane Iredale is my everyday makeup and I would like to add more products to my makeup bag. It is lighter than Tarte. However, I don’t think that I would be able to achieve a dramatic look with Jane Iredale so I will always go back to Tarte for drama. Both are great brands that I feel very comfortable with.

But Adriana, you forgot mascara!

Remember I said earlier, you have to pick your battles when it comes to makeup?

Well, I really don’t like Tarte’s mascara and I have not tried one from Jane Iredale. My favorite mascara is Smashbox Photo OP. I don’t wear mascara everyday and Smashbox fulfills my first two pre-requisites for makeup so, although it has some questionable ingredients, this is a battle I have chosen not to fight because I love this mascara.

So there you have it, more makeup than I need for sure but I love makeup. What girl doesn’t?

What makeup do you use? Are you planning on revamping your makeup? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Stay tuned for part 3 of this 4 part series, where I will go through hygiene products and in part 4 I’ll go through natural baby skin care.

If you like what you read please share with your family and friends and don’t forget to “like” me on facebook.

Until next time, be well! xoxo


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