While on your quest to live your most authentic life, are you robbing your face of the experience? The harsh reality is that most cosmetics and other beauty products contain toxins that might give you the look, the smell, or the feel you want, but are actually harmful or, at least, potentially harmful.
Fortunately, this autumn, the trends are toward a very natural look that requires less makeup and products. This gives you a chance to start slowly and work into a routine that you like, with new products that are non-toxic and that help you feel healthy and beautiful.
Toxins to avoid
The first thing you need to learn is what is toxic and what chemicals to avoid when reading a product list.
♦ Parabens are an artificial preservative, and they include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. The FDA has not banned them, but there are ongoing studies to determine their toxicity.
♦ Phthalates are everywhere, and you’re exposed to them constantly, yet they may cause reproductive problems. The last thing you want to do is add more of them to your environment.
♦ BHA and BHT, otherwise known as butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene. They’re a preservative in food and cosmetics and are possible human carcinogens.
♦ Coal tar dyes are often used in mascara and other dark makeup products. They are typically listed as P-phenylenediamine or the letters C.I. followed by a series of five numbers. Coal tar has been linked to skin cancer in occupational settings.
♦ Triclosan and triclocarban have been banned by the FDA since 2016 because they alter hormone regulation, possibly contribute to antibiotic-resistance, and may harm your immune system. The ban is good news if you only buy FDA approved products, so you might want to make sure you’re buying from a reputable online retailer.
If you’re still a little hesitant, remember that your skin is your largest organ and acts as the first defense against toxins by absorbing them. By putting toxins directly on your skin, you’re weakening its ability to function and potentially causing damage.
Once you know what to look for, start weeding through your cosmetics to see which ones are safe and natural and which ones need to be replaced.
Starting a non-toxic beauty routine
Embracing your natural beauty is a huge trend, which makes it easier to narrow down your cosmetics and focus on the most important elements.
♦ Cleanser. You need to wash your face every night and typically in the morning too to remove makeup and impurities. Micellar water is an excellent choice because it’s a natural, gentle cleanser that also moisturizes.
♦ Moisturizer. Speaking of moisturizers, in addition to using micellar water, you may want another moisturizer to protect your skin from drying in the crisp fall air.
♦ Sunscreen. Too many people skip a daily sunscreen when it should be a regular part of your routine. Opt for a mineral sunscreen over a chemical one to avoid benzophenone or oxybenzone. Look for one with a tint, and you can skip your foundation.
♦ Mascara. This makeup often has coal tar in it to give it a deep black hue. Search hard, and you’ll find that there are products out there without coal tar. Just keep experimenting until you find one you like.
♦ Lipstick. We all know that lead is toxic, yet many lipsticks contain lead. The really scary part is that it doesn’t show up in the list of ingredients. Here you have to be proactive and look for brands that specifically say they do not contain lead.
♦ Contour. This is tricky because the trend is moving away from heavy foundations and contouring, but for some people, this is simply too hard to give up. If you feel you need your contour colors, then start looking for the most natural products you can find. Luckily there are a lot of options, and if you can’t find something you like in a cream, try using a powder instead, or vice versa.
To put it simply
That’s really all you need for fall. A solid cleaning and moisturizing plan is essential to keeping your look fresh and healthy.
Having a sunscreen helps protect you from skin cancer and premature aging. Using a sunscreen that contains a tint will give you a natural-looking base that will hide some imperfections and blemishes.
Mascara and lipstick are going to be your two magic weapons when it comes to creating a look that captures attention but never looks overdone. Granted, you can look overdone with just mascara and lipstick, so it’s important to practice with your new products so you don’t have a heavy hand and you get the lip shade just right.