Best Way to Go Organic with Your Makeup

When it comes to buying makeup, would-be organic beauties can now take a shortcut to truly natural lines that use mineral pigments in their cosmetics in place of synthetic chemicals.

We all want to look like natural beauties. In a perfect world, we could face anyone bare-faced and confident, but most of us feel we need a little extra cosmetic help. The good news is that this isn’t just frivolous. Studies have shown that when women apply makeup, there’s a perceptible boost to their immune system. So makeup not only makes us look good, it makes us feel better and may improve our ability to withstand infections.

Makeup Best Way to Go Organic with Your Makeup

Natural-looking makeup

Makeup is one area where many people compromise, prioritizing performance over natural ingredients. Not long ago, truly “natural” cosmetics meant a real tradeoff: clumpier mascara and foundation whose blendability couldn’t rival those of the mainstream manufacturers in their million-dollar labs. Today, however, there are some natural lines that deliver impressive results.

Why should we worry? Our faces, after all, cover a small skin area compared with our bodies, so is a little makeup really going to hurt? Maybe. Maybe not. The jury’s still out. Things have certainly improved since the time of Queen Elizabeth I, when her characteristic white makeup gave her lead poisoning, but some FD&C dyes, used in such products as eyeshadow and blusher, are a concern.

Mineral color pigments

But there is good news. Responding to demands for truly natural makeup, not just skincare, manufacturers are starting to offer alternatives, many using mineral pigments instead of synthetic dyes and chemicals. These minerals are micropulverized, so they shield and protect the skin without making you look like you’re wearing makeup.

Look for Bare Escentuals i.d. Collection and La Bella Donna Naturale Therapy makeup, which contain nothing but pure minerals. By using ultramodern manufacturing techniques, all of these products avoid perfumes, preservatives, and oils.

Makeup 1 Best Way to Go Organic with Your Makeup

Aveda (owned by Estee Lauder) have made great strides toward naturalness, with their stated policy of avoiding petrochemicals and turning to dyes such as uruku, from a South American nut, to tint their lipsticks. From a packaging point of view, Aveda also scores well, with recycled metal containers into which your color choices can be slotted.

Aveda is perhaps the most widely available choice, but many of the natural cosmetic companies offer mail order. Origins, the other natural arm of the Estee Lauder empire, also pledges to avoid petrochemical ingredients. Origins falls into the “trying hard” category, a medium-natural choice. The Body Shop’s Colorings line, meanwhile has a policy of avoiding aluminum ingredients.

Dr. Hauschka now makes a wonderful truly natural line that avoids all potentially harmful ingredients and yet delivers amazing results. The Logona brand from Germany is equally pure; the company carries out independent laboratory tests to make sure the talc used in their products is asbestos-free.

Jane Iredale’s makeup is based entirely on natural ingredients and mineral powders (zinc oxide, iron oxide, and micronized titanium dioxide), avoiding FD&C dyes, preservatives, and fragrances. It is so nonirritating that it is prescribed by cosmetic surgeons for camouflage after facial surgery; it also offers high-level sun protection.

These guidelines apply not only to women interested in a more natural way of beauty, but also to the sensitive-skinned, too. Cut down on the number of dyes, preservatives, and fragrances in a product, and you reduce the potential for irritation.

When it comes to makeup, less really can be more, and if you use the right technique, you’ll find you need less of it than you think you do.

Makeup 2 Best Way to Go Organic with Your Makeup

Rainbow worries?

On cosmetic counters, you’ll often find rich, high-fashion shades. Natural mineral shadows are available in some richer shades, but they tend to be mainly earth tones, which give a more natural look. If you choose rainbow-toned makeup, it’s more likely to have been formulated with synthetic dye than mineral pigments. Bear that in mind when you’re organic-beauty shopping.

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