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GET EDUCATED

#TRUTHBEAUTY GUIDE: All you need to know to clean up your beauty routine.


STEP 1: EDUCATE YOURSELF  


5 BEAUTY FACTS:

1. Our beauty products are not regulated or tested for safety. The $50 Billion industry regulates itself. 
2. There are no labeling requirements. 
3. The European Union has banned 1,373 substances from cosmetics. 
4. The FDA has banned 8,
5. And restricted 3. 


STEP 2: DO YOUR RESEARCH 

  • Read ALL of your ingredient lists, or find them online if they are not listed on the bottle.
    Websites like DRUGSTORE.COM & AMAZON usually have the ingredients available for most mainstream products. 

  • Use THE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP'S SKIN DEEP DATABASE or the THINKDIRTY APP to figure out if your products are safe. 


STEP 3: START CLEANING UP YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE BY ELIMINATING THE TOP 10 WORST INGREDIENTS:


THE DIRTY LIST

*All of the substances below have all been banned or restricted in Europe and other countries, but they are still totally legal in the U.S. 

1. PARABENS 
(anything that ends with “paraben,” like butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, etc.)

  • Popular preservatives that mimic the hormone estrogen and are linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and skin irritation. They may increase our risk of breast cancer.

  • Found in shampoos and other bath products, lotions, and lots of cosmetics. 

2. FORMALDEHYDE 
(& FORMALDEHYDE-RELEASING PRESERVATIVES DMDM HYDANTOIN, DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, IMIDAZolidinyl urea, methenamine, 1,4 Dioxane & Quarternium-15) 

  • Considered a known human carcinogen, this preservative was made famous by the “Brazilian Blowout.” It can also cause asthma if inhaled, neurotoxicity and developmental toxicity.

  • Found in the Brazilian Blowout, other hair treatments and some nail polishes.

3. "FRAGRANCE"
(So anything that says "fragrance" or "parfum" on the label) 

  • This word on a label could mean between 10 and 300 different chemicals, but companies are not required to list anything in their “fragrance” mixture. Common synthetic fragrances contain hormone disruptors such as phthalates, which have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive problems like early puberty, and the feminization of baby boys.

  • Found in everything from face cream to perfume to soap…any product with a scent.

  • The only way to avoid "fragrance" is to buy products that are scented with organic essential oils. 

4. PROPYLENE GLYCOL
(a fancy word for anti-freeze)

  • Essentially antifreeze, this chemical alters our skin structure so other chemicals can penetrate deeper, and it causes reproductive, brain and nervous system harm in animal studies.

  • Found in many cosmetics and food products.

5. COAL TAR DYES
(LOOK FOR "CI" FOLLOWED BY A 5 DIGIT NUMBER) 

  • Used extensively in cosmetics, coal tar dyes are a mixture of many chemicals that are derived from petroleum and cause cancer and neurotoxicity.

  • Banned in food products, but found in many hair dyes, lipsticks & other cosmetic products.

6. TALC
(SIMILAR TO ASBESTOS) 

  • This absorbent and anti-caking agent is known to be toxic and is linked to cancer. Asbestos-containing talc particles have been known to cause tumors in human ovaries and lungs.

  • Found in powder products, such as eyeshadow, baby powder, face powder, deodorants, & other loose-mineral cosmetics.

7. MINERAL OIL
(OR ANYTHING THAT SOUNDS LIKE THE WORD "PETROLEUM") 

  • This is a crude oil derived from the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline. It is a known human carcinogen, and it also causes skin problems.

  • Found in baby lotions, creams, lip balms, & skin ointments, as well as cosmetics.

8. ALUMINUM ZIRCONIUM 
(OR ANY ALUMINUM COMPOUND)

  • Used as the antiperspirant in deodorants, this heavy metal has been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s Disease and has been found in breast cancer tumors. It is also a respiratory, neurological, & developmental toxin.

  • Found in antiperspirant products.

9. SODIUM LAURETH 
(OR SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE) 

  • One of the most dangerous ingredients used in products, this chemical is linked to skin damage, eye damage, and liver toxicity. It is also toxic to the environment.

  • Found in most skincare and cosmetics, as well as household and car cleaners, and engine degreasers.

10. BHA & BHT
(aka Butylated Hydroxyanisole & Butylated Hydroxytoluene)

  • Considered “a reasonable anticipated human carcinogen,” this chemical preservative interferes with normal reproductive system development and thyroid hormone levels. It can also cause skin depigmentation, liver damage, and stomach cancer in animal studies.

  • Found in moisturizers and makeup.

STEP 4: DITCH THE PRODUCTS WITH INGREDIENTS IN THIS LIST AND DISCOVER THE SAFER, BETTER ALTERNATIVES. WE WILL BE YOUR GUIDE. 


