What’s in YOUR makeup?

How kissable are your lips?
The names cinnamon swirl, chocolate cherry fudge, and coca crème may have your mouth watering as you picture something sweet to treat your taste buds with. Don’t go running for the bon bons just yet. These are the creative names of lipstick colors and just wait until you see what you may actually be ingesting under the temptation of these ever so delicious names.

It’s interesting to note that so many lipstick colors have the names of food considering it is so generously applied and reapplied to our lips. Rough estimates have been made that we consume at least 4 lbs of lipstick in a lifetime. It’s safe to assume that anything on our lips could possibly be ingested. Think about all we do with these beautifully painted lips; eat, drink, lick them and give sweet kisses.

With that in mind, it’s time to look past the allure of tempting names and vibrant color and see what’s hiding on the ingredient list. If it’s filled with words that you can’t pronounce it may be best to avoid that particular product. The skin is our largest organ and absorbs what we lather on it. Whether it’s accidentally eating lipstick during the day or absorbing body lotion, it’s worth the time it takes to do some snooping around.

Some of the most morally offensive ingredients in many conventional makeup and body care products such as anti-aging creams may even be considered “natural”. (placentas and foreskins)There’s no tasteful way to discuss this but you’ll discover it on your own once you start reading product ingredients. I will say that it’s not very cinnamon swirly!

Moving on to chemicals… Many cosmetic companies today are tying on that pink ribbon and promising to contribute a portion of their sales to “the fight against breast cancer”. This could be considered a little hypocritical when their products contain chemicals that may actually increase the risk of developing cancer.

One of the two hottest topics right now is parabens (Alkyl Hydroxy Benzoate Preservatives) and whether we should avoid them or not. Parabens are chemical preservatives that have been identified as estrogenic and disruptive of normal hormone function. (Estrogenic chemicals mimic the function of the naturally occurring hormone estrogen, and exposure to external estrogens has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.)

The University of Reading in the United Kingdom in 2003 found that samples of breast cancer tissue contained parabens in 18 of 20 tumors. The study was very small but proves that more research is needed. Twelve studies have confirmed estrogen-like activity in laboratory rats injected with parabens. The results indicate a weak form of estrogen is present.

Parabens are lurking in nearly 1,300 products on the shelves today. They can be found in everything from shampoos to lotions to makeup. The leave on body products are the ones mostly being questioned.

The other red flag ingredients are phthalates. According to the Breast Cancer Action (BCA) group in San Francisco, “phthalates are known to cause a broad range of birth defects and lifelong reproductive impairments in laboratory animals that are exposed to these chemicals during pregnancy and after birth. Phthalates are also known to be hormone-mimicking chemicals, many of which disrupt normal hormonal processes, raising concern about their implications for increased breast cancer risk.”

There are many other ingredients that warrant concern due to their links to cancer, such as progesterone, formaldehyde and coal tar . One third of the products tested contain at least one ingredient that is known or suspected to be human carcinogens.

Here‘s what Purely Delicious magazine says about the average woman‘s morning routine, “Although you have successfully readied and beautified yourself for the day, you have also unknowingly contaminated yourself with over 126 cancer-causing agents, birth defect-causing petrochemicals, and toxic environmental pollutants.” Now that’s a mouthful!

Over the next week I will be scouting out natural and safe beauty care products that can be found locally in Albany. Mineral makeup seems to be highly recommended as a nice cosmetic alternative. I already have a make over scheduled and can’t wait to share my findings with you next week! Please share your thoughts with us! Email your natural beauty tips from local sources to kristen@eegreenfoods.com.

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