Sonya Bass, CH
For most of us makeup enhancement makes us look, and feel, good about ourselves
For most of us makeup enhancement makes us look, and feel, good about ourselves. We use cosmetics for the same reasons that we buy new clothes, decorate our home or plant flowers in the garden: it is because one of the enjoyments of life is to feel good about ourselves and our surroundings.
When we make choices about what to buy, eat or wear, several factors affect the decision-making process: value, quality, cruelty-free and non-animal-derived ingredients, and place of production. When buying cosmetics, the same reasoning should apply.
Lack of labelling requirements for cosmetics makes it difficult to be an informed consumer. The US Cosmetic Labeling Act passed April 14, 1977, requires that ingredients be listed in descending order of concentration on the labels of most but not all cosmetics. And even those ingredients that are listed are not always easy to understand.
How many average shoppers would know what cyclopentasiloxane is without referring to a cosmetic ingredient book or a website? This chemical is used in cosmetics for its emulsifying properties and it is also a form of silicon. It's the second ingredient listed in a moisturizing foundation of a leading cosmetic company. Cosmetics do not come under the same regulations as drugs, and you will notice some manufacturers list no ingredients but simply label the colour and the price.
Cosmetic companies with credibility are our best source. A little research at your local natural product store will bring you information to help you make informed choices. Checking out Web sites and calling toll-free numbers of cosmetic companies will also help you spend your dollars wisely.
A cheap lipstick becomes very expensive if you use it once and get an allergic reaction to it. For example, if you have ever experienced reactions such as blistering or dry, red, cracked skin when you applied lipsticks, eye shadows or blush, it is very likely that you are allergic to carmine. Produced mainly in Peru, this red pigment is made from beetles that live on the Prickly Pear cactus. The beetles are crushed and then sun-dried. Carmic acid is extracted and aluminum hydrate is used as the absorption medium. Call the toll-free number or check the Web site of any cosmetic company to determine if they use carmine in their products.
The most exciting news from the natural product cosmetics industry is that organic ingredients are increasingly being included in makeup formulas. Catching onto the organic trend, some cosmetic companies even follow an organic philosophy from beginning to end, producing high quality makeup lines in vibrant plant-derived colours (minus the crushed beetles).
If you have already made the change to organic food, this is the next step to take. Why feed your body with nourishing organic food when you're putting poor quality products on your skin? Remember, the skin absorbs. Fortunately, organic ingredients are free from pesticides and herbicides; they nourish your skin and it is very unlikely that you will get an allergic reaction to them.
Let your conscience guide you with your decision-making choices and feel good about what you purchase and the way you look.