My passion and love for clean ingredients and being conscious of what I consume is the driving force behind why I created Lawless. Now that I am pregnant, that passion has taken on a whole new meaning. I not only think about ingredients from the perspective of my own health, but also of my baby’s because she is consuming everything that I am. Pregnancy has been such a reinforcement of my WHY for clean, and has made me realize that we should really care as much about ourselves as we do about our children and our loved ones when it comes to what we put in and on our bodies.
If you have been or are pregnant, you know that some of the first things you do are start taking certain vitamins, stock up on healthy food, and remove toxic cleaning products from your home. I suggest also going through the products in your bathroom, including your makeup bag. While research is varied, several studies have shown that your skin absorbs about 60% of what you put on it, and many of your cosmetic products could contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to you and your pregnancy.
So how do you navigate the world of ingredient lists with unrecognizable words and scientific-sounding terms you’ve never heard of? It can be tricky. I have dedicated my life to researching ingredients in nearly everything I consume and wear, so please allow me to help help simplify all of this, and to call out some of the most common ingredients to avoid and where you might find them.
These are used as preservatives to keep products from growing bacteria. However, they have also been linked with reproductive and neurological issues in babies. They are often found in liquid and cream products like foundations, lipsticks, and glosses. Good news is that there are plenty of non-toxic alternatives.
While we often think of this in skincare, it is frequently found in lipsticks and foundations as well. Too much Vitamin A during pregnancy can lead to birth defects and fetal malformation. It is often listed as retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate.
Companies are not required to disclose the composition of their “fragrance”, so many hidden ingredients can be lurking in your products that aren’t represented on the ingredient list. Some of these include phthalates, octoxynols, and chemical irritants.
The most common found in makeup are phenoxyethanol and benzyl benzoate.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has found that some very common and popular brands of lipsticks contain lead as part of their dye. Lead can cause neurotoxicity, fertility issues, and hormone disruption.
This is the base of many powder products on the market from face powders to blushes to bronzers to eyeshadows. There is a risk of asbestos contamination in the mining process of talc, resulting in small deposits potentially winding up in your powders.
This is a preservative ingredient that releases formaldehyde. It is found in mascara.
This is a dark black colorant used as pigment to get that super rich black color in eyeliners and mascaras. It is produced by incomplete combustion of carbon-based products like coal tar and has been linked to cancers and organ problems.
While the world of ingredients can be overwhelming and confusing, knowledge is power. By identifying a few of these most commonly found toxins in makeup, it will become much easier and more habitual to spot products you want to avoid. I truly believe in arming ourselves with information about what we consume in order to make the best possible choices not only for ourselves, but our families and children. Clean should really be the norm, NOT the exception, and when we make small changes in our beauty routines and the types of products we purchase and consume, we help shift the market in that direction and motivate companies to make better products for us, like we deserve.
I hope this was helpful for all of you mamas, expecting mamas, and someday mamas looking to clean up your beauty routine and make some changes not only for yourself but for your beautiful little babies!!