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The frustration about “Natural” or “Organic” Cosmetics

It’s so hard to get something truly natural or organic in cosmetics or in perfumes. Yes, they might say they are but reading the ingredients paints a different picture.

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(updated 1 Jan 2021)

The subject of Clean Cosmetics is growing fast. It is a growing industry worth a huge amount of money. The Global Beauty as a whole is worth $532 Billion ( as mentioned in Forbes)and could exceed $800 Billion by 2025, that is a huge amount of money in any ones books.

But they do say, that although women are loyal to brands that they have always used, I guess we get comfortable with what we are used to, and know won’t effect our skin with any allergic reactions .

But they believe that the one thing, that could change our view, that we hold about our cosmetics is the sustainability, cleanliness and the naturalness of a product. Even if it is not a brand that we have previously used.

The GuardianIs Clean Beauty a Skincare Revolution or Pointless Indulgence. This covers what many articles have discussed , what is clean beauty? Is it Vegan? A free from – Harmful chemicals? Is it sustainability or Eco -friendly, Parabens or SLS or irritation of your skin.

There are so many green washing names out there , what do they mean? What does Clean Beauty mean? There are Apps out there now that can scan not only your beauty and personal care products, but food stuffs and household products too. It is again down to personal choice on what we as consumers want to use on our skins.

We all want to put products on our skin that work their magic, but with ingredients that we feel safe using. With the knowledge that the Cosmetic companies out there ,are making products that we can trust, without looking up a whole load of chemical names.

This article written in VOGUE was a really fantastic look into Clean Beauty: Every Thing You Need To Know

Consumers are now leading the way ( I guess with their money power)

Sales of organic beauty products have doubled in a year. Many more well known brands are making an effort to produce products without SLS, Parabens, vegan and looking into how they can produce recycled able packaging.

Even watching advertisements on TV lately, there seems to be a real change in the ways some companies are trying to position themselves on the environment, and the ingredients in their products. One company suggesting that their products are 98% natural and the rest just there to stabilize the product.

Clarins have produced a Vegan Skincare range the ingredients are listed on the link

Wella Professional EOS( the ingredients on Bellaffair.com) Say their Hair color is 80% plant based but 11% Chemical – as you can see on the link.

Schwarzkopf 100% Vegetal have a hair color with 100% natural ingredients as listed .

De Mamiel Has a holistic approach to skin care. Annee De Mamiel has a  BSC in Anatomy & Physiology, a BSC in Acupuncture and a Diploma in Oriental Aromatherapy , and even has crystals embedded into the floor to cleanse all of the ingredients. ( from the link on the Vogue article-  “Claims such as ‘natural’, ‘clean’, ‘green’ and ‘hypoallergenic’ have no set definition as yet and without a standard, can be misleading and open to misuse,” says Année de Mamiel,)

As I have seen written many times , everything is a chemical even water, not everything is harmful, we just need to be informed as to what we are using, and make our decisions based on that and what we are all comfortable with.

We all like to look our best ,yet it just feels like hard work, finding products that we can be happy and safe with. 

I am fed up looking at the huge lists on the back of the tubes or packaging, realising it’s not there to help my skin! The amount of extra chemicals hidden in cosmetics is worrying.

There was a recent article on BUSINESS INSIDER which gives a very worrying article on Cancer Causing Toxins, found in Foundation and Sparkly Makeup. They give a list of 11 chemicals that could be in your lipstick, eye shadows and any lotions that you or your family use.

Some of these chemicals are so disruptive to our bodies, causing problems ranging from an allergic reaction to cancer and everything in between. It is very worrying as a mom , to see some of the long term effects they are having on ourselves and that of our children.

Even the list of ingredients found in an Organic product can’t be trusted totally, perfume or fragrance can be listed in one word without naming just what they contain ( non organic ). This can be hidden as they can claim it is a trade secret.

The Organic part can just listed with an* asterix as part of the ingredients. The rest can be non Organic.But the issue I have with this, that if you are quickly shopping in a store and see the word organic on the front of the packaging, how many of us have the time to read the back of a product in our busy lives?

