Integrative Nutrition Blog
The Importance of Using Clean Makeup Products
Many of us are so conscious about how we fuel our bodies. After all, it’s the only one we’ve got!
But are we as diligent about what we put on our bodies as what we put in them?
Your skin is your body’s largest and fastest-growing organ and your first line of defense, acting as a protective covering and initial barrier to illness and disease. It’s important to be mindful about what you put on your skin, and unfortunately, there are a myriad of health concerns that come with makeup use.
When it comes to cosmetics, the FDA prohibits the use of eleven specific ingredients, but no safety tests are required before a makeup product hits the market. In fact, no FDA approval is required for cosmetic products and ingredients, aside from color additives, though the FDA states “companies and individuals who manufacture or market cosmetics have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their products.”
With minimal oversight of products that hit the market, it’s important as consumers to be conscious and educated when making makeup purchases. The phenomenon of greenwashing has emerged in cosmetic marketing, as companies use words like pure, natural, eco, clean or nontoxic in their branding and advertising without being held responsible for the validity of their claims.
So why are makeup ingredients so important and potentially harmful?
The largest culprit is endocrine disruptors, or chemicals that can alter the body’s hormone production levels and interfere with the endocrine system, “adversely impacting developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune processes.”
While the list of chemicals, endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens to avoid may seem endless, there are many great resources to help you shop smarter.
Beautycounter, a personal care company dedicated to empowering customers with information to live healthier lives and providing safer products, has developed The Never List – your new go-to list of harmful chemicals that the brand will never use in its products. It’s a great list to keep on hand when shopping for personal care products.
Additionally, if you’re looking to clean up your makeup and skincare routine, you may want to get friendly with the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that strives to protect human health and the environment. The EWG has developed EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, where you can search products and brands to see their hazard ranking and discover EWG Verified products that meet the organization’s strict standards for health. You can also use EWG’s Healthy Living app to view rankings and ratings for more then 120,000 food and personal care products on the go.
Doing your own research on safer makeup products is a great way to ensure you’re keeping your skin as healthy as possible, but it may seem overwhelming. As a rule, look for products with simple, recognizable ingredients, and when in doubt, do it yourself! There are so many great ways to use fruits, vegetables, and other foods to cleanse your skin.
Finally, give your skin a break every once in a while! You may feel like it’s unrealistic to go cold turkey, but try to find one day each week to go completely makeup-free!
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