To a Southern woman, taking away our “beauty products” is similar to taking away firearms to a Southern man. We realize that “Even an old barn looks better with a fresh coat of paint. We consider putting on a full face of makeup is actually part of putting on the “full armor of God…after all, the higher the hair, the closer to God.
But even Southern women are becoming more and more concerned about the fact that many ingredients in our beauty and personal care products expose the wearer to a range of health concerns and may be linked to illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Even if most of us are not tree huggers…(after all, we love our bacon and fried chicken way too much to ever be vegetarians…the only reason we buy fabric shopping bags is so that our groceries won’t fall out of the bottom of the bag when we carry them into the house because the bagged at Walmart refused to double-bag them)…we do respect the idea that using certain products “harms the environment,” and we like river rafting and fishing way too much to simply stand by and let that happen.
Here are ten good reasons that even Southern women should consider switching to organic cosmetics instead of simply using the Cover Girl foundation and Bonne Belle bright blue eyeshadow that we all grew up with.
1. Organic cosmetics will not harm the environment…and that’s one less thing to worry about while we’re getting dressed to go deer hunting or bass fishing….or watch some Bulldogs fight some Razorbacks.
Conventional beauty products often contain aluminum and petroleum. Retrieving the aluminum and petroleum needed to make cosmetics requires a great deal of mining to be done in some of the world’s most beautiful and sensitive areas, such as the Amazon rainforest. Every year miles of land are destroyed and stripped of vital wildlife.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be so hesitant to all ask ourselves about every single product that we use while getting dressed…
- Is the packaging recyclable?
- Were the ingredients in the product grown with synthetic chemicals and fertilizers?
- What happens when those chemicals go down the drain?
- What will this do to our water supply and the local ecosystems?
2. Organic cosmetics contain no harsh chemicals...Conventional makeup often contains chemicals that can not only cause skin irritation or allergic reactions, but many of these chemicals are downright poisonous to the endocrine system.
For example, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $72M of damages to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of the company’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for several decades.
To make matters worse, The FDA has not formally regulated beauty ingredients since 1938.
A few of the main toxic chemicals found in beauty and skincare products include…
- Formaldehyde, often found in baby ‘no tear’ shampoos and haircare products, liquid soaps, nail polish, may be a contributing factor in cancer development if inhaled or absorbed through the skin for a prolonged period of time.
- Lead, often found in lipsticks and toothpaste, can cause brain damage, seizures, gastrointestinal issues, reproductive dysfunction, and kidney dysfunction.
- Nitrosamine, found in almost everything, can form when certain chemical ingredients are mixed together and are usually not listed as an actual ingredient….yet many studies link nitrosamine to cancer. In 1996, the FDA “suggested” that cosmetic manufacturers remove any ingredients that create nitrosamine when combined with other chemicals, but this suggestion has been pretty much ignored. In fact, ten percent of cosmetics still contain combinations of ingredients that create nitrosamines.
- Parabens…such as propylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben….are found in almost any beauty product that has water added to it. Parabens have been shown to disrupt hormones and have the potential to cause cancer. A 2004 study found parabens in 18 out of 20 samples of human breast tissue. Parabens are in almost 100% of drugstore skincare products and cosmetics.
- Phthalates…found in nail polish, air fresheners, perfumes, body sprays, detergents, and soaps…are not commonly listed as an ingredient, but a study by SafeCosmetics.org, found phthalates in at least 72 products they tested. Phthalates have been shown to disrupt hormones and decrease sperm count.
3. Organic makeup is better for your skin...Products that are 100% vegan contain no artificial ingredients and are free of preservatives, parabens, additives and sulfates. USDA-certified organic beauty products only include organic ingredients that meet the same growing standards as organic food. Organic makeup is also free of mineral oils which can clog pores and cause skin irritation and breakouts.
4. Organic makeup does not contain harmful, mysterious “fragrances.”… Nearly all scented makeup products and perfumes list the word “fragrance,” but companies are not required by the FDA to list the actual ingredients that make up the “fragrance” in their products because that combination of ingredients is classified as a trade secret.
You may never know what harmful chemical components comprise those man-made scents that are actually behind that wonderful scent you so enjoy inhaling. You may actually be breathing in hormone-disrupting chemicals that could lead to infertility, cancer, nervous system disorders, allergies, and birth defects.
If a product is labeled as USDA-certified organic, each ingredient that makes up the “fragrance” will actually be listed individually on the packaging…and the product will include only 100% natural ingredients.
5. Organic makeup can help your skin have a smoother, more youthful appearance…Organic products often contains cocoa butter and various other nutrient-rich oils…such as extracts of white tea, grapes, apricots, and pomegranate seeds. Organic skincare products often contain oils…such as extra virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, and olive oil. These oils provide the essential fatty acids needed for healthy, youthful skin, act as an antioxidant protective barrier, and may inhibit the production of collagen and elastase, two enzymes that break down the integrity and elasticity of the skin.
6. Organic makeup provides a certain level of sun protection…The skin on the face is thinner and more susceptible to UV-related skin aging. Ingredients commonly found in organic cosmetics that can help protect your skin from the sun include…
- Coconut oil
- Iron oxide
- Titanium oxide
- Vitamin C
- Zinc oxide
7. Organic makeup is better for sensitive skin...Chemical-based cosmetics are more likely to cause skin reactions such as dry rough patches, rashes, rosacia and breakouts.
8. Organic makeup often performs better than traditional products…Certified-organic beauty products are made with superior ingredients…ingredients that are pure, fresh and simple. Just as the best meals are usually not made ingredients that are pure, fresh and simple, neither are the best beauty products. Better ingredients mean better results.