Are Your Cosmetics Safe?

Are Your Cosmetics Safe?

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When you are making yourself look beautiful with the vast array of products on the market today, you may not realize that you could be putting an ugly mark on the environment and yourself.  The cosmetics industry has a dirty secret – some of the ingredients in their products are not only damaging to the environment but also can also be damaging to your skin. Some of the ingredients from which these products are made are called carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxins. The reason that these companies can get away with this blatant use of dangerous ingredients is because the FDA doesn’t require cosmetic companies to test their own products for safety. They can just put the products on the market with these ingredients knowing that they may cause harm. 

The good news is that there are responsible companies out there that do care about the environment and about you. These companies have signed a pact with The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics pledging to phase out chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems. Some of the better known companies that have signed this compact are J/A/S/O/N Natural Personal Care Products, Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics Josie Maran Cosmetics and Framesi Hair Products. These products are readily available in stores and salons nationwide.  If you want to see if the products that you are using are safe, you can check out to see the list of companies that have signed the Safe Cosmetics Pledge. Another great Web site you can visit to check the safety of your cosmetics is This comprehensive resource has put a score on cosmetics, rating their hazard level to you and the environment.

0208GIBBERMAN.gif So, we know organic makeup is safer and healthier for us. But what exactly are those health benefits? According to Sarah Cherot, co-owner of Cher-Chique, a Covington-based boutique carrying many organic, natural and vegan skincare and fashion accessories, “Bottom line, they don’t have the ‘junk’ and chemicals that cause skin irritations, reactions, breakouts, etc. They are usually more pure and gentle for the skin.”

Cherot says the health benefits of thwarting breakouts and allergic reactions to chemicals are driving the current demand for her organic and natural products. And she sees this demand only increasing with enhanced certification and regulation of the organic skincare industry and the powerful word of mouth from walking testimonials who have been dramatically changed by organic skincare.

Now that you have decided to look for powerful, eco-friendly products, here are a few tips you can use to choose the right products:

  1. Check the packaging. Excess packaging is not good for the environment. The best products will use recycled paper in their packaging.
  2. Make sure that the product is not tested on animals.
  3. Check the ingredients to make sure they are not harmful. Organic ingredients are best, but if you can’t find a product that is organic, make sure it does not contain toxic chemicals. Some of the ingredients to steer clear of are dibutyl, diethylhexyl, thimerosal, formaldehyde and toluene.  These chemicals sometimes are hidden under the word fragrance; so fragrance-free products are always best.


When in doubt about any product, check their Web sites that I have mentioned and they can guide you to products that are both safe for you and the environment. 

You don’t have to give up your beauty products to be environmentally conscious.  Give some of these safe cosmetics a try and you may find that they are better than anything you have used before.  Remember that with a little research, you can be the eco-friendly diva that you were always meant to be.

Photographer: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Location: Gateway Quarter
Model: Olga Gil
Makeup Artistry: Jocelyn Sparks, Zoë Custom Cosmetics