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10 Reasons Clean Beauty Is NOT A Myth

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10 Reasons Clean Beauty Is NOT A Myth

If you’ve been following the conversation around clean beauty, you might be confused about the truth regarding nontoxic skincare.

As with all toxins in our environment, including everything from food and water to perfumes, air fresheners, and clothing, conflicting voices seem determined to create endless confusion about what’s safe and what’s not.

I’m here to tell you that when it comes to cosmetics, there are truly clean products that are safe to use, and there are toxic products that are harmful to use. Whether or not you believe parabens are dangerous doesn’t change the fact that most beauty products contain harmful ingredients. It’s a fact.

Thankfully, some brands understand what it takes to create a product that does not harm our health! Read on to find out more, and here’s a free resource I whipped up for you listing my 5 Favorite Clean Makeup products.

THE TRUTH ABOUT CLEAN BEAUTY

Here’s the ugly truth: the beauty industry is virtually unregulated.

Beauty and cosmetics companies are not legally required to disclose their ingredients fully. It’s becoming more common for companies to share their ingredients with consumers demanding more insight into what is in beauty products. Still, companies are not guaranteed to disclose ALL ingredients on their websites.

There is also the trade secret loophole, where cosmetics companies (and especially fragrance companies) can apply to hide their ingredients with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA is supposed to protect consumers from potentially harmful practices across the food, drug, and personal products industries, but it rarely does so effectively. The FDA has little to no specific guidelines on acceptable amounts of potentially or known toxic ingredients, and its enforcement of the existing regulations is dubious.

As long as the companies can justify hiding ingredients from public knowledge to prevent their competitors from having their secret formulas, they don’t have to tell you what’s in their products, even if they are toxic.

Muneeza Ahmed

Pulled from the FDA Labeling Guide linked here.

Some companies that market themselves as clean beauty options and disclose their ingredients don’t do so thoroughly, so it’s difficult to trust that you have all the information when reviewing available ingredient lists for most cosmetics. A growing number of companies now choose to self-declare ingredient lists in the name of transparency.

One company I have personally contacted, Jane Iredale, lists all their ingredients on their website in full. They have confirmed directly that all their ingredients are listed for each product, a positive trend that I hope will continue across the industry.

Brands like Jane Iredale, RMS Beauty, and Kjaer Weis are leaders in the clean beauty space. Not all of their products contain zero toxic ingredients, but they are transparent with consumers about what their products contain. They are a much better option than legacy conventional brands.

100 Percent Pure is an excellent option for nontoxic cosmetics and clean beauty products. Some products still contain metals and dyes, common in almost all cosmetics. Still, with 100 Percent Pure, those ingredients are typically only included in products that do not come into contact with skin (nail polish, for example).

It’s essential to read every label. The eyeliner from 100 Percent Pure contains canola oil. This highly processed industrial oil is harmful when ingested or absorbed by the body and can exacerbate chronic symptoms like acne, period pain, chronic fatigue, and more.

Many brands will make claims of “clean,” “non-toxic,” “vegan,” “cruelty-free,” and “organic.” Dig deeper, read ingredient lists, and contact the companies to confirm that they fully disclose all ingredients in the products you purchase. That is the only way to be sure that you have transparency before you buy.

10 COMMON TOXINS THAT PROVE THAT CLEAN BEAUTY IS NOT A MYTH

  1. Toxic heavy metals – It may seem strange to imagine metals in your makeup, but they are far more common than most people realize. Metals give cosmetics like lipstick their brilliance of color. Just as metals in tattoo ink reflect light and cause tattoos to “pop” on the skin (information first shared by leading health author Anthony William, the Medical Medium), metals in lipsticks and nail polish create the vibrant colors we expect. Toxic heavy metals in the body are a significant root cause of countless symptoms. Read more on my blog here.
  2. Titanium dioxide – This massively common ingredient is a pigment in processed foods and many cosmetics products. It is also a Group 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic to humans) and is a possible cause of cancer in animal test subjects.
  3. Lead – Makeup has incorporated toxic lead back to Roman and Egyptian times and still persists. While the amounts of lead tend to be lower today, it is not gone, and small amounts build up in the body over time. As recently as 2007, a consumer advocacy group provided test results revealing hazardous lead levels in almost two-thirds of lipsticks on the market, including major brands like Christian Dior, L’Oreal, and Cover Girl (read more here). Here’s another excellent article on the history of toxic cosmetics. And the FDA continues to test for other toxic ingredients like cadmium, arsenic, chromium, cobalt, mercury, and nickel, because they know these harmful toxins are a problem.
  4. Sorbates are compounds used as preservatives in makeup and processed foods and have recently been considered by some experts to be mutagenic and genotoxic, meaning harmful to human DNA.
  5. Phthalates are chemicals used to alter the behavior of plastics. They are getting a lot more attention as potential endocrine disruptors, meaning that they can cause harm to our hormones and the body’s regulatory systems that maintain health.
  6. PCBs are highly toxic chemicals produced during manufacturing processes. Despite being banned for 45 years, they continue appearing in cosmetics and other products, especially when pigments and dyes are involved (an obvious connection to the cosmetics industry).
  7. PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” are toxic manufactured chemicals believed impossible for the body to remove once ingested. If you saw the movie Dark Waters, which tells the story of a brave DuPont Chemical Company lawyer who stood up to the chemical industry after it poisoned communities in West Virginia with PFAS for decades, then you know how dangerous they can be. According to this article from The Guardian, PFAS were found in “high” levels in over half of the mainstream makeup products tested. This quote from the article says it all: Companies often do not list PFAS on their labels when they use the chemicals, making them nearly impossible for consumers to avoid.
  8. Parabens are synthetic chemicals used as a preservative in cosmetics and processed foods. Still, there is growing concern about their safety. Parabens are endocrine disruptors that mimic estrogen in the body. According to the CDC, women generally have many times more parabens in their bodies than men (likely due to their inclusion in beauty and cosmetics products).
  9. Petroleum shows up everywhere in the beauty world. Have you ever used Vaseline? Its tagline is “petroleum jelly” – it is a petroleum byproduct (meaning it comes from oil), as are many ingredients added to products that claim to moisturize skin and hair. Look out for “mineral oil,” “petrolatum,” and “paraffin” on your ingredient labels. All petroleum-based products are disruptive to health and are best avoided.
  10. Formaldehyde and Paraphenylenediamine are two known carcinogens commonly used in many beauty products. Formaldehyde has been getting more attention for its harmful effects, and awareness is increasing. Paraphenylenediamine (try to say that five times fast!) is often added to conventional hair dyes, as this product is not allowed in products applied directly to the skin. Yet anyone who has ever colored their hair knows that hair dye comes into contact with the scalp and quickly enters the bloodstream on contact. Seek products that do not contain these ingredients as much as possible.

