The Ultimate Guide to Safe, Non-Toxic Makeup

Looking for safe alternatives to your daily beautification routine? Here’s everything you need to know.

In the age of health consciousness, women have finally started choosing organic and safe alternatives to their makeups. Now that more and more us as are finding out just how many toxic chemicals companies stuff into their ingredients, such as “fragrance”, the hunt is on for healthier substitutes.

There’s a lot of information out there on what is safe and what these chemicals do to our bodies, which can be a little confusing. What exactly are parabens and what harm can they really do? Is it worth shelling out the extra cash on organic lipsticks?

I’m here to clear the air and answer some pivotal questions in what could be consider one of the largest epidemics in the beauty industry.

The Danger is Real

According to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, almost 90% of the over 10,000 ingredients the FDA approves in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by them or similar institutions. That’s a scary thought! Research has begun to show us that many of these ingredients contain known carcinogens, often linked to breast cancer.

Currently, no system exists to regulate the potential toxins found in traditional cosmetics products. If you’re ready for the scariest part, let’s take a look at exactly what goes into your daily routine.

 

The Culprits

I encourage you to go through the labels on your makeup and look for these common red flags. Ingredients such as phthalate, sulfate, paraben, triclosan, and toluene have all been linked to different forms of cancer, as well as organ and reproductive harm. Companies will try to hide these ingredients by combining them into larger words or counting them as part of their “fragrance”.

Finding the Right Brands

It isn’t always easy to find an alternative that looks and feels like you want it to, but more and more companies are jumping on board the organic makeup bandwagon. You’re going to have to shop online to find truly green products, but that’s half the fun!

Several companies are blowing major name brands like MAC out of the water with a focus on non-toxic ingredients, cruelty-free and environmentally friendly practices, and vegan certified products. Alima Pure and Juice Beauty are two excellent companies to start your search with.

While some of these organic products might cost a little more than what you are used too, can you really put a price on your health? I personally think opting to continue using toxins on my body is crazier than spending a little extra on quality makeup, but that’s just me. What are your thoughts on safe makeup alternatives?

My Top Safe Makeup Alternatives

After a lot of searching, I have finally put together my list of favorite organic makeup products.

It’s been some time since I discovered the horrendous amount of toxic chemicals companies stuff inside of so many women’s daily makeup routine. Not wanting to go another day knowing that I was poisoning my body, I began my search for organic alternatives that worked just as well, if not better, than my current lineup. If you are also on the hunt for the perfect chemical-free makeup, then check out this list of my favorites (so far).

Foundation

Alima Pure offers powder foundations that can match your skin tone, no matter what that tone may be. They are made from soy-based inks, are carbon-neutral, and come in refillable compact containers. The goal here is minimalism; less is more when it comes to ingredients.

Cruelty free, this company refuses to test on animals. They are also a Certified B Corp company, proving their commitment to environmentally friendly practices and transparency with their customers. Personally, I like the way these powders feel and look more than others I have tried.

Eyeshadow

Finding an organic eyeshadow that actually made a difference was tougher than I initially thought. I ended up going with Elate Cosmetics and their highly-pigmented products that come in eco-friendly bamboo packaging.

Their products are certified vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. It’s rare to find all three things together, especially if you want the product to work like its chemical-ridden counterparts, but I’m satisfied with my results.

Lipstick

This was another tough one, but I found that a company called Lotus makes pure bio-mineral lipsticks. Their natural line comes in a variety of shades, and they even feature plenty of skincare products made from the same ingredients. I only own a few, but I love the way they look and feel on my lips.

LipGloss

Beautification

It takes a lot to keep my skin in tip top shape, and I really though I would never find a line of skincare products that would work as well as my old ones did. Thankfully, I encountered Tata Harper.

Their products are certified vegan, cruelty-free, and made entirely in the United States. I own a couple of serums, skin masks, and creams from these ladies, each of which works better than what I used to use (in my opinion).

So far, these organic products have performed the best with my skin. Every person is different, and I would love to hear what products you’ve found that work the best! Best of luck with your safe makeup hunting!

Organic Makeup Brands Worth a Try

I’m back with even more safe makeup alternatives to add to your daily routine!

Since finding out that the makeups I used to use on a daily basis were filled with toxic chemicals that can cause damage to my body’s vital systems and organs, I have been actively hunting for safer alternatives to replace them.

The more I search, the more I find. It seems like women around the globe are taking a stand against the crooked companies that poisoned us for so long. If you are looking to swap out your current go-to’s with something more health friendly, then this list is for you.

Herbivore Botanicals

This company makes a line of skin care products in recyclable containers, all of which are ethically sourced and cruelty-free. That extra step to be eco-friendly meant a lot to me, and it is always a relief to hear that no animals were harmed during production.

