An eco makeover for my cosmetics

A quick look around your local grocer and it’s pretty obvious that we’re far more conscious today of what we put in our bodies.
Whether it’s buying more organic foods, cutting down on high fructose corn
syrup, taking supplements, or even hitting the juice bar in lieu of a burger
joint, we’re doing more to take care of ourselves. If you're anything like me, you're a but neurotic when it comes to reading ingredient labels and looking fororganic certifications.

Yet how conscious are we of what we put on our bodies?

Did you know that an estimated 4lbs of toxic chemicals are
absorbed into our bodies each year through the products we lather on. Our skin
is the largest organ we have, and at less than one inch thick, it’s incredibly
permeable. So all those lotions, washes, masks, cosmetics – the things that
make us feel beautiful and rejuvenated – are absorbed into our bodies. And
without the equivalent of a liver for our skin, there is no filter to prevent
those toxins from entering our blood circulation.

It’s enough to make your skin crawl.

So I recently embarked on cleaning out my makeup kit. I
ditched everything with ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. I’ve slowly started
to rebuild my cosmetic collection, this time buying mineral makeup that skips
the toxic, carcinogenic stuff.

It hasn't been a fast process – there are a lot of cosmetics out there now claiming to be natural, but once you start to dig into those claims, the greenwashing becomes apparent, fast. But in doing so, I’ve also discovered upon some great products and
learned that not only do they do what I’ve come to expect of makeup, but they
also bring with them some great natural benefits. Most mineral makeups contain
titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and iron oxide, mixed with pure pigment. Titanium
and zinc are natural anti-inflammatories known to have calming and soothing
effects on the skin – notably beneficial if one suffers from inflammatory
problems like acne or rosacea. Furthermore, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide
both act as a natural sunscreen and these minerals do not support bacteria
growth – what more can anyone possibly ask for in natural makeup?

These are
some of my favourite picks so far:

  • Raw Mascara: I
    discovered raw mascara that is made from 100% natural, botanical ingredients
    like bees wax and aloe. It does all those things mascara commercials tell us it
    should do – silky, non-clumping and non-smudging – but skips the toxins.

  • Mineral
    Eyeliner is my weakness when it comes to makeup…
    smouldering eyes are a must have for a Friday night out. So when I found Earth
    Labs’ eyeliner with ingredients I can pronounce, I was thrilled. 

  • Foundation:
    I’ve heard people say mineral makeup doesn’t live up to conventional
    formulations, especially foundation… NVEY’s line is a worthy challenger. NVEY
    mineral makeups are a dream… the Eco Creme Deluxe Foundation evens out my
    skin and tackles even the darkest of under eye circles. All natural, its base
    is formulated to soften and soothe the skin while antioxidants protect the skin
    from free radicals.

What’s your favourite mineral makeup find?

Brenna Donoghue is the President of Marketing and Sales for Ethical Ocean (, a North American retailer of eco-friendly, organic, vegan and fairly-traded products. Previously Brenna headed up marketing and fundraising for Engineers Without Borders, the opportunity that got her hyped about the possibilities of fair trade.


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