Okay, so these are my favorite lipglosses right now! Crunchi is an awesome brand and I have loved everything that I’ve tried from them so far. I currently also use their primer, foundation, and blush.
Today’s toxic chemicals are ethanolamines, specifically DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) & TEA (triethanolamine). All of the products pictured below contain these chemicals.
Ethanolamines are a chemical group comprised of amino acids and alcohols with links to cancer and other health problems. They are clear, colorless, have an ammonia-like smell and are used as solvents, ph-balancers, emulsifying agents and detergents. Ethanolamines are organic compounds, commonly derived from soybeans or coconut oils, but “when they are used in the same product as certain preservatives that break down into nitrogen, they can form nitrosamines, [which] the International Agency for Research on Cancer lists as possible and known carcinogens” (source).
- Products that commonly contain these ingredients: products that foam, including bubble baths, body washes, shampoos, soaps, and facial cleaners. They’re also found in eyeliners, mascara, eye shadows, blush, make-up bases and foundations, fragrances, body lotions, hair care products, hair dyes, shaving products, and sunscreens (source).
- What to look for on the label: Cocamide DEA, Cocamide MEA, DEA-Cetyl Phosphate, DEA Oleth-3 Phosphate, Lauramide DEA, Linoleamide MEA, Myristamide DEA, Oleamide DEA, Stearamide MEA, TEA-Lauryl Sulfate, Triethanolamine
- Health Concerns: These hormone-disrupting chemicals have also been linked to cancer, eye, skin and lung irritation, and organ system toxicity (prolonged exposure can result in kidney, liver, or nervous system injury). “…Animal studies with DEA and MEA have shown a tendency for these chemicals to encourage the formation of tumors and to cause developmental abnormalities to an unborn fetus” (source).
- Regulations: Ethanolamines are already heavily regulated or banned in Europe but are still used in U.S. despite the fact that we may be exposed to them 10-20 times per day (source). The European Commission prohibits diethanolamine (DEA) in cosmetics, to reduce contamination from carcinogenic nitrosamines (source). The World Health Organization lists DEA as an unclassified carcinogen (source).
- ” The FDA became aware of a National Toxicology Program study (in 1998) that found an association between the topical application of DEA… and cancer in laboratory animals. Despite this, (and according to the FDA’s website, which acknowledges the NTP study), “the FDA believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be alarmed based on the use of these substances in cosmetics. However, consumers wishing to avoid cosmetics containing DEA or DEA-related ingredients may do so by reviewing the ingredient statement that is required to appear on the outer container label of cosmetics offered for retail sale to consumers” (source).
So the FDA is aware of the dangers, makes the information about DEA’s potential as a carcinogen available to us via limited resources (you have to specifically search for it in their database), and then basically says ‘buyer beware’ rather than implementing any actual restrictions or stricter regulations.
I absolutely agree with consumer education and encouraging everyone to read ingredient labels and know what is in all of the products they are using. I even understand that the FDA can’t possibly regulate and enforce laws on every single self-care/beauty/personal product on the market (hello lady who sells handmade soaps at the farmer’s market). I do think that laws should be written and enforced especially on giant companies and in certain industries when links to cancer have been found. My biggest problem is with companies who, rather than spending time and money on making packaging and ingredients safer and more transparent to consumers, are actually deceiving people and using keywords on packaging that actively dissuade them from doing their own research:
Safe for Baby/Baby Formulation
None of these are necessarily outright lies (although I would argue against many ‘sensitive’ and ‘baby’ categorizations based on some of the ingredients they often use). They are, however, misleading and giving buyers a misplaced sense of comfort and trust in the products despite the fact that they may contain very harmful and toxic ingredients. There is a term for intentionally misleading consumers when it relates to environmentally friendly or ‘all natural’ products and it is greenwashing. For example, a company may advertise a product as Natural, Cruelty-Free, Vegan, or emphasize that packaging is recyclable, but said product may actually be made with many toxic chemicals that are harmful to our bodies and/or the environment. I will do a post on greenwashing in the future, but the bottom line is the same: read and research ingredients and make choices for yourself about what you want to put in and on your body.
