I believe that the best way to apply makeup is to make it look like you aren't wearing any. But I'm a bit of a naturalist. For the average adult, there are 120 different chemicals that contact our skin daily, many of them toxic.
I'm on a mission to change that.
I agree with One Direction: You're lovely and luscious enough already.
I'm a Berkeley girl, and the natural look is alive and kickin' in the Bay Area. Along with keeping your style natural, I think it's even more important to also seek out natural products.
Plain and simple, your skin will absorb what you put on it, whether it's toxic endocrine disruptors, harmful chemicals, or artificial estrogens. These types of cosmetics don't just mess with your hormones -- they can actually take a toll on your skin, damaging the collagen and coloring, forcing you to use more of the harmful cover ups that caused the problem in the first place!
Dive deeper, and you find that mineral makeup contains nickel and lead.
Luckily, there are lots of face-friendly options for women who want to enhance their natural beauty without exposing themselves to harmful toxins. The next time you smear on some lotion or swipe on some eye shadow, I want it to be as hormone-friendly as it is mirror-friendly.
The Precautionary Principle
In my book, the New York Times bestseller, The Hormone Cure, I discuss the "Precautionary Principle" -- namely, to look for natural alternatives to products that contain harmful chemicals. It will take a little homework on your part, but nature-nerd that I am, I've already done some of the legwork for you.
If you're considering a purchase, always look at the ingredients listed on the label (you do the same thing with food products, right?).
Red flags are:
• sodium lauryl sulfates (one of the most irritating skin cleansers on the market)
• parabens (often-unnecessary preservatives that act as serious endocrine disruptors)
• formaldehyde (another preservative that is a skin irritant and, even scarier, a carcinogen)
• fragrance (the synthetic chemical compounds that add fragrance can affect everything from skin, to immune systems, to fertility)
• hydroquinone (this skin-lightening agent prevents melanin production, increasing exposure to UVA and UVB rays)
A great place to start researching safe cosmetic alternatives is on the Environmental Working Group database called Skin Deep: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/. This site and download are full of suggestions for safe cosmetics.
Healthy & Hot
The following are some of my favorite resources and products when it comes to natural beauty. These are my top five favorite products for the skin and hair:
1. Skin me. My favorite skin product is In Fiore, and the owner is an alchemist! Julie Elliott is my sister from another mister. (How does that go? Did I do it right?) She is a scholar of anthroposophy, ancient wisdom, and creates gorgeous products.
Talk about safe and sexy!
2. 100% Pure keeps my hair smooth and soft, without loading it up with sulfates and artificial fragrances.
3. Some all-natural beauty products are a little lacking, performance-wise. That is assuredly not the case with the line from Dr. Alkitis. Quality, performance, and total purity.
4. Neals Yard produces another of my go-to lines of hair care products and deodorant. I love the natural rose, orange, and lavender scents!
5. We all need a little help some days. Whether it's a special occasion or a daily touch-up, Tarte cosmetics are lovely, clean and serious powerhouses in the makeup department. I've used in all those photos shoots. (But Scout's honor: I take all that crap off the second I'm done!)
6. Eminence, based in Hungary, utilizes biodynamic principles. They have a cradle-to-cradle commitment when it comes to green practices, and they've been keeping their clients safe since 1958.
7. Love a bit of lip. It's true. I need organic lip color before I walk out of the house. It's often black yoga pants and a Lululemon top, but I always have my lip on. Check out Josie Maran. It doubles as a cheek color for those of you who are higher maintenance than me!
Here's a bit of lip from Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/argan-color-stick-P276202?skuId=1299213
Now it's your turn.
Do you have any favorite natural cosmetic products?
Have you ever had a bad reaction to the more toxic products?
What about clothing -- any favorite organic brands?
Environmental Defence of Canada. Download their heavy metal hazard study right here: http://environmentaldefence.ca/reports/heavy-metal-hazard-health-risks-hidden-heavy-metals-in-face-makeup
European Journal of Dermatology, September-October 2001, pages 416-419.
American Journal of Contact Dermatitis, March 2001, pages 28-32.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Christian G. Daughton and Thomas A. Ternes, "Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment: Agents of Subtle Change?" Environmental Health Perspectives • Vol 107, Supplement 6 • December 1999. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22988620
Sara Gottfried, M.D., is a practicing integrative physician and author of The Hormone Cure (Scribner/Simon & Schuster, 2013). You can follow Dr. Sara on Twitter, connect with her on Facebook, watch her videos on Youtube, and subscribe to her newsletter.
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