Saturday June 20th was the IMATS (International Makeup Artist Trade Show) in Pasadena CA. I was an educator or guest speaker for a workshop titled “Glowing Green on the Red Carpet.”
The workshop was about how I discovered organic, mineral, homeopathic and natural based cosmetics to use on my clients and how the finished look was equal to the look of any traditional makeup brand. Now by no means am I a zealot about natural products that would be hypocritical of me, but I am gradually moving towards the use of more products that give a great finished product and the plus side is that they are actually good for you.
The problem with some products is that point black they are just chemical and toxic to your overall well being. Through my years of doing makeup for celebrities I wanted to use things that were less harsh and did not affect the skin negatively. I will share with you some of my findings on parabens and phthalates which are in a lot of products both for the face and body.
Parabens are chemical preservatives that have been identified as estrogenic and disruptive of normal hormone function. (Estrogenic chemicals mimic the function of the naturally occurring hormone estrogen, and exposure to external estrogens has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.) Chemically, parabens are esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid. The most common parabens used in cosmetic products are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. Typically, more than one paraben is used in a product, and they are often used in combination with other types of preservatives to provide preservation against a broad range of microorganisms. The use of mixtures of parabens allows the use of lower levels while increasing preservative activity.
Why are preservatives used in cosmetics?
Preservatives may be used in cosmetics to protect them against microbial growth, both to protect consumers and to maintain product integrity.
What kinds of products contain parabens?
They are used in a wide variety of cosmetics, as well as foods and drugs. Cosmetics that may contain parabens include makeup, moisturizers, hair care products, and shaving products, among others. Most major brands of deodorants and antiperspirants do not currently contain parabens.
Cosmetics sold on a retail basis to consumers are required by law to declare ingredients on the label. This is important information for consumers who want to determine whether a product contains an ingredient they wish to avoid. Parabens are usually easy to identify by name, such as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or benzylparaben.
Phthalates are known to cause a broad range of birth defects and lifelong reproductive impairments in laboratory animals that are exposed to these chemicals during pregnancy and after birth. Phthalates are also known to be hormone-mimicking chemicals, many of which disrupt normal hormonal processes, raising concern about their implications for increased breast cancer risk.
“There are numerous other chemicals of concern in personal care products. BCA is particularly concerned about progesterone, formaldehyde and coal tar due to their links to cancer. The Environmental Working Group recently released Skin Deep, a report on the safety of cosmetics and personal care products. Astonishingly, 1/3 of products tested contain on or more ingredients that are known, probable or possible human carcinogens. (thinkbeforeyoupink.com).”
It has been argued by many cosmetic companies that harmful chemicals in makeup or skincare products are not enough to cause major problems for men or women who use them. However, children have shown serious consequences with the overexposure to products with parabens being linked to asthma, nervous system disorders and numerous other consequences.
Diseases like cancer, asthma, birth defects and learning disabilities are growing tremendously with each year affecting younger and younger people. There is a more evidence that these health problems are linked to the chemicals we are exposed to in our air, water, food, and everyday products. It’s time we start acting to protect human health. So why not take the precautionary measure of using paraben free products.
More and more companies are getting hip to the idea of creating whole brands separate from their main brands that are solely dedicated to making organic products that use natural ingredients, essential oils (not fragrances) and so on. In many cases, we know safe alternatives do exist and are already being used by some cosmetic companies. The notion of “safe” or “acceptable” levels of hazardous chemicals in our products should only be introduced when we cannot find alternatives. If the alternative is readily available why not switch brands.
I know I have begun to change especially my children’s products as they are affected much quicker then adults because their immune systems are not fully developed. Earth’s best has been my family’s best friend making lotions, wipes, organic milk and cookies for my youngest son. My daughter I have started her on Tom’s deodorant, tooth paste and pure 100% virgin Coconut oil from Spectrum. I use Castor oil for stomach aches and for constipation. I am learning as I am going because being natural even though I have locks everyone assumes that I am the queen on natural LOL. However, everyone I am not and far from it. I grew up in East Harlem and drinking quarter water, or chowing down on chicken wings with hot sauce was status quote for my friends and I. My parents Mississippi roots were just that roots that I am still learning to be connected to as an adult. De-chemicalizing myself and my family is a step by step process. However, my husband and I are up for the challenge to make more conscious choices for our family.
So why not Glow Green? If each one of us can do our part to de-chemicalize, use recycled paper goods, recycle plastics, give clothing to charity we will one by one change the spiritual consciousness of humanity to be more giving, loving and open to all the amazing possibilities of our true greatness. Of course I am a dreamer and an idealist, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a try…..
Here are some companies who are green and paraben free check them out:
Don’t see your cosmetics company here? Want to know if your product contains parabens? Here are some steps to take:
Look on the label for the following ingredients: methylparaben, propylparaben, isoparaben, or butylparaben.
Find out which company makes the product you use. See if they have an ingredient list available on the product itself or on the company’s web site. Try emailing or calling the company and asking them if the product you love contains parabens or not. Keep in mind that if a company is not forthcoming with the information you seek, you may want to purchase your products from another.
Affusion Skin Care
Amúrie Toxic-Free Products
Aubrey Organics Skin, Body & Hair Care Products
Bésso de Natúra
Blue Moon Herbals & Aromatics
Botanical Skin Works
Cargo Plant Love
Coastal Classic Creations
Crystalux Personal Care Products
Daisy Blue Naturals
derma e Natural Bodycare
Devita Natural Skin Care Systems
Doc Hills Natural Skin Care
Earths Beauty Cosmetics
Earth Garden Ltd.
Earth Mama Angel Baby
Eminence Organic Skin Care
Garden Girl Skin Care
Green Ridge Herbals
Image Skin Care
InerQi (inner chi) Toxic Free Body Care
Inspa Body Essentials
Iredale Mineral Cosmetics
Jason Body Care Products
Josie Maran Cosmetics
Kettle Care Herbal Body Products
Kore Intact Pty Ltd.
Lafe’s Natural BodyCare
Lily Loves Pearl
Living Nature Products
Mama Rose’s Naturals
Mango Madness Skin Care
Martina Gebhardt Naturkosmetiks
Max Green Alchemy
Natural Solutions-Holistic Beauty & Health
Novaurora Organic Skin Care
Organic Essentials Skincare (and Nutritional Product)
Organic Excellence Hair Care Products
Osea Skin Care
Rainforest Organics Natural Soap Co.
Real Purity Cosmetics
Restored Balance Herbal Products
Rocky Mountain Soap Company
Saje Natural Wellness
Sephora (PURE Brand Cosmetics)
Shady Day Inc.
Soap for Goodness Sake
Solum & Herbe
Super Salve Company
Susan’s Soaps & More Natural Skin Care Products
Swissclinical Skin Solutions
Talulah Skin Care
Terra Firma Cosmetics
Tom’s of Maine
Val’s Body Essentials
Vernacular Skin Works
Wood Sprite Natural Body
XanGo Glimpse Skin Care
ybf (Your Best Friend)