This is not a comprehensive list of the common toxins in many cosmetics products. But these ten common harmful ingredients should signal that it’s crucial to do your research when buying cosmetics for yourself or your friends and family.

CLEANWASHING

Clean beauty is possible and a very real prospect; it’s just far less common than we’re led to believe.

Have you heard of greenwashing? This term describes corporations who advertise themselves as environmentally conscious while their overall actions are horrible for the environment; it’s a form of brainwashing.

Brands that claim to sell clean beauty products have been cleanwashing the public for years. As natural and eco-friendly trends grow, all brands want to be perceived as having an evolved product line that aligns with those trends, but the reality is quite different.

Two brands that come to mind here are Dr. Hauschka and Weleda, both global brands out of Germany. Weleda uses toxic perfumes and fragrances in many of its products. Dr. Hauschka also does, along with metals like iron oxides in its cosmetics.

Research and discernment when deciding which brands to trust are essential.

MY FAVORITE BRANDS AND PRODUCTS

RMS Beauty and Jane Iredale are brands I like for their transparency, but I don’t buy all of their products. I have to be choosy. There are a few clean beauty brands that I love that use far less harmful ingredients across their entire product lines. Each shows up on my 5 Favorite Clean Makeup Products free download.

Take a look to compare the short ingredients list you’ll find on some of the products of these brands listed above, or at least marvel at the ability to pronounce every ingredient on the label without any trouble! Then, compare it to the ingredients list for conventional products.

Are you curious about what an ingredient list looks like for conventional lipstick? The ingredients for Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Crème Lipstick are listed on the Ulta Beauty product page.

Octyldodecanol, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Polyethylene, Silica, Trimethylpentanediol/Adipic Acid/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Nylon-12, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Tocopherol, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Polydecene, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Moringa Oil/Hydrogenated Moringa Oil Esters, Microcrystalline Wax\Cera Microcristallina\Cire Microcristalline, Propylene Carbonate, Lecithin, Saccharin, Fragrance (Parfum), Tocopheryl Acetate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate.

May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Carmine (CI 75470), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 21 (CI 45380), Red 22 (CI 45380), Red 27 (CI 45410), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Red 30 Lake (CI 73360), Red 33 Lake (CI 17200), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985).

Here’s a list of ingredients for Clinique’s Quickliner for Eyes Intense Eyeliner. Remember that this product is being applied so close to the eyes that it’s essentially guaranteed that these ingredients will enter the bloodstream via the eyes.

Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG / PPG-19 / 19 Dimethicone, Synthetic Wax, Hydrogenated Polydicyclopentadiene, Nylon-12, C20-40 Alcohols, Perfluorononyl Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate / Polyhydroxystearate / Sebacate, Polyethylene, Tocopherol, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Mica, Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Carmine (CI 75470), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Aluminum Powder (CI 77000), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Ultramarines (CI 77007).

TOXIN-FREE LIVING FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

It is almost a full-time job to stay aware of all the potential toxins in our environment. Protecting you and your family from these potential exposures is difficult, but I want to make it easier.

Check out my Greening Your Home Masterclass for EVERYTHING you need when detoxifying your home, including personal care products, household cleaning products, and more.

I also include an Ingredients to Avoid Handout to collect all of the worst nasties you should keep out of your home in one place.

Muneeza Ahmed

You can live a clean lifestyle with truly clean beauty options and the proper knowledge and alternatives.

My mission is to make this crusade easy and sustainable for you! Be sure to join my newsletter for a wealth of health tips, information, and healthy recipes to keep you informed on the most important things to keep you thriving in all circumstances.

To your health and peace,

Muneeza

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Muneeza Ahmed

Hi, I'm Muneeza

I’m humbled to have supported over 11,000 people in 86 countries (and counting) to heal with the perfect blend of education, support and community. If you’re ready for your journey from hope to deep healing, you’re in the right place.

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Muneeza Ahmed - Medicine Woman
Healing is my living, my purpose and my path. I’m humbled to have supported over 9,000 people in 72 countries (and counting) to heal with the perfect blend of education, support and community. If you’re ready for your journey from hope to deep healing, you’re in the right place. LEARN MORE
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