COSMETICS AND CHEMICALS
Switching to chemical free and organic skin care line(s) is a fantastic idea. We spend so much time focusing on “clean eating” that we forget about our skin. Think of it this way, our skin is extremely permeable capable of absorbing chemicals and carcinogens many of us would avoid eating so why put it on your skin?
Unfortunately, most products contain chemicals, parabens, GMOs and skin irritating sulphates.
What Are Genetically Modified Organisms?
Genetically Modified Organisms are plants and other living organisms derived from modern molecular biotechnology techniques that alter the genetics of the organism. Humans have indirectly changed traits in plants and animals since prehistoric times, but new techniques of molecular biotechnology have resulted in the ability to target specific traits for alteration. Biotechnology has allowed the introduction of proteins, for example, that are not native to a given species.
The United States Department of Agriculture defines biotechnology as “the use of biological processes of microbes, and of plants and animal cells for the benefit of humans.” Genetically modified foods were first introduced in 1996. A large portion of the food supply in North and South America is now produced with this technology. In the United States, over one-half of the soybean crop and a large percentage of corn and cotton are genetically modified and have been since the late 1990s.
Why are ingredients from Genetically Modified Organisms used in cosmetic and personal care products?
Plant-derived (botanical) ingredients were among the very first cosmetics, and, as noted above, large percentages of many agricultural commodities have been genetically modified. This use of biotechnology in agriculture has occurred largely to assist farmers in the production of crops for food and other uses. In some cases, however, Genetically Modified Organisms have been developed to assist in the production of cosmetic ingredients. For example, canola has been modified to produce high levels of lauric acid, a key ingredient in soaps and detergents, at a reduced cost to consumers. Cosmetic ingredients potentially derived from Genetically Modified Organisms include ingredients such as corn oil, corn flour, soybean oil, lecithin and proteins produced by yeast.
Are ingredients from Genetically Modified Organisms safe in cosmetic and personal care products?
The FDA has concluded there is no evidence that bio-engineered food or plant ingredients are less safe than those produced through conventional methods. Similarly, ingredients derived from Genetically Modified Organisms that are now found in cosmetic and personal care products are considered to be as safe as those produced through conventional means.
Organic Make-up Favorites
Make the switch to cleaner cosmetics, there have been some great and not so great experiences with different brands. First, note - just because a brand claims to be “All-natural” (Covergirl), doesn’t mean it’s worth your pennies. Adding coconut oil into the batch of toxins doesn’t make it natural or healthier, it just makes it smell better. Nice try though!
There are several companies in stores that make cruelty-free, vegan and “3-Free” cosmetics and nail polishes, but they don’t offer much info on whether they are organic. After researching companies that were all of the above as well as organic and non-toxic as possible. The problem isn’t necessarily finding such retailers, it’s finding affordable retailers.
Things to avoid when shopping for beauty products:
- petroleum based ingredients
- synthetic preservatives
- synthetic emulsifiers
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Colors
- animal testing
Now on with the hunt for cleaner cosmetics. Disclaimer: We do not represent any of the brands below, these are open opinions of some products used.
100% Pure Cosmetics - These guys are the bomb.com. They have super fast & professional customer service, quick shipping and the products are so worth the money. They offer a wide variety of products including hair care, skin care, makeup, kids body washes and sun lotions. Check them out!
Ecco Bella - Ecco Bella offers products that are healthy, organic and vegan. They offer products for skin care, body, hair, fragrance, and make-up. One product they have that you will like is their refillable eyeshadow compacts. You just purchase the compact and then purchase separate eye shadows to fill them with. This saves on packaging while feeding your need for a change!
Lavera Cosmetics - Philosophy on ingredients, they openly refuse to use or sell anything that has been tested on animals and stay away from harmful chemicals. Read about their ingredient commitment here. Another cool thing they offer is free samples. Not many organic make-up brands offer free samples, so this is a plus. They are also gluten free, cruelty free, paraben free and talc free.
Vapour Cosmetics - Here is a brand making quite a buzz in the public as some celebrities are endorsing it. Their philosophy is to create a great cosmetic product while being sustainable and ethical. They are cruelty free, gluten free, GMO free and chemical free. This brand is quite pricey (hello $48 foundation), so some of us may just have to wait and see if it’s worth the hard-earned pennies.
After Glow Cosmetics - This brand is free of synthetic dyes, parabens, preservatives and free irritants like bismuth oxychloride. They are also talc free, GMO free, gluten free and cornstarch free. They aren’t the most expensive brand, but definitely aren’t the cheapest either. We think having healthy, non-toxic make-up to use is important. Instead of buying a bucket full of cheap makeup at Target, choose a few solid items from an organic brand.
NYR Organic - We are proud to be the first UK retailer to be certified CarbonNeutral®. Our belief in sustainability means we use only the wild, organic, and natural ingredients nature can afford to give. We avoid polluting, toxic, or harmful substances, and we don't over-package.