ASK US A BEAUTY QUESTION! 

Name *
Name

COMMON BEAUTY QUESTIONS: 

1. Why is the first ingredient in my products "water"?

Most companies use "water" as their first ingredient because it is a cheap filler that still maintains the popular conception of being good for us. So when consumers read "Water (Aqua)" as the first ingredient on their product label, they will instantly disregard it. But what most consumers don't realize is that when a company uses water as an ingredient, they need to add potent preservatives to prevent molding. Many of these preservatives are not at all good for us, and some are actually harmful to our health. So when you see the word "water" on the ingredient list, make sure to research the preservatives used. 

2. Isn't oil bad for my skin? 

Companies have made a fortune on "oil-free" products, because most people believe oil is bad for our skin. This is a total myth. Petroleum-derivatives like "mineral oil" and "petrolatum" are bad, because they originate from crude oil. Other organic oils, like olive oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, and jojoba oil are amazing moisturizers and can even be used as a makeup remover. The next time someone tells you that oil is bad for your skin, remember that organic oils have been used for hundreds of years to effectively moisturize the skin. Cleopatra used to take olive oil baths to soften her skin and hair! 

3. Why don't "natural" products foam? 

Consumers associate the "foaming effect" of shampoos, soaps, and toothpaste as a measure of efficacy. In reality, there is no connection between foaming and cleanliness. Companies actually add substances like Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (listed above,) just to create the lathering-effect. These substances, called "surfactants," are known irritants, which is why your eyes sting if you get soap in them. While surfactants are not harmful on their own, the process of producing substances like Sodium Laureth Sulfate can create harmful byproducts like 1,4-dioxane, which is a confirmed carcinogen in animals at high concentrations, and a suspected human carcinogen. Though sulfate-free products do not typically foam, they are just as effective at cleaning our bodies and teeth, and they are much safer for our health. 

4. Why does Chapstick feel so good? 

Chapstick brand lip products contain 44% petrolatum, a substance that is derived from petroleum and possesses addictive properties, drying out your lips so that you apply more. It essentially creates the problem it is intending to solve. The petrolatum creates a watertight barrier that prevents internal skin moisture from escaping. While your lips may instantly feel soft and moist after applying Chapstick, the product is locking in moisture, which can actually lead to more dryness. The next time you are looking for an effective lip balm, avoid petroleum-derivatives and buy a product that contains a safe wax, like beeswax. 

5. Don't products need strong preservatives so they last?

Many companies and consumers are convinced that potent preservatives are essential to extend a product's shelf life and prevent contamination. While we do agree that we want our products to last long enough to finish them, most commercial products contain enough preservatives to last for ten or twenty years. Would we trust a food product that has sat in our kitchen cabinet for this long? We believe that cosmetics and personal care products should be treated like food products, with minimal preservatives and additives. Additionally, there are a multitude of natural preservatives, such as Vitamin E, rosemary extract, apple cider vinegar, and essential oils like tea tree and lavender, that are extremely effective at extending a product's shelf life. Many companies use only natural preservatives, and their products still maintain a shelf life of two years or more, proving that the widespread use of harsh preservatives is largely unnecessary. 

6. Why are the safer products so expensive? 

The reason why companies use synthetic ingredients is because they are cheap and readily available. Just like with food, the high-quality organic ingredients in beauty products are more expensive and harder to source. So the safest products, made with the highest-quality organic or natural ingredients, are drastically more expensive than the drugstore brands. We realize this, and we hate the fact that the safest products are unaffordable for most of us. However, we believe that with widespread consumer awareness and increased supply and demand, eventually we will all have access to safe, effective products. As more and more consumers shift their buying choices, the market for safe products will expand, and soon we will see safe, affordable products everywhere. But it starts with changing consumer perception, and recognizing our power to shift the market. 

In the meantime, there are ways to clean up your beauty routine without spending a lot of money. We are not suggesting that you go through your makeup bag and throw everything away, but rather, the next time you run out of a product, consider replacing it with a safer alternative. Every purchase counts, so if you start slowly, you will eventually make a huge impact. 

We will do our best to promote only the safest, highest-perfoming, and most affordable products on the market. But sometimes, raw, whole-potency, organic ingredients are just as effective. For example, we believe that organic oils like coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, and jojoba oil are the best moisturizers and makeup removers. You can find them at most grocery stores, or on Amazon. If you want to get really creative, you can buy raw ingredients in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs and melt them down to make your own custom products!

We will continue to feature the safest and most affordable products possible, and we will also post easy DIY recipes so everyone has access to safe, effective beauty products.