This last year I officially entered my 30's. And while I'm embracing getting older, I've had a real come-to-Jesus moment about my skin. Because my skin is so sensitive, I've had to stay away from chemical laden products for the majority of my life, but non toxic makeup and sunscreen are a tougher sell. It's hard to find clean products that actually work.
Finding a good sunscreen is extremely difficult. Ever since I was a kid, I've hated sunscreen. That greasy, filmy texture always contradicted my preference for the fresh-faced feel. However, with fair skin, you don't really have a choice. While I love getting my vitamin D in the sunny months, it's a super easy way to over-expose my face and end up with premature sun damage because of it. I'd rather protect my face and let the rest of my body take in the vitamin D.
Finding non toxic makeup that performs well isn't much easier. However, with tools like the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Skindeep database (what I use as my #1 tool and authority for researching product safety) it is getting easier. They rate skincare and beauty products on a 0-1o scale (10 being the most toxic to your health), so you can make informed decisions about your purchases.
Living in today's toxic world, there is so much that you just can't control. However, since the average woman applies over 500 chemicals a day to her body via her beauty routine, I'd say there is a lot you can do in the makeup realm alone (with some flexibility of course)!
What's in my semi-natural/non toxic makeup bag right now
Here's what's in my makeup bag at this very second. Whenever possible, I've put an EWG Skin Deep Database rating next to the product. However, not every product is in their database, so in those cases, I've just made note of the brand's approach to ingredient toxicity. I'm so happy to have finally found some cleaner products that I actually love putting on my skin!
Beautycounter (lower hazard):
Beautycounter was made for the health conscious consumer looking for non toxic makeup. They have a list of 1,500 ingredients they will not use in their products, whereas the U.S. only bans 11! Additionally, all of their products are rated between 0-2 on the EWG’s Skindeep database, which takes away all the hassle and worry about what you are putting on your skin. Here are a few of my favorite products from them, but please note, you will only find their products online or through a Beautycounter consultant (not in a store near you, yet at least...):
- Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer (EWG rating: 2)
- Color Sweep Blush Duo in Tawny/Whisper (EWG rating: 2)
- Touchup Skin Concealer Pen (EWG rating: 2)
- Color Shade Eye Duo in Shell/Malt (EWG rating: unknown)
Tarte (moderate hazard):
Tarte is a natural-ish brand that is committed to creating products without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, and synthetic fragrances. Here's what's in my makeup bag from them:
- Lights, Camera, Lashes Black Mascara (EWG rating: 4)
- Limited-edition Energy Noir Clay Palette (EWG rating: unknown)
- Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Angelic Nude (EWG rating: unknown)
- Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Pencil in Taupe (EWG rating: 3)
- Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation (EWG rating: unknown)
Anastasia Beverly Hills (moderate or high hazard, no EWG ratings yet):
While this brand does contain some questionable ingredients, I really love their brow products, and my brows need 'em! This is where my idea of balance comes in, if most of what I use is low risk, I think I can afford a few deal breakers here and there. I think beauty is all about flexibility and not rules!
- Brow Duality (contains parabens, one of my FAVORITE products to highlight under your brow)
- Brow Powder Duo (contains parabens, EWG rating: unknown)
- Brow Wiz (no parabens, EWG rating: unknown)
NARS (moderate-high hazard)
Judging from their website and my email inquiry that got no response, I don't think they are particularly committed to cleaning up their ingredient act. However, this is my guilty pleasure! I don't wear lipstick too often, so I don't stress about the hazard here. I probably won't give this one up until I find a high-performance substitute.
When it comes to reducing your exposure to chemicals, it doesn't have to be an all or nothing thing. Just do what you can, in baby steps when you are ready. If you've already made over your makeup, you just might enjoy my Detox-Your-Home email series as a new challenge! If so, sign up below.
So there's a real honest take at what's in my semi-natural/non toxic makeup bag (with a few exceptions). I'd love to hear from you in the comments, as I'm always looking for new products to try!
I haven't tried anything from BeautyCounter yet, but it sounds like their products would be right up my alley. Going to check it out!
I hope you like some of them as much as I did. I love feeling great about the ingredients I'm putting on my skin. They have a great return policy too, so it's a win-win situation.
Thanks for reading!
I have recently fallen in love with Arbonne's products. They are vegan, botanically based, Swiss heritage, and adhere to the UK standards, so they don't contain any of the toxic, nasty junk that most products here in the US do. I ended up loving them so much, I actually became a consultant so that I could share them with all my friends and family. We are a real food household and switched our personal care products to natural alternatives a few years ago, but my makeup and skincare was always the missing piece. I love that I have a pure, safe option now and one that actually works too!
I feel the same about my make-up. I use a few Beauty Counter items, Tarte blush and mascara, and Jane Iredale eyeshadow (which has a higher rating than I would like). I do love Nars lipstick, but like you I don't wear it very often. We can't be perfect all of the time!
Yes! It's all about progress, not perfection <3
love your info.Thanks for the skindeep database. I looked up my absolute, can't live without tinted sunscreen by Trufora. It's a 2!!!! Very happy! Will be trying some of the products in your make=up bag.
Thanks Susan for the kind words and for reading 🙂
You may want to also check out http://www..100percentpure.com. They have a very nice line of organic makeup. Vegan also. One of my favorite products is the mascara.
Will do- thanks Gail!
I love All Natural Face. They used to have a local store where they made all the products on site but have since moved out of state. I've never been unsatisfied with any purchase I've made there but I particularly like their foundation and the perfume oils and crystallized essences.
Beauty Without Cruelty and Ecco Bella are two lines with great mascara that get a 2 on EWG.org. All their products are pretty fantastic.
Desert Essence has some very good moisturizers, eye creams and sunscreens that also get a 2 rating.
You should definitely try Arbonne! They are Mineral Oil free, vegan, organic, among other things. Their make up primer and brow pencil are my favorite!!!
It's taken me a year but I've almost completely switched to organic makeup, skin care and hair care products. I found AnnMarie Borlind at https://www.boerlind.com/en-us/ to be a great line, especially their mascara. I also use Dr. Hauschka's skin care at https://www.dr.hauschka.com and Caudalie's tinted cream.
Now if only I could find hair care products that could keep up with the heat and humidity we've been experiencing this summer. I didn't mind Aubrey Organics http://www.aubrey-organics.com but then I needed to use coconut oil to tame my frizzies. I found using Redken, once per week, helped but I don't want to use that line. I also need to have my hair stylist switch to an organic hair dye. She says that she will when she sees one that works!
Hi Catherine! I am so happy to have discovered your blog! I personally use a brand called Crunchi. It would be an honor to share about the companies vision and mission with women who want to make a change!