One area, I foolishly thought would be a safer option, was a baby product. So I picked up one in a rush.

I had bought a baby “Organic” cleansing product just to take off a little stubborn makeup. Even this contained a whole load of ingredients that I wouldn’t want on a baby or anyone else for that matter! I worry over the amount of chemicals that these companies seem to think is ok to use, even in a baby product.

Why can’t it be simple to buy products that are what they say they are? Natural to me  means all natural. Same thing with using the word “Organic”. I understand that not all Natural compositions are good and also not all synthetic is bad, but I wish the balance was better toward the good!

TRYING TO GO GREEN & CLEAN WITH YOUR COSMETICS

I came across a highly watched video by TATI who is trying to go green with her makeup.  This video is a really good insight into trying products for the first time, I really learnt a lot from her video.

A website called ANNMARIE has another list of the 10 top toxic chemicals in your makeup.

She also offers a well informed list of related articles, that you can read further. There is a food list too for further reading.

ALLURE explain their CLEAN BEST OF BEAUTY AWARDS and where they believe the Beauty industry is going.

I think people are waking up to what is actually in their products now. Hopefully with this increase in awareness, these companies will change their they way making these products. If more people buy safer products and ask for transparency in what they are actually buying. Our shopping traits will push for the market to change.

They suggest that by 2024 the CLEAN BEAUTY INDUSTRY will be worth $22 BILLION . Wow ! if that doesn’t make companies sit up and realise that women want more from the companies making these products.

I was recently reading an article on the GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER , the author is a lady called SALI HUGHES , she has recently completed a list of the 40 BEST SUSTAINABLE BEAUTY BRANDS , some were a companies that I have known for many years such as DR Hauschka who have been on the market for around 50 years.

A good friend of ours used to work in an Organic shop here in France, they were visited by a representative of Dr Hauschka, she said after seeing their methods, you could totally understand the cost of the their products. They grow all their own ingredients too. It can be expensive, but at least you can understand why.

I came across this lovely lady, Ali Andreea, a professional makeup artist using Natural Clean Makeup and producing a Minimalist finish which is great, very watchable, she has many other videos too. Based in Paris.

Here are some of the products used and also recommended by people leaving comments.

MADARA – Organic Skincare.

Made by LOTTE TISENKOPFA-ILTNERE ( from Link-

“What substances natural/organic certified beauty don’t use?

Natural/organic certified formulas are free from parabens, certain petrochemicals (paraffin waxes, mineral oils, PEGs, phenoxyethanol), silicones, chemical UV filters, GMO, nanoparticles, many synthetic colourants, artificial fragrances, and other ingredients, widely used in conventional beauty.”) Very clearly defined by this company. They are also against cruelty to animals.

. Based in  LATVIJA. Found here too

NUDE BY NATURE– Made in Australia , 100% Natural products – I love the sound of this company,( From Link “We are committed to delivering 100% naturally derived and cruelty-free make-up, formulated without unnecessary chemicals, synthetic ingredients or preservatives often found in cosmetics. It’s make-up that works with your skin. Not against it.”)

Found here too on Amazon co.uk

LA BOUCHE ROUGE-Paris -( From Link ” We create and develop our beauty formulas in our own laboratory in France. They are vegan, without beeswax, animal fat and microplastics and are not tested on animals. The ingredients are selected for their quality, efficacy and origin. We guarantee that they were produced with respect for people and the planet”)

WESTMAN ATELIER -(From Link– “We strive to be as absolutely natural as we can be, but we also want our products to work. If a synthetic ingredient is necessary in a specific instance, we make sure it’s thoroughly safety vetted and approved.”) I love the list on this link- What is in & what is out! Here on Amazon.com

100% PURE-San Jose CA- Organic & Natural Beauty Products- great ethics cruelty free, natural ingredients. Products here too

JOSIE MARAN COSMETICS – Natural products, Some with Argan Oil , Many hydrating formulas . available here

RESEARCH WEBSITES

GOODGUIDE has a search bar, showing the type of chemicals in a product and the dangers in each one. I wish these types of sites were around years ago.

They cover cosmetics, also personal products like shampoo, Babies and Household products.

