The world of cosmetics is a minefield. Or at least it was for me: when I was about twelve, I happily hopped onto the beauty culture bandwagon and spent hours poring over magazines researching the products I would need to look my very best… there’s skin care: we know that our skin needs about 20 different types of products like a cleanser, moisturizer, exfoliant, and blah blah. But then add the products for every single body, face or hair issue imaginable, and you can go ahead and subtract the entire bank account balance. But it’s okay, because then you’ll have everything you need to be the most beautiful girl you can be (according to Western society’s standards and what the magazines seemed to be telling me).
All this was totally overwhelming, but until recently, I kept buying hair products that were never successful in taming my dry, damaged frizz ball of hair. I also kept investing in flaky mascara that made my lashes break off and just made them shorter and thinner in the long run.
And get this: not only are cosmetics and personal care products expensive and remarkably bad at delivering on their promises, but they’re also chalk-full of nasty chemicals and toxins.
After a little research, I found out that “cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority, with the exception of color additives.” That means that cosmetics companies are free to inject basically anything they want into their products. I singled out three of the 515 chemicals the average woman wears daily.
Parabens are a very common preservative in practically all makeup and personal care products, and can be rapidly absorbed by the skin. These chemicals may increase the risk of breast cancer: they have been found in 18 of 20 cancerous tissue samples.
“Fragrance” is completely unregulated as it considered a trade secret and can contain hundreds of chemicals like phthalates or ethylene oxide. This doesn’t just apply to perfume, but to every product with fragrance on the ingredients list. Sometimes unscented products even add chemicals to conceal the scents of other chemicals. The majority of chemicals found in fragrances are endocrine disruptors, meaning they inhibit normal brain function.
Aluminum is an ingredient found in baking soda and most antiperspirants. It is suspected of increasing risks for cancer because, like parabens, it mimics estrogen, which is known to promote or even cause cancer development.
So how can you maintain your hygiene and beauty regime without sacrificing your health?
There has to be a better way. And guess what?
There is a better way! Not only is it simpler and more effective, but it’s also good for you (and very inexpensive). It’ll make you more beautiful, naturally (rather than just covering up the flaws that most of the time, cosmetics actually cause). All these crazy effective natural alternatives to modern cosmetics have been right under our noses this entire time. Seriously, the beauty potions that have replaced my makeup, skin and hair products are a revelation. Which is why I want to share my favorite DIY beauty recipes on this blog!
There is a whole other world of natural alternatives to every product in your beauty bag. Check out a list of my favorites here.