With that in mind, here are some alternatives to the toxic products pictured above:
- Moisture/Shine Shampoo: Evolvh Ultrashine Moisture Shampoo
- Anti Aging Facial Cleanser: Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser
- Acne/Combo Skin Facial Bar Soap: Osmia Organics Black Clay Facial Soap
- Body Lotion: 100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream comes in lots of flavors/scents using no synthetic fragrances! (This lotion contains Japanese Honeysuckle, an ingredient that is becoming controversial in the clean beauty community because apparently some studies have shown that it can be chemically similar to parabens. I have not done extensive research on this ingredient yet but if you are concerned about using it, I recommend using raw coconut oil or squalane oil as a body moisturizer instead)
- Nourishing Hair Care: Josh Rosenbrook Hair Care
- Pump Hand Soap: Dr Bronner’s Hand Soap
I know that it can seem overwhelming to be super diligent about checking ingredient lists for everything that you buy, especially when some of them are so long and the terms are so scientific/confusing sometimes. I hope that information like this can help demystify some of the ingredients you might see and especially raise red flags when you see the chemicals that I discuss in my Toxic Tuesday posts. I promise that it gets easier and quicker to scan labels, and as long as you do your best most of the time, when you accidentally (or purposefully) buy or use an occasional product with one questionable ingredient, the toxic load on your body won’t be nearly as heavy of harmful. I just want to make sure we are making informed and deliberate decisions about most of the products and chemicals we use. If everyone became just a little bit more aware, imagine how much of a difference it could possibly make for our collective health and our environment!
Format and info of my Toxic Tuesday posts adapted from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website
I love multi-use products. I especially love lip/cheek combo creams because 1) they are so easy to apply, 2) I think matching blush and lips creates a clean and uniform makeup look, and 3) cream based face products work best for me in my hot and humid environment (south Florida).
Got an Oscars or red carpet themed party coming up? Below are the products I used for this look!
Hynt Beauty Concealer in Light as full coverage foundation
RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Spell as Blush
Lily Lolo Eye Palette in Smoke and Mirrors on eyes
Vapour Organic Beauty Mezmerize Eyeliner in Black
Lily Lolo Mascara in Black on lower lashes
Battington 3D Silk Lashes in style Monroe, applied with True Glue all-natural lash adhesive
EcoBrow Defining Wax in Penelope on brows
Vapour Organic Beauty Halo Illuminator in Moonlight as highlight on cheeks, nose, under brows and inner eyes
RMS Lip2Cheek in Spell as lipstick
That’s it! Easy, clean and all natural! What are your favorite clean beauty products for a more dramatic look? And any tips for applying fake lashes?? They took me FOREVER to apply and it got a bit messy, haha.
Hey guys! So I have a new addition to my everyday essentials, the Sensitive Unscented Deodorant by Primally Pure. It is the first “real” natural deodorant that I’ve tried, and I really like it! (I was using aluminum free deodorant already, but it still had triclosan and some other bad ingredients in it.)
I’ve been seeing lots of deodorant posts on clean beauty blogs and social media lately, and it is kind of overwhelming which one to choose! My biggest concern is scent, since that is basically always my number one make it or break it aspect of a product (especially with natural products, where scents can be so strong and herbal sometimes). I chose this deodorant to try first because the ingredients are super clean and simple, it comes in an unscented option, and I love the design and packaging. I chose the sensitive formula because most baking soda based deodorants suggest trying the lower strength first (if they offer it) to avoid possible irritation. I also ordered the brand’s Everything Spray to try, and my thoughts are below!
Primally Pure Sensitive Unscented Deodorant
Ingredients (unscented): Organic Arrowroot Powder, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil*, Tallow from Grass-Fed Cows, Organic Beeswax, Baking Soda, Non-nano Zinc Oxide, White Kaolin Clay
Packaging: BPA free plastic twist up tube with screw on cap.
Product info: “Primally Pure deodorant will keep you smelling fresh while also pampering your pits with good-for-you ingredients like tallow from grass-fed cows and organic + fair trade coconut oil. This deodorant is not an antiperspirant – sweat is a HEALTHY and NORMAL part of being human! And since our deodorant doesn’t contain any of the toxic chemicals found in conventional deodorants, it won’t interfere with your body’s natural and necessary detoxification process (also known as sweating).” From product page.
Smell/texture: Because it is all natural (and therefore doesn’t contain chemicals to mask fragrances of ingredients), this deodorant has a very mild coconut smell in the packaging. I don’t notice a scent while wearing it, though, so it is as close to unscented as I imagine any natural product can be. This makes it great for men, women, teens, everyone! The texture is like a creamy thick paste, but it applies surprisingly well and similarly to a conventional stick deodorant. If you over apply, there is some residue and balling, but duh and it isn’t the end of the world.
