We’ve come to the middle of April and I continue to search for more ways to lead a greener lifestyle. As I said in the beginning of the month, I’m calling April Earth Month and focusing a little more on this subject. As I continue to research greener ways, I’ve come to recognize that there were other elements in my daily routine that I hadn’t considered such as makeup. You constantly hear about ways to live a greener lifestyle and they typically cover things like recycling, water conservation and reusing. These are all important topics that we need to continue talking about, but we also need to talk about the other facets of your life where you can implement eco-friendly alternatives that will not harm you or the environment.
Last week I spoke about 6 steps to a more eco-friendly mani-pedi and shared with you some of the natural alternatives in nail products I found which included: nail polish remover, nail polish, lotions and tools. This week I’d like to talk about some of the natural makeup alternatives available today. I found a number of brands that were not only vegan, but were also cruelty free as they stay away from animal testing.
I just learned that many cosmetics listed as natural are not entirely natural. It seems that although they may contain some natural ingredients, they also contain harmful ingredients such as: parabens (a preservative chemical that has been linked to cancer), Triclosan (an antimicrobial chemical linked to thyroid damage and partially blamed for the rise in hard-to-kill superbugs like MRSA), Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives (a known human carcinogen), Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Other PEG Compounds (commonly contaminated with potential and proven cancer causing agents), BHA (which is listed as carcinogen by the state of california), Talc (US National Toxicology Program report in 1993, found that cosmetic grade talc containing no asbestos-like fibers was correlated with tumor formation in rats), Dimethicone (which has also been linked to fertility issues and is toxic to wildlife) and Kohl (which the FDA considers a source of lead poisoning).
I know what you must be thinking right now, this is a rather long list of ingredients to look out for in cosmetics. So how do you make sure that your cosmetics are safe, cruelty free and truly natural? It’s actually not to hard to find out, here’s how:
- Look for the badge. Many brands list the very fact they are vegan and cruelty free right on their home page. As they should, it’s something to be very proud of. Some might display their Leaping Bunny badge or a similar badge with the words cruelty free.
- Check their FAQ section. After receiving many inquiries on the matter, many cosmetics companies have addressed whether they are 100% natural and cruelty free in their FAQ section.
- Look for vegan and compassionate shopping guides. To make things a little easier for consumers, select organizations and passionate consumers have compiled list of vegan and cruelty free brands. Leaping Bunny has a great compassionate shopping guide. Beauty blog MyBeautyBunny.com published a cruelty free list that includes cosmetics and household products.
- Look for the Ecocert natural and organic cosmetic label and USDA Organic-certified products label. These will usually appear on the packaging and indicate a minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming.
Follow these steps and you are sure to find the right eco-friendly cosmetic for you. Here are some of the brands I found that are vegan and cruelty free. I was excited to see some popular big name brands pop up in my search, some of which I own.
Tarte – They not only have a great selection of vegan and cruelty free cosmetics, they also use packaging from recyclable or post-consumer recycled material and can often be re-used to help reduce environmental waste. They also offer a customer recycling incentive program where consumers who return their empty cheek stain, empty clean slate primer or smooth operator SPF 20 foundation and we’ll give you 15% off of your next tarte.com purchase. Although not all their products are vegan, they are all cruelty free.
Urban Decay – Urban decay has a large selection of vegan and cruelty free products that are easily identified by their “Marley Approved” purple paw logo. When you see this logo next to one of their cosmetics, Urban Decay certifies that it is a vegan cosmetic and does not contain any animal-derived ingredients. Although not all their products are vegan, they are all cruelty free.
Fyrinnae – Fyrinnae creates cosmetics that are 100% vegan which means they do not contain any silk, carmine, pearl or beeswax just to name a few.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics – a complete line of cosmetics, tools and nail products in the latest color trends. They are fantastic!
100% Pure – Offering cosmetics, bath and body, skin care and more. They are the first and only cosmetics colored from antioxidant rich fruit and vegetable pigments.
Isn’t it great to know you have so many options for natural cosmetics? I used to think I was limited to the offerings at my local Whole Foods store but now I know I have a number of natural brands I can try. I hope you find this information helpful and that you’re just as inspired as I am to make small changes towards a greener lifestyle.