Toxic Makeup Ingredients : The Worst Ones You Should Avoid
We’ve been asked here at Aura Sensory® a few times whether or not we will start to offer nontoxic makeup and cosmetics. There are no plans in the immediate future, but you never know what we might be offering 3-5 years from now as our expertise grows.
I thought it would be a good idea to simply give a list of ingredients to avoid in makeup, so that you could be more informed as a consumer of makeup and cosmetics of what ingredients you should be avoiding when shopping for these items.
Women almost always use at least one cosmetic product. Whether it is foundation, powder, blush, mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow or lipstick, there is usually a makeup product that most women find indisposable in their own personal beauty routine.
For me, if I couldn’t wear anything else, my choice would probably be a good mascara. For other it might be a good mineral powder or lipstick. Whatever yours is, let’s delve into the ingredients that are most toxic in these items and therefore what should be avoided when shopping your supermarket (or even natural foods store) for your beauty products.
1.) Mineral Oil – Mineral oil is a petroleum product. It can be contaminated with any number of toxins, and on top of this it also masks the skin and can cause breakouts. There are much better emollients out there that will not mask the pores so the skin can “breathe”.
2.) Lead – When buying lipstick, buy lipstick that expressly says it is a “lead free” formula. Many colored lipsticks contain lead as part of the color they impart to the lips. I like to opt to wear only tinted lip balms that don’t contain much pigment as the likelihood that they have lead in them is lower due to less pigment. Or just opt for sheer or clear balms.
3.) Parabens – This is a no-brainer of course, but parabens and all their offshoots (anything ending in “paraben” in the ingredient list) should be avoided.
4.) Ureas – Like parabens, these can be found in many different forms. These preservative-like chemicals break down into formaldehyde over time. This is how they kill bacteria that may form in cosmetics. There are much better ways to keep cosmetics fresh. Buying things with expiration dates and which do not have this ingredient in the label is much healthier.
5.) Stearalkonium Chloride – May be found in hair products and other makeup products with “skin conditioning” qualities. It was actually originally developed as a fabric softener.
6.) Artificial fragrances or artificial colors – Avoid both of these if at all possible. You can actually buy makeup with natural pigments derived from minerals. Artificial fragrances should be avoided at all costs, as this can score a very high score on the toxicity scale.
This is due to a never ending possibility of toxic chemical combinations that can be used in artificial fragrances concoctions. There can be any number of chemicals in a chemical scent which can have neurological, reproductive or general toxic potential.
7.) Phenylenediamine – if you see this word or any other words with FD&C and then a color, then you know synthetic dyes have been used. These can be contaminated with heavy metals.
8.) Phthalates – These are plasticizing agents that we unfortunately are bombarded with every day. Why bombard yourself with these ingredients in your cosmetics? It is also often used as a fragrance stabilizer – another reason to avoid synthetically scented products.
9.) BHA and BHT – These are used as preservatives as well. They are linked to endocrine disruption.
10.) DMDM Hydantoin, Quaternium-15 -These are both formaldehyde donors, meaning they release formaldehyde, a very toxic chemical to human tissue, over time so as to preserve the product for a super long shelf life.