Review: It’s a good product and does what it claims! I don’t run marathons or do cross-fit, but this deodorant fits my activity level and sweat/odor production. I usually don’t sweat very much or smell too bad, even when exercising. But I live in south Florida and love beach days and being outside, so I am more comfortable wearing a deodorant than being au naturale 24/7. With it being unscented, I feel like it kind of just mutes any odor rather than masking it or mixing with it (which can be worse than just regular BO sometimes). It is a simple product and I really like how it preforms. Your armpits will sweat, though. It will not hide or mute super strong body odor like if you spend all day at the beach in 90 degree weather and haven’t showered in a couple of days (been there, no regrets). If you apply a lot and then immediately put on a tight black shirt/dress, you may get white marks. Don’t apply directly after shaving, or you might have some irritation. FYI, this also comes in Lemongrass, Lavender, and Tea Tree scents. Primally Pure also makes a higher concentrated version of this deodorant and it comes in all three scents and unscented as well.
Primally Pure Everything Spray
So the other product that I bought from Primally Pure was their Everything Spray. I LOVE the ingredients and really wanted to love the product. I got it because I am looking for an aftershave type spray for my underarms and bikini (basically trying to find a nontoxic version of a BikiniZone spray I have used for years to prevent red bumps after shaving those areas). This product did not help with or prevent red bumps after shaving my underarms. I tried to give it to my husband to use on his face as an aftershave/toner, but he hates the smell of vinegar (and this smells strongly of vinegar), so that was also a no-go. I already have a face toner that I like, so it is unnecessary for me there. I haven’t really found a use for it yet, but I’m guessing it could be a nice relief for bug bites in the summer maybe? Anyway, the ingredients are great and mostly organic, so if this is something you are looking for and you don’t mind the smell of vinegar, I’d still say give it a try.
Ingredients: lavender hydrosol*, distilled water*, witch hazel*, aloe vera juice*, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar*, magnesium oil, essential oils of grapefruit*, lavender*, and tea tree*
I’m still on the look out for an aftershave spray or toner, have any recommendations?? I’ll let you know what I find and try next!
I am so excited that 100% Pure sent me a sneak peek of their Blood Orange Cleansing Balm that launches on February 21! This product is 100% natural, vegetarian, gluten-free, cruelty free, and USDA certified organic.
Product Description: This delicious orange-scented cleansing balm gently cleanses whole leaving skin soft and supple. Organic coconut and olive oils melt into a silky texture. Sweep away stubborn make up and impurities.
Directions: Warm up Cleansing Balm between fingertips and massage gently onto skin. Wipe away excess Balm with a warm damp cloth or konjac sponge and rinse with warm water.
Ingredients: Persea Gratissima (organic avocado) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (organic coconut) Oil, Olea Europaea (organic olive) Oil, Cera Alba (organic beeswax), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Blood orange essential oil), Polyglyceryl-3 Palmitate (derived from coconuts)
Review: First if all, this Cleansing Balm smells amazing! As you can see, I had some actual blood oranges around when I was photographing the product and the scent is spot on. I used the product as directed, and although it doesn’t specify applying to wet or dry skin, I find it is best to apply oil-based cleansers and makeup removers directly to your skin without any water. That way, you can really feel the luxurious texture and literally see the makeup melting off! This product does exactly what it claims to do and is a pleasure to use. I have allergies right now and have been washing my hands a lot so they are so dry, and I actually just used this Balm on my hands (after washing them to not contaminate the product; always have clean hands before putting them into a jar product) and wiped off the excess and my hands and cuticles look and feel amazing. This balm is so soothing and moisturizing! I live in south Florida where temps are in the 80s and 90s regularly, and I honestly can’t see myself using this every day especially during the summer (it would probably be awesome for removing sunscreen, though). I think this is a must have if you live somewhere that is cold right now and you have the heat on inside and your skin is super dry. Also, if you regularly wear a full face of full coverage makeup, this will be a super soothing and luxurious way to take it off without stripping your face of all moisture. I did need a little help from my eye makeup remover at the end to remove my conventional waterproof mascara, but this cleansing balm will definitely melt off any and all natural makeup for sure! Bottom line: if you have dry skin or are worried about stripping your face of oil and moisture during cleansing, love the smell of oranges, like cleansing balms, and/or oil cleansers, this product is a definite yes for you! 100% Pure is a super clean and awesome brand, so definitely check them out if you haven’t already. I just placed my first order for a couple of different products and am so excited to try them out as well! I’ll let you know how I like them.
Hey guys! So I finally got my hands on two of the biggest green beauty products out right now and thought I’d show you swatches and my before/after. Since ordering a single shade of foundation or concealer is usually a gamble for me, I used samples for this review (for great deals on clean beauty samples, check out my previous post). Here we go!
