Get your glow on with natural makeup

One of the most welcome trends in green living is the rise in skin care and cosmetic options that have all the appealing design and beautiful results of high-end conventional products—but with significantly cleaner ingredients and more responsible packaging.

More than 80,000 ingredients are used in personal care products, and an estimated one in eight of these ingredients is an industrial chemical linked with terms like “carcinogen” or “reproductive toxin.” That’s enough to make you think twice about what goes on your skin! It also leads to questions about the cumulative effects that everyday beauty habits have on the environment.

When shopping for natural and organic makeup products, look for healthy ingredients such as argan and avocado oils in foundations and blushes—these are great for the skin, said eco makeup artist Sally Biondo of New York. Some products even include flaxseed oil, which can also be beneficial. Look for lip products that include shea butter for ultimate moisturizing of this delicate area.

Karim Orange, a green beauty advocate and celebrity makeup artist, believes it’s the absence of ingredients that’s important. She recommends avoiding makeup and skin care products that contain hormone-disrupting parabens and nanoparticles. Mineral makeup is free of parabens, preservatives, chemical dyes, and fragrances. Another great benefit of mineral makeup is that is contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which offer enough sun protection for errands (but not a day at the beach).

One Way to Choose

For help in selecting natural cosmetics, look for the Environmental Working Group’s EWG Verified label. Cosmetics that meet EWG’s strict health and transparency standards include foundations, blushes, eye shadows and eye liners, lipsticks and lip glosses; skin care products including cleansers and moisturizers; shampoos and soaps; and many more.  To earn the EWG Verified certification products must be free of chemicals on EWG’s “unacceptable” list. Companies must disclose their products’ ingredients—including those in fragrances—and follow good manufacturing practices. “We’re making it simple to find consumer products that meet our rigorous health and transparency standards—keeping shoppers in the know about what’s really in their products,” said Nneka Leiba, EWG’s director of healthy living science.

Health & Happiness

Found in our Health & Happiness magazine.

Mineral Makeup Tip

Mineral makeup is very concentrated. Apply foundation in thin layers, using a brush and going in circles. A little goes a long way. Start with a thin layer and see if it offers the coverage you want. If not, apply another thin layer and continue in this manner until you get the look you want.