I love spooky– especially when it comes to Halloween.
In fact, just about the only time I’m not up for a good old fashioned trick is when it comes to things I’m putting in or on my body. I like to know exactly what’s up when it comes to that. But the thing is, the cosmetics industry can be tricky to navigate (especially if you don’t know the ins and outs of what to look for!). For a little background on me I grew up in a home where natural and safe products were very important to my family, so imagine my surprise when I realized around age 15 that the majority of my make up (and hair/skin care items!) were hiding a lot of totally gross, unsafe, and… well,scary ingredients!
Tricks and Loopholes
As I learned more about the cosmetics industry in the U. S., I realized there were quite a few hidden “tricks” and loopholes that I never even knew about before. Over the years however, I have also learned about so many hidden treats (YAY!) that I thought would be fun to share, and that I find allow me to take the process into my own hands and help me discover awesome products that I can feel 100% happy about using on myself, and in my home! So, in the spirit of Halloween being right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share 10 tricks and treats I’ve learned over the years that have helped me understand and navigate the world of make up (and beyond!)…
Let’s jump right in!
Trick: Cosmetic companiesdon’t have to include all of a product’s ingredients on the label… and ingredients can even be hidden by listing them under the catchall of “fragrance”, even if it doesn’t technically have to do with a products fragrance or scent.
Tip: No Fragrance in any SBM product.
With the incredible amount of online resources we have such easy access to today, it’s simpler than ever to take matters into our own hands and figure out what ingredients and products we feel comfortable using on our bodies and in our homes. More on this in minute!
Treat: There are lots of ways to find out what products and companies reallyare committed to providing safe products made with safe ingredients, and it’s super easy to get educated about what companies and products are scary, and which are safe.
So basically, there are AT LEAST 1,389 harmful substances that can be legally added to our cosmetics, skin care products, and hair care products that are so dangerous it’s illegal to use them in Europe?!
Trick: Out of the1,400 dangerous cosmetics ingredients banned in the European Union, only11 (Yes! You read that right… ELEVEN!) are banned in the United States.
I love the Skin Deep database because it’s quick, easy, and informative. I love using their app to instantly see all of a product’s info just by scanning the barcode which is super useful when you’re out and about! I love Personal Care Truth because, as Lisa writes, “The folks here are varied. Ranging from scientists to small indie cosmetic companies. I trust them.” I love that they give a second opinion, and that they keep it real– just read their “about” section and you’ll instantly see what I’m talking about. So cool!
Treat: It’s easier than ever to find out what products and brands ARE safe with sites like EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic’s database and PersonalCareTruth.com (check out Lisa’s awesome article about why you should be consulting BOTH of these rad resources here https://simplebeautyminerals.com/musings/cosmetics-safety-database-safe-makeup/ hyperlink to text!).
This one is just cuh-razy to me! Just think of how many new products have come onto the market since 1938. That was literally over 75 years ago! Especially because of how deeply the cosmetics industry was revolutionized as far as production methods, ingredients used, and new chemical discoveries during the 1950s and 1960s, I am continually shocked that no one has actually regulated all these new (often times dangerous) chemical inventions.
Trick: The last time the United States passedany sort of laws regulating the cosmetics industry was… in1938?!
Treat: Lucky for us, tons of safe, new make up and beauty products have been invented and perfected since 1938, if you know where to look– and you don’t have to rely on government legislation to get your hands on awesome products like these!
Nowadays it’s easier than ever to get your make up fix in a totally safe way! Through the internet, it’s a total breeze to find exactly what you’re looking for from mascara to bronzer to the perfect brow kit (and everything in between!) from companies that are committed to bringing you incredibly safeand incredibly incredible make up and skin care options… Hmmm… Remind you of anyone? (Simple Beauty Minerals, I’m lookin’ at you!) There are so many safe, easy ways to try out new beauty trends, so unlike Congress, we don’t have to be stuck in the 1930s!
This was one of the craziest things to me– if it’s not actually “natural”, then how the heck can they label it… “natural”?! It turns out that due to a marketing loophole, essentially anything can be called “natural”, even if it’s not. Instead of just relying on this catch-all phrase, do a little of your own research to verify!
Trick: Just because a product is labeled “natural” doesn’t mean it’s free ofharmful ingredients.
Still– double and triple check all those ingredients before you buy products, even when they are labeled with more helpful phrases like these! I recommend always checking out the full ingredients list before you purchase or use a new product so you know just exactly what you’re getting yourself into!
Treat: Looking for labels like “100% Certified Organic”, “Paraben and Phthalate Free”can help steer you in the right direction, and should be true to their marketing.
Even big, well established companies and brands could have icky chemicals you’d rather not use on your body– I recommend always checking to be sure. You deserve to have access to truly safe products, so don’t rely on marketing and always have a look for yourself. On the flip side, you never know– I’ve actually found many hidden beauty-gems in places I wouldn’t have expected by checking out the ingredients lists, as well!
Trick: There are beauty brands and products sold in health food or natural food stores that can bejust as dangerous as more traditional beauty and cosmetics brands despite their marketing.
Treat: There are so many honest, safe, wonderful companies and brands out there that are committed to bringing you high quality products that have only the purest, truly safe ingredients in their products. And ok, you caught me… I’m abit partial to Simple Beauty Minerals ;)
Even beyond the incredible quality of the products that Lisa and SBM offer, I love how passionately dedicated Lisa is to teaching her customers how to use mineral make up to achieve the results they want. Beyond just her basic (and let’s be honest– life saving…) tutorials for those new to the world of mineral make up, I love how she keeps up with fun new looks and has so many tips and tricks for how to safely achieve new beauty trends! I also love how I know I can trust all of the products sold at Simple Beauty Minerals to be absolutely safe. That’s… well, a total treat! ;)
Want to delve a bit deeper into understanding how to choose safe, natural cosmetics? Look HERE.
til next time, xx Abby
Abby is a recent UCSB alum and self proclaimed second-generation hippie with a passion for everything DIY, vegan snickerdoodles, and eco-friendly, sustainable living– in that order. She is happily engaged, and spends her time taking pictures and writing about about her life in tiny notebooks.
A note from Lisa - I am so appreciative of Abby writing for us! I have known her since she was six, when she and my son acted out stories in tree-tops! My how they grow. I am happy to bring her into the SBM family, as she has grown into an amazing, talented and passionate young women. You'll hear more from her soon.