Healthy Living Through Natural Cosmetics

For many women (and, increasingly, men), makeup is as much a part of the morning routine as showering and brushing your teeth. If we are truly committed to a healthy lifestyle, we should be considering our cosmetics in the same light that we consider food and drink.

Why Should We Be Concerned?

The issue of unhealthy beauty products really is a cause for concern, and one that many of us still do not take as seriously as we should.  Let’s look at some of the health problems you can face because of the toxic products in your make-up:

Nervous system damage. The Food and Drug Administration itself has admitted that there is a problem with a variety of beauty products like skin creams, lighteners, and toners; certain products contain mercury, a heavy metal that can cause damage to the nervous system. Worse still, children can suffer from this by inhaling mercury fumes from the make-up that we use, and these vapors can affect their brain development. 

Hormone imbalance and fertility issues. While compounds called BHT and BHA have been banned from the European Union due to health concerns, they are still common ingredients in lipsticks and eyeshadows.  These are a concern because they can cause hormonal imbalances and, in rats, have been linked to dysfunction and underdevelopment of reproductive organs.

Cancer. Carbon black is a byproduct of the combustion of substances like coal tar, which is used as a pigment in eyeliners, mascaras, and lipsticks. This carbon has been linked to several different kinds of cancer, including those of the lung, lymph system, and skin.

Best Lines of Natural Cosmetics

In order to avoid a lot of the health problems that can come from the use of cosmetics, take a look at some of the natural-based cosmetic lines that are free of the chemicals mentioned above:

Honeybee Gardens. This cosmetics line was founded in 1995 by Melissa Buckley, an herbalist and entrepreneur whose goal was to create beauty products for those with sensitive skin. The company started small but has now morphed into a whole line including eye shadows and liners, lipsticks, foundations, nail polishes and blush, using natural minerals and herbs.

Ecco Bella. Ecco Bella (which means “Behold Beauty”) was founded by Sally Malanga, who was disturbed by the amount of animal testing involved in the creation of traditional beauty products. This entire range of plant- and mineral-based cosmetics includes eyeshadows, liners, lipsticks, balms, blushes, and foundations, all of which are not only cruelty free but also free of unhealthy chemicals.

Lavera. Lavera was founded as a result of the concern that cosmetics users are exposed to around one hundred and sixty-eight unique chemicals. This makeup line uses organic, natural ingredients that are safe, nontoxic, and include plant-based compounds like antioxidants to support the natural processes of the skin, such as skin cell renewal, hydration, and oxygenation.

The good news is that cosmetics can be an important part of your daily routine — it is just necessary to choose the right kind of makeup that will nourish and support the beauty of your skin while at the same time avoiding the unhealthy chemicals that can find their way into conventional beauty products.

Brian Wu
Brian Wu is currently an eighth-year student at the University of Southern California, where he is pursuing his Medical Degree. He currently holds a PhD in integrative biology and disease. He has successfully founded his own company, writing a series of books called Health Stories for Kids.

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