18 May 2011

Time to Save Superwoman From Her Make-Up

A guest post by Anya of Anya's Green Baby

As women so often we make sacrifices for beauty. We give up comfort for glamour, junk food for skinny jeans and quiet time for make-up time. I will admit that I am at fault for all of these just as I am sure many of you are as well. In our quest for perfection it is important that our health is one thing that we never sacrifice. 
Photo: Happy Worker

A few years ago I was first discovering that my husband and I had infertility problems. I bought a book called The Infertility Diet thinking that I might be able to make small changes on my own before consulting a doctor. There was a whole chapter devoted to beauty products and the dangerous chemicals that fill our favorite make-up, perfumes and hair care. I was horrified. This was the first time I ever heard about parabens and their effect on our bodies. It was almost midnight but I dropped the book and ran to my bathroom to check the ingredients of my make-up. Sure enough my supposedly healthy mineral make-up was full of three different parabens! I tossed ALL my products and began to rigorously research the best for my health as well as my beauty. 

Here are some important reasons to do a beauty overhaul:
  1. 99% of beauty products contain parabens which are preservatives that help extend the shelf life. Parabens are a cause for concern because over and over they have been linked to cancer, hormone disorders and infertility in many different studies. They are a xenoestrogen which mimics real estrogen in our bodies creating an imbalance.
  2. The color in beauty products has to come from somewhere and often it comes from bituminous coal which is a carcinogen. These colors are usually referred to as FD&C and D&C. 
  3. Most lipstick and lipgloss is made with petroleum, the same base as gasoline! I know that I typically “eat” my lipstick throughout the day unintentionally and I shutter to think that before I became green I was ingesting the same chemical I put in my car!
Photo: Corey Balazowich

There are not many make-up brands to choose from in conventional stores, you will need to go to a specialty store like Whole Foods or online. I tried a few different brands before I found one that worked well with my skin. I am not a fan of wearing a lot of make-up and looking overly done. I have that “hippie chic” look most of the time so I wanted something light just to cover up any skin blemishes. I settled on a brand called MyChelle for make-up and John Masters for hair and face products such as cleansers and sunscreen. I like these products because they met my criteria for beauty as well as overall health and eco-friendlyness. There are other trustworthy brands with all different price points. Other great choices are Dr. Hauschka and Pangea.
The most beautiful face
There is a saying that “Beauty is only skin deep” usually this is meant to deter you from paying too much attention to your looks. I will argue that beauty IS your skin and your skin is the largest organ on your body. It needs to be loved and nurtured. In our effort to save the world, pinch every penny, take care of our families and be an amazing career woman all while looking like a super model I ask you to pause for a moment and consider your health. We cannot do all these amazing things without a well functioning body so I will change the saying and create a new mantra for us, “Beauty is only my healthy skin”. Now go forth and continue to be Superwoman!

For more information on the research studies and beauty product brands you can glance at the resources below:

Anya of Anya's Green Baby is passionate about eco living and prides herself in her all-green home - from cleaning to food, to laundry. Anya is a college Professor teaching American Sign Language and together with her husband is currently waiting for their adopted baby to come home. 

In her etsy store you will find handmade artistic baby clothing and bedding  created using friendly materials and a lot of love. Visit her blog for more organic ideas and rest assured that all her tips are investigated and tested by her.


  1. i too have realized that most make-up and beauty products have harmful chemicals that may make women beautiful but can cause more harm in the long run.

    good thing i discovered a local organic make-up and beauty products brand which i am using now. it acts as any of the commercial ones, minus the parabens/carcinogenic stuff. and my skin has never looked better!

  2. It's frightening what is allowed to be sold on store shelves. I too suffered through infertility and had become a vegetarian to avoid the excess hormones in meat.

  3. I've been seeing a lot of posts about this topic lately. Clearly, it's time for me to re-examine my makeup bag.

  4. I need to look in my make-up bag. Thanks for this great and informative piece! I love that print!

  5. It is so scary to realize that you always have to be on the lookout for potential dangers! Like all of you who have commented so far, I also haven't given the subject much thought but thanks to Anya we are better informed now!

  6. Fantastic article! I Stumbled and Tweeted it for you.

  7. This has def made me want to re-think my makeup regime - I will make sure and consider this a great dea, thank you!

  8. Great post! I also have been trying to switch out some of my regular beauty products for all-natural or organic ones. My mom recently sent me a deoderant that's all-natural to try (she's a cancer-survivor so she has to be really careful about what she uses- i.e., no chemicals).

  9. Great article. I stopped wearing makeup a long time ago, and dying my hair too.

  10. Great post. I also touched on this awhile back and a great website to check out is http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/. If you are unfamiliar with it, it'll give you a rating of your products, it's no surprise that most are toxic. Especially some of the baby products and hair dyes. When I discovered this about make-up several years ago I also dumped it all, immediately. I challenged myself to go without make-up, indefinitely. Even though I didn't wear much to begin with, mascara and eye liner make a huge difference! I wanted to learn to love and appreciate how I looked without anything extra. I'll admit it was hard, but I have arrived with a new and deep appreciation for myself and our amazing bodies! :)

  11. Love this article. I am trying to switch over my skincare products over to organic. I have been looking thru Etsy for this and found many things I want to buy. As for makeup, I use Tarte Cosmetics which is supposed to be paraben- and phthalate- free.

  12. Seriously interesting post. I am pretty much in the dark about my makeup content, so this is an eye opener. Thanks for posting.

  13. you can also look-up Toxic Beauty by Samuel Epstein and Randall Fitzgerald for more info on chemicals found in commercial cosmetics

  14. Wow, this is scary stuff... I'm definitely going to look into the make-up I've been using. Thanks for the post!