Makeup and Chemicals: You Really Should Consider Going Green

One of my favorite green books is "Gorgeously Green" by Sophie Uliano.  We have a similar outlook that there is no reason you can't be gorgeous and eco-friendly, although she is definitely better than I am on execution ... Here's the line from her book that stopped me in my tracks:
... the average woman's morning routine puts her in contact with a hundred chemicals before breakfast!
After reading that I thought, "I spend all this time working out to look right, and spending extra on organic food, and I'm just dumping chemicals on my body anyway?"  I had just, the night before, bought some lipgloss from my favorite haute couture store and still had the box.  I read the label and sadly threw it in the trash.  And so began my trial and error. Trial and Error I live close to a Whole Foods and most of my trial and error happens there.  Luckily if you hate something they'll take it back, so keep your receipts and be prepared to use them.  Over the next few months, I slowly replaced all my makeup with mineral makeup, as well as my shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products.  Then I tried about six different mascaras before I found one in Sephora that didn't smudge (Korres, it's great!). I also have a friend who owns a med spa and she uses Hylunia products which are organic and amazingly effective. Pricey sure, but OMG are they worth it; my skin has never looked better.   Plus I save a ton of money on makeup now since I buy it from the grocery store, lol. I know I write a fitness blog, but my tag line is "Everything for a Healthy Body" and I wanted to let you know that makeup can actually affect your health.  According to the Environmental Working Group ...
Only 11% of 10,500 ingredients in beauty products have been tested for safety.  One in thirteen women are exposed every day to ingredients through their beauty routines that are known or probably carcinogens.
Yikes! So I hope this makes you think about your beauty routine a little a bit.  Or maybe you've already been working on it.  I did a happy dance when I finally found a shampoo that didn't dry out my fine hair and I absolutely covet my concealer. It works better than the chemical-laden one I used before.   What eco-friendly beauty tips do you use to stay gorgeous? Oh, and I have to throw this in ... you really need to ditch the dryer sheets. Cheers, Lisa

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

7 Responses to Makeup and Chemicals: You Really Should Consider Going Green

  1. Tara Burner July 22, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Having used to own a mineral makeup company (started it in 06 and sold it to new owner in 2010) I can say that more people are slowly becoming aware of natural, safe chemical free makeup….
    I still don’t wear makeup…at all! lol
    my daughter on the other hand….she wears makeup daily, most of which is chemical free but she admittingly does have some that isn’t.

    I use an organic natural shampoo and body wash.
    that’s the extent of what I put on myself!
    oh and virgin coconut oil as a moisturizer.

    oh and dryer sheets…haven’t used those in 10+ yrs!
    If someone wants their laundry to smell “clean” here’s easy tip: get a cotton rag or towel, put a few drops of essential oil (I like peppermint, pink grapefruit or sweet orange) and put it in the dryer with the wet clothes. If it’s more about getting the clothes dryer faster then get the “dryer balls” they sell nearly everywhere now, they do work!

  2. nora July 22, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    I wear very little makeup, but I like Aveda’s mascara and Dr. Hauschka’s tinted moisturizer. (in general my face loves Dr. Hauschka products but they are so pricey!) I have yet to find a truly natural lipgloss/lipstick that i like… but I’ve been using Burt’s Bees tinted balm.

    I agree, you can be gorgeous AND eco-friendly… but it’s so damn expensive if you’re not careful! I do find that I like the Whole Foods brand body wash and shampoos/conditioner. (With the added bonus that they’re in huge 32oz bottles, so there’s less waste.)

    For when I want a body scrub, what’s worked better than anything I’ve bought is a trick my waxer told me… take used coffee grinds from your morning coffee and use those. the oils smooth the skin, it adds a tiny bit of color to your legs, and apparently they also clean out the drain!

    I’ve been less lucky with hair products… would love some recommendations on items that truly work and are chemical free.

  3. Tracy @ Commit To Fit July 22, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    I have made a few product switching, but I am thinking that I need to do more. I would love to find a great shampoo and conditioner that works for unruly, curl hair :)

  4. Lisa Johnson July 22, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    The dryer balls, meh … we bought a set when we first stopped using dryer sheets and they worked pretty well, but they were a petroleum product (plastic) which kinda killed the eco-friendly thing. Then we bought some eco-friendly dryer balls (recycled plastic) at Crate & Barrel and they totally fell apart after a couple of months. We haven’t used anything recently and it’s been fine.

    Tracy and Nora, I do think shampoo & conditioner are the hardest to find. I tried 3 or 4 of each before I found one I liked and then Whole Foods stopped carrying it and I had thrown out the bottle so I didn’t even remember the brand and had to start from scratch again! It’s not easy to give recommendations either because everyone’s hair is so different. Mine, for instance, is very fine and blonde, I need lift! lol …

    Good luck and keep trying. The good thing about Whole Foods is they do take returns just for not liking something. So it won’t cost you to experiment if you live near one.

  5. Leslie July 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    I have found that white vinegar as a use for everything! lol

    I use cucumbers for my eye pads instead of using the “product” ones!

    Great article. I agree with you. We spend so much time eating healthy and exercising we allow our face to take all of the chemicals.

  6. Peter December 4, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Applying some chemical thing to the face part of going green on make ups.. is there any natural make up products?

  7. Lisa Johnson December 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    Peter mineral makeup is very green, but I’ve been reading about problems with micronization being absorbed by the skins and causing problems too … so I guess natural beauty is the only truly safe route … i.e. nothing. :-)

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