Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mineral Makeup vs Organic

Mineral makeup has been getting so much publicity lately that everyone wants a piece of it. Company after company creates a new mineral make up brand touting its naturalness and confusing the issue of mineral makeup vs organic. I’ve been asked questions whether mineral makeup is organic.

Let’s clear up a few terms.

Organic, as is used when referring to food or products such as organic mascara can only refer to plant ingredients, because it is really a way of farming.

Minerals, on the other hand are not plants. They are simply naturally occurring solids.

So when it comes to mineral makeup, you are not looking for organic. You can’t organically farm minerals. They are a given from earth’s geological processes.

When it comes to products like organic mascara, minerals may be used for its various properties, such as color (various Iron Oxides are popular for that).

There are many minerals that are considered safe, therefore if you see them included in your organic mascara you don’t need to be concerned. Which is not to say that all mineral makeup brands are created equal. Many add the same synthetic preservatives, colors and fragrances that make people turn away from traditional makeup in the first place.

Another thing to look out for is the size of the minerals. In general, it is recommended that you avoid anything containing nanoparticles. The reason being is that when the minerals are crashed so finely they acquire different properties than they did at their standard size and may pose a health risk.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Why You Should Look for Organic Mascara

The last drop that made me shift to organic mascara was when I learned that there are still some companies that have the audacity to use a preservative in regular mascara that is derived from mercury. While I’ve been crazy trying to avoid fish, checking the baby thermometers are feeling smug watching documentaries about misguided ancient emperors, I was shocked to learn that thimerosal, a mercury derived preservative is used to keep some mascaras fresh and bacteria-free.

Now, let’s get it straight. Mercury in mascara is rare. In fact, I don’t even know what brands have it.

But it is still just a bit shocking that here we are in the 21st century knowing what we know about the damage this heavy metal can cause to the brain function and there is a preservative on the market that is derived from it.

Beauty industry is furious over the whole controversy. “We haven’t been using mercury in ages!” and “only two cake mascara brands have been implicated” is all you hear from them…

But had the beauty industry being more transparent and proactive in removing dangerous chemicals, this issue would never have implicated anybody. Instead, it’s the fact that this is the tip of the iceberg that bothers people. So you don’t have mercury? Fine… What do you have? What are the ingredients in your mascara? Do you have any proof that these ingredients are not linked to cancer or other health concerns?

If there is one thing that came out of this controversy, it is that people started paying closer attention to the ingredients on their makeup. And the what they read is not too pretty.

Here is a list of mascara ingredients from a very popular brand taken from the

Ingredients: Water, Beeswax, C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate, Copernicia Cerifera Wax (Carnauba), Stearic Acid, Alcohol Denat., Polyisobutene, Isododecane, VP/VA Copolymer, Glycerin, Silica, Ethyl Trisiloxane, C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanesterol Ester, Limnanthes Alba Seed Oil (Meadowfoam), Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Olive), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (Sweet Almond), Myristic Acid, Isostearic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Triethanolamine, Trisodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance, May also contain: Iron Oxides, Black 2

Let’s see what we have here:

Methylparaben – allergies, toxicity, irritation (and this is in an eye product!)…
Propylparaben – developmental/reproductive toxicity…
Fragrance – don’t even get me started. Fragrance is a catch-all term for thousands of potential synthetic chemicals
Triethanolamine – cancer, allergies, toxicity
Do we really need to go on?

I don’t know… you can sort of read it for yourself. I can’t see how anybody would want that on their eyes…

Now compare that to organic mascara by SukiColor:

Ingredients: purified water, organic sunflower seed oil, sorbitol, cetearyl alcohol, beeswax, hydrogenated palm kernel glycerides, hydrogenated palm glycerides, organic rose hip seed oil, evening primrose oil, organic food-grade non-gmo lecithin, organic mixed tocopherols, pure rose wax, organic rose extract in food-grade ethyl alcohol, organic food-grade xanthan gum, sodium hydroxide, fragrance (made from only pure, steam-distilled essential oils) [may contain: mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides]

I think the difference is loud and clear.

This is why I stick to organic.

And I urge you to do the same.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara

Physicians Formula has done it again. A mainstream company targeting mainstream stores released a pure natural mascara that is good for your lashes and does the mascara job!

Some reviewers have actually gone on to say that it is the best natural mascara on the market.

I wouldn’t go that far, simply because I haven’t tried every organic mascara out there. But from the ones I did try, I have to say this one delivers.

The Organic Wear mascara is 100% Free of Harsh Chemicals, Synthetic Preservatives, Parabens, Clumping, Smudging, Flaking, Fibers & Dyes.

Even the brush is recyclable.

Not to mention that it is 100% fragrance free and hypoallergenic.

And it comes at a really cheap price point – just about $10 US!

If you’ve never tried a natural or organic mascara before, this is your chance. No need to purchase online. No need to go to a health food store which may not actually be near you. Just pick it up next time you are in the pharmacy or doing your regular Wal-Mart type shopping. Your eyes will thank you.

Heck, if you don’t like it, Wal-Mart takes things back without any hassle. What do you have to lose?