First up, foundation. I was previously using Chanel Vitalumiere foundation in the lightest shade, Ivoire (07). Since that is packed full of parabens, I knew I needed to switch asap. Crunchi is a big new brand that I have been seeing everyone rave about lately, and their foundation is made with certified organic ingredients, is vegetarian, gluten-free, non-gmo, toxin free, cruelty free and made in the USA. They are super selective about ingredients that they use and even package the product in glass bottles. Here is the Crunchi Beautiful Flawless Foundation shade selection and swatches on my arm:
As you can see, my previous foundation shade is somewhere in between 02 and 2.5, so I mixed the two for the color I wanted. I’m not stoked about possibly having to order two products and to do this everyday, but it might end up being a good idea. I live in Florida and try to stay out of the sun most of the time, but I can pick up a tan pretty quickly so having the darker color to adjust in different seasons might work out well, actually.
Anyway, this product feels really lightweight and is very easy to blend out. I used an Artis densely packed foundation brush. The coverage is sheer to medium, and the finish is luminous and almost dewey on my skin. This definitely isn’t a full coverage or matte foundation. If that’s what you’re looking for, keep looking. It really feels more like a tinted moisturizer or bb cream to me. The consistency is so nice and thin (and it has aloe to moisturize) so you’ll probably be able to easily build the coverage with more product without looking cakey. I don’t have that much experience with primers, but I really liked the one included in Crunchi’s sample pack and will probably purchase it if I buy the foundation.
Next up, Hynt Beauty’s Duet Perfecting Concealer. “Hynt products have the highest ingredient quality and must be beneficial to the skin, efficacious, eco-conscious, cruelty-free and non-irritating,” according to their website. Here are the Fair and Light sample shades (also their lip color in Shiraz):
The Fair is very pink and the Light is a perfect match for my skin. Sorry I didn’t swatch it, but the colors in the pan are true to life. It is so, so, so pigmented. Everyone has told me to be careful trying this and that a little goes a long way, and I feel like it should actually have a warning or something because I still used way too much at first, haha. It blends out really nicely though and I eventually got the hang of it. You seriously only need to barely touch the product and have a tiny speck on your finger to completely cover both eyelids as shadow base. It did crease a little on my eyelids during wear, btw, but I have yet to find anything that doesn’t. Overall, this is a very close replacement for my not-so-clean Cle de Peau Concealer in Ivory . Hynt’s concealer is more creamy though and again definitely not matte. I think I will purchase this because the color match is good for me and it is so pigmented. I have some hyperpigmentation and acne scars and it covered them so well and easily.
So here are my before and afters! The top pic is my skin with no makeup or filters (but some good lighting). You can easily see the dark spots around my eyes and cheeks and a small red spot on my forehead. The middle pic is with only Crunchi primer and their Beautiful Flawless Foundation (shades 02 and 2.5 mixed). My skin is much more even, but you can still see a little discoloration. The last pic is with only Crunchi primer and foundation, Hynt Duet Perfecting Concealer in Light and mascara (Lancôme, not a clean or green product!). Overall, I like these products and they have set the bar pretty high being the first clean beauty foundation and concealer that I have tried. Unless otherwise noted, these will be my go-to base layer products for any looks you see for now.
Hope this helps if you are considering these products, and I hope it shows that clean and nontoxic makeup can be just as high performing and high quality as conventional beauty products/brands! Seriously, just get some of the samples and try it all out for under $20 guys!! Links to purchase in my last post. Your skin and health will thank you, and if you don’t love these products, I will be around to show you more options soon.
You’ve decided to switch to nontoxic makeup. Awesome!! When I made this decision, I was really excited but quickly got overwhelmed. Where do I start? Are there any stores near me? Where do I shop? What products should I buy first? What shade(s) am I? How do I know if the product(s) will work for me? You get the point. Well, it really doesn’t have to be complicated, stressful, or expensive to get started with clean beauty. In this post, I’ll share a few tips and my favorite places to shop so far.
One of the most awesome things I have learned so far about the clean beauty community is that pretty much everyone “gets it”. Bloggers, brands, store owners–they all understand that 1) you are making a conscious choice to switch from what you are using now to products and brands you are less familiar with, 2) it would be much easier for you to just keep using the readily available and sometimes much more affordable products despite the fact that they might be toxic and/or harming your health, and 3) shopping for things as personal as skincare/makeup/fragrance online can be intimidating (and discouraging when you do make a purchase and are not happy with it).
My first tip: if you have a question, just ask! Almost every brand and person I have had contact with so far in the clean beauty community has been incredibly accommodating and helpful. I have asked multiple bloggers questions via instagram and email and they have all gotten back to me within a day. I have asked store owners questions and they have responded quickly–some stores will even color match you and recommend products based on a picture you send them. I responded to one brand’s request for reviewers and have already gotten my first product to try even though I’m totally new to this. So everyone’s pretty cool and very approachable so far, and for the most part, we all just want to help each other and use/share healthier and safer self care products.
