BY MIA JOHNSON
On average, women use 12 personal care products each day and men use six. But less than one in five chemicals in personal care products have been assessed for human and environmental safety. Do you know what’s in your makeup? Have you thought about whether it is healthy for your skin or the planet? Or how it has been produced and tested?
I don’t want to scare you or tell you to stop using makeup altogether – putting your face on is a ritual for many of us, it can provide a confidence boost, make us feel good or just be really fun to do! However, given the entire Western world has gone positively topsy-turvy for climate change, organic food, and eco-friendliness, in general, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to find a great number of organic, natural and vegan makeup products you can use without worrying about damaging your skin, or the planet.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the benefits of eco-friendly makeup, and why you should consider using it instead of the mainstream brands you might have been using so far.
Right then folks, without further ado, here’s the deal.
Rich with Natural Nutrients
Since ecologically-aware beauty product manufacturers pride themselves in only producing products that do not contain any potentially harmful chemical compounds, what you’re left with is a natural product rich with all sorts of good nutrients.
For example, essential oils - such as those you’ll find Ere Perez’ Cypress Face Nectar - are beautiful compounds extracted from various fragrant plants, which can hydrate and nurture your skin, so that it looks fresh, glowing and smooth, whilst also smelling delicious. Because essential oils are taken directly from a natural source and not synthetically manufactured, using products containing them rather than artificial fragrance reduces the risk of skin irritation or inflammation, which is more likely to happen if you use products with toxin-heavy ingredients.
So, to make sure your skin is healthy, good-looking and clear, opting for an organic makeup brand can be an excellent idea.
Does Not Have Side Effects
One of the biggest problems with beauty products is that many of them do not allow your skin to breathe. This can leave you with irritations, such as zits, pimples or blackheads that generate due to a lack of oxygen and hydration.
An organic makeup product won’t pose you with these problems, as you can rest assured that the natural ingredients would help your skin breathe and get all the necessary sunlight and vitamin D it would otherwise miss out on.
Long Term Health Benefits
It’s a bit of a minefield out there - products claim to be natural and organic, but still list a whole heap of nasty toxins on their labels, so it can be really tricky to tell the difference between a conventional beauty product and a natural beauty product when you’re buying it and using it for the first time.
But here’s the catch. Although various mainstream beauty products may work well at first, and not cause you any damage or otherwise compromise your skin, you can experience adverse effects later on, due to the buildup of toxins (nasty chemicals) on your skin.
Remember, your skin is your body’s largest organ. What you put on it gets absorbed into your blood stream - studies suggest chemicals from the products people put on their faces and bodies can show up later in their urine.
Recent studies have found the cancer-causing toxin asbestos in foundation and sparkly makeup aimed at children; diethylphthalate (DEP) a phthalate still commonly used in cosmetics, has been linked to reproductive and developmental issues; and coal tar dyes found in eye shadow and liner can irritate the skin and in some cases, make people go blind. Scary stuff.
The only way to ensure your makeup doesn’t contain these ingredients is to read the labels or shop with a trusted organic and natural brand. For a full list of toxins you should avoid, head to The Clean Collective’s Glossary here.
(Editor’s note: Any product you find on The Clean Collective aligns with our strict safety and sustainability standard, which you can read more about here.)
No Animal Testing
Many manufacturers of organic beauty products are also vegan-certified, or certified as ‘not tested on animals’, so there’s a great deal of solace in knowing that no guinea pigs have been hurt while trying out a particularly tough-to-apply mascara.
Generally speaking, the purpose of organic makeup products is to deliver the results of regular makeup products, but without all of the adverse effects to you or the planet. The aim is to achieve this while not using any potentially hazardous ingredients – so there’s no need to test any of the resulting concoctions on animals.
Lab mice aren’t the only living beings that will be spared the torture of commercial beauty products. Turns out, another recipient of the positive health effects of organic makeup products would be – Mother Earth itself.
Remember, what you wash off your face goes down the drain and all drains lead to the ocean. For extra brownie points, look for zero-waste or plastic-free options, or biodegradable packaging.
The main cause of beauty product-related environmental harm is what we throw “away”. More than 120 billion units of packaging is produced every year by the global cosmetics industry. The cardboard that envelops perfumes, serums and moisturisers contributes to the loss of 18 million acres of forest each year. If this level of consumption continues, by 2050 there will be 12 billion tonnes of plastic in landfills, the equivalent to 35,000 Empire State Buildings.
All things considered, going for organic beauty products can be beneficial not only for yourself but also for the environment around you. As the old adage goes “beauty is pain”, but with organic and natural makeup, it really doesn’t have to be.
About the author:
Mia Johnson is a writer with a ten-year-long career in journalism. She has written extensively about health, fitness, and benefits of organic products. A native to Melbourne, she now lives in Sydney with her three dogs where she spends her days writing and taking care of her 900 square feet garden.