Green Your Makeup Bag


Many of us have greened our skin care routine but replacing our makeup is a daunting feat. We all have our 'cannot live without' foundation, concealer or lipstick shade. Trust me, I had my favourites however, to celebrate Earth Day, I'd like to offer you 10 easy tips for greening your makeup bag without breaking the bank or feeling that you need to compromise results.

1. Understand what’s in your personal makeup bag. 

Visit any ORESTA location to pick up a convenient wallet-size list of the TOP 12 INGREDIENTS TO AVOID when shopping for personal care products.

Here is our list of the TOP 12 INGREDIENTS TO AVOID:

1. Parabens (aka methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben):  a synthetic preservative, may interrupt hormone function, associated with breast cancer.
2. Fragrance/Parfum:  a cocktail of chemicals, many toxic and carcinogenic found in unscented products, exposure may induce headaches, asthma and allergies.
3. Aluminum:  found in antiperspirants prevents sweating which causes an inability to eliminate toxins, a common skin irritant, suspected links to Alzheimer's disease.
4. Chemical sunscreens (oxybenzone, avobenzone):  shown to disrupt hormone activity, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are safer alternatives.
5. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate:  a harsh foaming agent found in cleansers and shampoos which creates suds, strips natural oils, highly allergenic and can cause skin & eye irritation.
6. Propylene glycol:  enhances product absorption and prolongs product shelf life. Originally developed as an anti-freeze, side effects include skin and eye irritation.
7. FD&C colours:  synthetic dyes, coal-derived, carcinogen
8. Urea:  a formaldehyde releasing preservatives used in nail polish, make-up, sunscreen, carcinogen, linked to asthma and headaches.
9. DEA (diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine) or MEA (monoethanolamine):  regulates pH, creates lather and consistency in products, known carcinogen
10. Phthalates:  (DBP, DEP, DEHP, DBP, MEP) found in any products containing parfum or fragrance, makes nail polish flexible.  Known endocrine-disruptors, mimics hormones, linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.
11. Mineral Oil:  petroleum derivative, found in cosmetics (especially lip products) as a conditioning agent, inexpensive ingredient, promotes photosensitivity, drying, clogs pores, hindering the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promotes skin disorders and decelerates skin function and cell development causing premature aging of skin.
12. Triclosan:  prevents bacterial contamination, used in anti-bacterial products (hand sanitizer, deodorants, cosmetics, lotions, creams and toothpaste). Although not enough evidence for Health Canada to ban, in studies it has proven to alter hormone regulation in animals, may contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs and may be harmful to the immune system. Minnesota became the first state to ban triclosan this past spring. Triclosan reacts with chlorine (in tap water) to produce chloroform.

2. Only replace products as needed.

A client will visit our store in dire need of new makeup. She tells us that she read an article about the toxic ingredients in conventional makeup so she has thrown everything out and needs to replenish everything in her makeup bag. I cannot stress enough that it isn't necessary to throw everything out, especially if the products are relatively new. Instead, wait to replace products with a cleaner option the next time you need to replace it.

3. Start with your lipstick.

If there is one product that I would suggest replacing first, it would be your lipstick, lipgloss or lip balm. The reality is that most of what we apply to our lips is ingested and since many lip products contain harmful ingredients, replace your lip products first. Then proceed with foundation since it is used to cover a large surface area of the skin and then follow with blush, eyeshadow and mascara.

4. Seek certified organic, natural and biodegradable products.

Choose products that are certified organic or natural. Plant and plant-derived products are not only healthier for you and the environment but also more effective for the skin. Seek out 100% biodegradable products which safely break down so that they do not pollute our waterways after going down the drain. Avoid plastic microbeads in products.


5. Be conscious of purchasing only cruelty-free or animal-friendly products.

Look for products with the Leaping Bunny logo which provides assurance that no animal testing is used in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories, or suppliers.


6. Seek products with green packaging.

 Ensure that packaging is minimal, recyclable and printed with vegetable and soy based inks that are low-VOC and solvent free. Choose products in recycled HDPE, PET, or glass. These materials are the most widely recyclable, food safe and 100% BPA-free.

7. Choose socially responsible companies.

Seek skin care companies that practice social responsibility as part of their everyday business model by giving back to choice initiatives.

8. Seek companies that are concerned about the environment and minimizing their carbon footprint.

Many companies participate in renewable energy programs to offset all aspects of operation. Look for the logo

9. Avoid Pinkwashing and Greenwashing companies.

There are many companies that make the claim that they are GREEN (free of harmful chemicals, made with natural ingredients and act in ways to minimize their impact on the environment) or PINK (in support of breast cancer). On closer examination, many of these companies are guilty of Greenwashing: although they claim to be green, their products actually contain harsh chemicals that are harmful to your health. Pinkwashing is the practice of companies supporting breast cancer "awareness" (with the famous pink ribbon) with  products contain harsh chemicals and ingredients that are harmful to ones health.

10. Organic makeup will not compromise efficacy or your wallet.

Organic makeup, created with natural, certified organic, biodynamic and/or ethically wild-crafted ingredients deliver superior results for your skin, offer great staying power, an extensive selection of shades for every skin type and prices similar to conventional makeup brands. You do not need to compromise you health for beauty!

 At ORESTA, we are committed to promoting earth loving companies and products and would like to help you clean up and green up your beauty routine.

What are you doing to detox your makeup bag?

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