My second tip: buy sample kits before you buy the product. If you have used a brand before, know the place has a great return policy, or are super wealthy and don’t mind being wasteful, then ordering everything online at once will probably be great for you. If you are someone who likes to see, smell, and feel something before you commit to wearing it on your face all day everyday for the next month, trying a sample kit is literally the best (and most fun) way to get started. I try to be pretty thorough when deciding on a beauty product/makeup color; I try to find multiple reviews and swatches on skin that is similar tone to mine before deciding what to buy. I can’t tell you how many times multiple reviews have said something performs well (or especially ‘smells amazing’) and when I get it home I am disappointed. I am very lucky to have less picky friends and a little sister who have no problem taking my hand me downs when this happens, haha.
To make sure you like a product before buying the full size, here are some awesome sample kits for getting started in clean beauty:
1. Crunchi Foundation Sample Pack $10 (free shipping)
You can try out every available shade of this awesome light/medium coverage foundation. The little pots can probably last about 3 applications each if used sparingly. They even include a sample of their primer.
2. Hynt Duet Perfecting Concealer Sample Set $6 (free shipping)
This is like *the* concealer everyone uses, apparently. It has been sold out everywhere lately. This sample set comes in your choice of two shades (Fair and Light, Light and Medium, Medium and Tan, Tan and Dark, or Dark and Deep). I got Fair and Light. I also ordered a sample of their Aria Lipstick in Shiraz for $3. Click here for the link to all of their samples.
3. Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation Sample Kit in Fair-Light $15 ($5 shipping, so $20 total)
This kit is also available in shade choices Light-Medium and Medium-Dark. The kit is advertised as coming with two lip colors; as you can see, I got four. It also comes with a 10% off coupon to go towards your full-size purchase.
4. Vapour Organic Beauty Sample Kit $15 ($2.75 shipping if purchasing no other products)
This is the most customizable kit. You can select 5 products to try at a time. Any shade of any of their products, I think, and it includes skincare, primers, their organic lip balm, and even a perfume. I have ordered two different sample kits and been really pleased with this line so far. Once you place your sample kit order, you will receive a $10 off promo code to use toward your full-size purchase.
All of these brands and samples will give you a great start for transitioning to cleaner and safer beauty products. Even when sending a picture to be color matched to a professional makeup artist, lighting or different computer/phone screen colors could be misleading. The best possible way to choose colors that are a match for your skin is to try them out.
Finally, my third tip is to take your time! For most people, it isn’t realistic to make a complete switch to 100% clean beauty overnight. Give yourself time and a budget if you want, and go at your own pace. If you have to interact with the world on a daily basis (have a job or are a mom) and care about how you look, don’t throw out all of your current/previous makeup and skincare products right away. Even if you are able to buy everything all at once, you aren’t guaranteed to find everything that you need, want and are used to. For example, I used Proactiv forever and really counted on a couple of their products to clear up a breakout quickly. I know what to do and what results to expect/when my skin will be clear when using them. I don’t work and stay at home most days, so a pimple or two won’t kill me if they come up. But if I have an important event or something coming up, I have kept those products and will use them if I need to until I find a comparable replacement. Same for hair products and this one Chanel lip color I spent forever trying to find. They are toxic and I plan to stop using them when I am satisfied with their replacements.
Bottom line, becoming more aware of what we put in and on our bodies and deciding to choose cleaner and healthier products kicks ass. It’s a great choice for our health and hopefully sends a message to the food and beauty industries that we aren’t ok with ingesting or applying certain ingredients and so many potentially harmful toxins. It isn’t necessarily easy and won’t completely happen overnight, though. But that’s how it is with all great things, right?
Update 01/06/18: I’m now ok using a few products containing the preservative phenoxyethanol. While it does have some concerning side effects (especially for infants), it seems to mostly be a possible allergen/irritant and I haven’t reacted badly to it so far. If you have any questions/comments about this ingredient, let me know!
This is my first makeup post! And just to go ahead and get it out of the way, the products in this review contain a controversial ingredient: phenoxyethanol. I bought these Rituel de Fille products from an online retailer I trust and briefly scanned the ingredients and didn’t notice any red flags. About a week later, a blogger that I follow and respect pointed out that she won’t use or recommend this brand because they use the preservative phenoxyethanol. After doing some research, I decided to go ahead and review the products but also link to some info about this ingredient and let you guys decide if it is right for you. I will probably keep looking for an everyday cream blush and sheer lipstick, but these are high preforming, super pigmented and really beautiful.
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