MADESAFE.ORG

A non- profit organization, to help you look into what is safe. Again a good resource to hunt for information

EWG – My favorite research tool. Fantastic information.

ASBESTOS IN COSMETICS

Well ,I thought I had heard it all , but then a headline on a newspaper caught my eye, ASBESTOS in make-up !

WHAT! and apparently this not the first time!

From what I have found so far the Asbestos is linked in with the Talc in a product. CLAIRE’S have apparently been found to contain this in some of their products twice. Including makeup produced for children has been affected.

I have found a couple of articles one on CBS NEWS 

Another on BUSINESS INSIDER FRANCE ( not in french)

EWG one of my favourite sites has a long article on the Asbestos found in different makeup and brands.( In May, the FDA warned consumers not to use two products: Claire’s JoJo Siwa Makeup Set and Beauty Plus Global Effects Palette 2, both made with talc.) written last May.

DRUG JUSTICE.COM Offer a list of 10 talc free make-up.

Words fail me at times, and I am not lost for words much! This had echos of when they found that other baby talc’s were found to have issues for babies health.

I feel that you should be aware of what is in these products, then you can have an informed opinion, and be able to make your own choices on what you are happy using.

THE TALKO  has a in depth video on what some cosmetics have in them.

I came across another brand of products, including Makeup called HONEST BEAUTY MAKEUP by the founder Jessica Alba.

Part of the Honest company is Makeup but they also product product in the Baby line, and cleaning products for the home.

Here on Amazon.com (EWG )

Also in NOBICE.FR  which is a chain store for cosmetics in France. As I hadn’t used them as yet, I found a video, not being sponsored by Honest. So at least it gives a different opinion on the product, not from the mouth of the company .

Admittedly it is rather long, but ALLIE GLINES  is very “honest “about the Honest brand and how it works.

I also found an article on Versed skincare products

The initial look seems very good, I have been reading some of the reviews which look great. They have a list of what is added -which can be found on their website here

They are now also producing a sunscreen SPF 35 , Most of the products seem to be advertised in the USA , I was surprised not to find them on Amazon UK or FR. I will definitely be trying some when I find a supplier here.

Again trying to give a balanced view point on these products, I have posted this video with a different view point.

I found this video with Dr DRAY who goes into what she thinks about the ingredients in these products.

She also mentions two other brands that have no fragrances in which are PIXIBEAUTY and DRUNK ELEPHANT BRAND both look like brands to dig deeper into.( EWG ON DRUNK ELEPHANT Then on Versed then finally on PixiBeauty)

Today I was hunting online for an eyebrow powder, I really didn’t want to go down the pencil route. I seem to go through those so quickly!

I seem to be finding ones that had lists of ingredients and fragrances that I wouldn’t be happy to put on my skin or my daughters.

Through this hunt I came across a company that I haven’t heard of before PHB ETHICAL BEAUTY.CO.UK. Wow is all I can say, they have so much choice. Including the eyebrow powder I was hunting for.

They have lists of their ingredients on each product, they give 20% of their profits to charity and ship to many countries. It is a family run business. I will be ordering from them.

CONCEALER

Photo by Natalia Hawthorne on Pexels.com

These sticks or bottles look so unassuming, you only need a little, what is the harm? Again you really have to investigate what they have in them. I know that I wear glasses, but you need a magnifying glass to read some of the ingredients listed.

USING OLD FASHIONED METHODS

Of course  cucumbers have been known for helping the skin under the eyes. All the old films I used to watch with the teenagers lying down with these slices on the their eyes. This article on HEALTHLINE gives some of the science behind this. The juice can reduce swelling and soothe skin, they contain Vitamin C and Folic acid. They say that due to the amount of water that they can moisturize the skin , and prevent wrinkles! Out comes the Cucumber tonight! They suggest placing on the eye, then when warm flip them over.

Or in our daughters case once totally flipped, eat them! not great! Yuk.

Again when choosing a product , always check the label, as a company can call a product ” natural” , even if it has just one item, for example olive oil in it.

I believe they call this “Green washing”. Which makes your product seem much safer .

You can also be mislead by the attractive packaging.

