What Lies Beneath: A Guide to Toxin-Free Makeup
Average reading time: 3.5 minutes
Clean Up Your Makeup
Have you ever stopped to consider how the makeup you’re wearing is potentially affecting the health of your thyroid and overall wellness? You may not realize it, but the products we apply daily to our skin, lips, and eyes need to be on your radar when it comes to exposing your body to environmental toxins.
Most mainstream makeup and other beauty products are packed with toxic chemicals such as phthalates, lead, parabens, and more. These can negatively impact your endocrine system, mimic hormones, and cause general hormonal chaos. If you haven’t taken a closer look at your current makeup products, perhaps now is the time!
In this article, we’re going to cover the hidden dangers that could be lurking in your makeup. And then—the fun part—we’re going to help you do a makeup clean-up by looking at some of the incredible non-toxic makeup options available to us today. I’ll cover all the essentials.
First, a quick note: You might notice that most of the links below are via Follain.com. Thyroid Refresh does not receive any money or kickbacks from Follain. We chose to use their links because Follain puts all of the products and brands they carry through a strict vetting process based on quality, safety, and performance. They take the guesswork out of finding non-toxic makeup that works. We think it’s a great resource for thyroid patients, and wanted to share!
Common Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) in Beauty Products
When shopping for new, cleaner makeup options, it’s important to be on the lookout for these toxic ingredients on makeup labels:
- BHA and BHT – used to prolong shelf life, this chemical is a known carcinogen and hormone disruptor found in lipsticks and other cosmetics
- Ethanolamines aka MEA/TEA/DEA – a surfactant and pH adjuster linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and more. Commonly found in mascara and foundation.
- Parabens – a preservative (usually starts with methyl-, isobutyl-, or propyl-) that has been shown to mimic estrogen within the body. Can be found in foundation.
- Synthetic Fragrance – almost 3,000 chemicals can be hiding under the word ‘fragrance’ and the exact ingredient list for fragrance is protected by the federal law’s classification of trade secrets—can you believe that?
Why Is Non-Toxic Makeup the Better Choice?
Non-toxic makeup often doubles as skin care. Why? Well, it does a better job of caring for your skin because the ingredients are nourishing and hydrating instead of harsh and potentially drying. However, it should not replace your current skincare routine.
Are you feeling overwhelmed or not sure where to begin?
Don’t worry, and don’t forget to breathe! When you’re doing your own makeup clean-up, go at a pace that’s right for you. For some of us, that means dumping our entire makeup kit and starting over (i.e. ripping off the Band-Aid). For others, that means replacing one item at a time as they’re used up, or as money allows. Meet yourself where you are, but please, be aware and try your best to make this important change.
Makeup Cleanup: 5 Non-Toxic Makeup Swaps
Below you’ll find five must-have makeup swaps to replace your current products and clean up your routine in no time. Your skin and your body will thank you!
The less work your body has to do to process chemicals, the more energy it has to devote to vitality and healing.
1.) Sheer Tinted Moisturizer or Light Foundation
Even in the cooler months, having a tinted moisturizer that contains SPF is essential for the overall health of your skin. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Sheer Tinted Moisturizer by ILIA.
It’s made with non-nano zinc oxide to protect your delicate skin from harmful UV rays. It also contains avocado oil, which can help prevent breakouts and is deeply nourishing for the skin.
If you find that the ILIA tinted moisturizer is a bit thick once you’ve added it your hand, consider adding a drop or two of organic jojoba oil before applying to your face.
- Tinted Nutrient Day Cream with SPF 30 by Josh Rosebrook
- Oat Milk Foundation by Ere Perez (does not contain SPF)
- Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation by Vapour (does not contain SPF)
2.) The Perfect Concealer
What makes the W3ll People Bio Correct Multi-Action Concealer different than any other concealer I’ve ever tried is the list of powerful multi-action ingredients like coffee seed oil (to depuff), pumpkin seed oil (to brighten), and coconut oil (to moisturize).
Also, you’ll notice that this concealer doesn’t usually give you those lovely little creases that other concealers are notorious for. It stays in place even through the longest of days!
- Arnica Concealer by Ere Perez
- “Un” Cover-Up by RMS Beauty
- Narcissist Foundation Stick by W3ll People
3.) Lengthening Mascara
I get it: Mascara can be a hard one to swap. But think about all of the potentially harmful toxins you’re layering right next to your delicate eye area. Yikes! Finding a non-toxic alternative is essential.
Fear not, because the Expressionist Mascara by W3ll People is just what you’re looking for. It’s packed with nourishing ingredients like beeswax to condition your lashes, carnauba wax to add a flexible hold, and sunflower seed oil to hydrate.
- Longest Lash Mascara by Jane Iredale
- Volumizing Mascara by RMS Beauty
- Lengthening Mascara by Kjaer Weis
4.) Double Duty Creamy Lip and Cheek Tint
Overhauling your makeup can feel completely overwhelming and expensive. That’s why the Lip2Cheek from RMS Beauty is a great way to stretch your dollar further—it’s like a lip tint and creamy blush all in one tiny glass pot!
Just a few dabs of your favorite Lip2Cheek tint on the apples of your cheeks, and then mixed in with your favorite moisturizing (and non-toxic) lipgloss or chapstick, and you’re good to go!
I love RMS Beauty products because they’re formulated with rich, hydrating coconut oil, a natural anti-bacterial. Remember what I said about non-toxic makeup acting as skincare?
- Beetroot Cheek & Lip Tint by Ere Perez
- Multi-Stick by ILIA
- Cream Blush by Kjaer Weis
- Macabeet Tinted Moisture Stick by Cocokind
5.) For that Instant Glow
If you’re looking for an ethereal glow, look no further. As someone who has hereditary dark circles, the Magic Luminizer by RMS Beauty can do wonders for balancing out dark shadows around my eyes.
Just a small dab in the inside corner of your eye will instantly brighten and give you a gorgeous glow.
It’s so essential to use beauty products with ingredients you trust, especially when placed so close to your eyes.
Do you want a glow but in a more cooling shade? The sister product of the Magic Luminizer is the Living Luminzer and provides a more satin pearl finish versus a warming glow.
An Important Reminder
If you’re curious to learn more about the toxicity levels of the products in your current makeup routine, check out the Think Dirty app. You might be surprised at what you find!
Remember, at the end of the day, cleaning up your makeup routine doesn’t have to happen overnight. Rest assured that swapping even one or two toxic makeup products for non-toxic options can provide significant benefits for not only your skin, but also for your overall health and wellness.