THE CHEMISTRY OF COSMETICS is a real eye opener on exactly what cosmetics are made for, the reasons behind why some of these chemicals can be harmful to us, now or in the future.

They give a history of using cosmetics in the past, and a really good interactive cosmetic chemical guide, where you can just click on the picture of the type of cosmetics you use, to see how many chemicals are in them. Well worth a look!

WHAT CAN BE FOUND IN CONCEALER

Many concealers contain Parabens  ,SLS, BHA (preservative) , Fragrance, BHT ( preservative), there can also be talc and lead products.There are many other chemicals used.( Read about Talc products above and the fact they could contain Asbestos. )

It is best to look for a NON-GMO product too.

For us the stand against animal cruelty is a important, Vegan too , though not everyone is concerned with that. The sustainability of a product is something we are looking for.

For myself, looking at what the packaging has been produced from and whether is recyclable. I am using a face cream at the moment that I found in our local Bio shop( Organic shop) the pot that contains the cream, has been made from a plant material.

Somebody I was talking with, about this said” if you can not find a list of the ingredients on the product, then don’t buy it! You have no idea what is in it!” I totally agree with this.

I was looking at a safer nail varnish today, the product said” 85% natural”, what does that mean? and no ingredients listed at all!

Here is a list of some of the companies out there, that seem to have a good ethics and practices.

If you are in the USA there is a company called VAPOUR that produce their own organic makeup there is a list on their Lab notes ( took me a while to realise this was where the list of ingredients that are not allowed in their products).

I did notice they still use Carmine for the red colouring, which is another name for Cochineal an insect which is crushed for their colour.

So this colourant would cause a problem if you are vegan.

Still digging for companies out there, that hopefully have done some of the hard work looking into products.

I have found a site called My Pure which have looked into ingredients in the different ranges that they sell. They are based in the UK .

It is a very comprehensive site, which gives the list of ingredients, also the customer reviews on the products. Maybe a place where you can also research a product you are interested in.

INTELLIGENT COSMETICS

(Info from link) – They have a lot information on their link, also many products where you can see the ingredients. I have put some links on the highlighted ingredients to give more information on each of these.

Mineral Foundation – Free of preservatives, talc, oil, waxes, fragrances, and most of bismuth oxychloride (causes systic acne) and other chemicals that can irritate skin and cause breakouts. Our all natural formula contains Zinc oxide. Ingredients list-Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Mica, Iron Oxides, Ultramarine blue.

CLEAN BRANDS

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

.

oOlution – A french based company, committed to products without palm oil, using Organic ingredients. They manufacturer their own products.

They produce SKINCARE , and ship worldwide.

A link to their site is above.

( info from their site) To give you a flavour of the company.

oOlution skincare are distinguished by their unique composition and tailor-made efficiency. The multitude of organic plants in each of our facial skincare which are made with 100% of natural origin ingredients, allow each skin to draw the elements that it needs. Discover our face skincare for normal to combination skin, oily skin, dry skin or mature skin, as well as our eye contour to fight dark circles and puffiness under the eyes.”

ANNMARIE GIANNI SKINCARE  an Organic skincare range . They use Organic and wild-crafted ingredients. Using Herbs and plants. They have a large skincare range and essential oils. It sounds lovely . 

BARE MINERALS

They have been using CLEAN BEAUTY practices since 1995 . This well written explanation on what the beauty industry are now saying about this brand . They give many examples on different products that they have available too. This a link to some of these too.

I came across a great website called ECCO-VERDE.COM They offer delivery to a huge amount of countries, the list of Organic companies on their list is amazing. Some of the favourite brands available. They even offer some little advice blogs, such as how to naturally clean your sofa with lemon juice, baking soda and water and another recipe with white vinegar for leather, well worth checking out.

HARPERS BAZAAR

They have a list of Organic and Natural and Non Toxic Beauty Brands. They have a guide as to whether these are Vegan, Sustainable and Organic. This was compiled in the Summer.

This Video with Jessica Alba is a great look into a natural look.

Jessica Alba’s Makeup company is called THE HONEST COMPANY

These are also available on this link