Their products are non-toxic, but still smell great if you ask me. A lot of other ones on the market lack a…let’s be honest, they stink. I skipped the “ultimate skin care set” and opted for just the hair and face mist.

100% Pure

As the name suggests, their makeup is crafted from all-natural and organic ingredients. This company was my first venture in safer shampoo and conditioner, but they also offer a variety of creams and masks. All of their products are vegan-certified, and they focus on delivering essential oils alongside vitamins and antioxidants to your body instead of chemicals.

Colours

They do have an anti-aging serum I would love to get my hands on, but I settled for their shampoo, conditioner, and a few face masks at a great price.

ILIA Beauty

I would recommend this organic line for tinted lip conditioners and lipsticks. Yes, finally a company that makes organic lipstick you can wear without looking like a dweeb!

Their ingredients are sourced from organic farmers and manufactured in their organic-certified lab. (I had no idea that was a thing.) They also have Gluten-Free, USDA Organic, and Leaping Bunny certifications. I did give their foundation a try, but ended up just ordering lipstick from them after that since I liked it the best.

That’s all I have for now, but the hunt for some new makeup continues! As always, I would love to hear what products you have found to replace your old makeup routine! What products do you like the best and which ones do you like the least?

The Products That Turned Me On to Safe Makeup

Most women use some form of makeup nearly everyday of their lives. Unfortunately, these products are full of potentially harmful chemicals.

It wasn’t that long ago that makeup was just another instinctual part of my daily routine, but I recently became more informed about the potentially harmful chemicals that go into everything from foundation to lipstick. This made me re-think what I put on my face each morning.

Toxic ingredients like parabens and phthalates have been shown to cause damage to our vital organs in a wide variety of studies. So, if you are looking for safer alternatives, then check out this list I have compiled of safe makeups.

Getting Started

The hunt for safer makeup was on after I learned about the toxic chemicals companies often hide in ingredients like “fragrance”. To make sure that I was actually choosing safer alternatives, I turned to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) with their catalog of over 60,000 products each ranked with a hazard score from 1 to 10.

Even if nothing on this list appeals to you, I urge you to look at their catalog an find safe products for your everyday routine.

RMS Beauty

RMS develops a broad range of makeups without adding in ingredients that damage the body’s vital systems. From their line, I picked out a raw coconut cream to act as a moisturizer, a colorless un-powder, and an un-coverup to take care of some of my essentials. I also found a wonderful blush along with a bronzed taupe eye shadow that I’ve fallen in love with.

Dr. Bronner

Since the toxic conspiracy leads all the way into bath and body products, I decided to find some of those as well. After all, my makeup routine does start with a good cleaning.

I was able to purchase a bar of castile soap, but I ended up going with the rose castile liquid soap instead because I liked the smell. I even found a hand sanitizer from Dr. Bronner that fits right in my purse! Unfortunately, I did not find any shampoo or conditioner from this line.

Juice Beauty

When it comes to making myself look 20 again, there are a few things I simply cannot do without. Fortunately, Juicy Beauty offers an in-depth line of skin care products that aren’t half as corny as their name sounds.

The first item I put into my online shopping cart was a green apple Brightening Gel Cleanser, immediately followed by algae mask for those home spa days. Next up was a brightening eye cream that featured the same green apple smell and a booster serum to help make full use of my moisturizer. Last, but in no way least, I picked up a sensitive peel to exfoliate my skin.

All of that put me over my spending limit for the month, so I’ll be back with more recommendations for other products when I can make another purchase. It was well worth the investment though, and I feel a lot better knowing my body isn’t being affected by toxic chemicals. What products have you swapped out in your routine?

The Modern Makeup Killer

Cosmetics and makeup might make us look beautiful, but at what cost to our well-being?

It’s no secret that switching to a plant-based diet, swapping out harsh cleaning products for natural ones, and changing out synthetic skin care products for organic ones are all part of changing your life for the better. However, one of the easiest to overlook areas is the makeup we ladies apply nearly every day! From the mascara that takes your eyelashes to a whole new level to the foundation that seems to erase time, modern beauty products can have a high cost to your health.

The FDA

Currently, the FDA does not require cosmetic companies to conduct safety assessments on their products. Toxic chemicals are labeled in disguise as “fragrance” or nearly impossible to pronounce names like methylisothiazolinone.

The products sitting on your vanity or bathroom sink may or may not contain these toxins, but how would you know? It’s not like makeup companies warn anyone about what they put into their products. Here are some of the awful chemicals I found out were in my beauty products.

Phthalates

These nasty toxins mimic estrogen, effectively disrupting the endocrine system. They can lead to reproductive issues including abnormalities in unborn babies and premature delivery.

You can find phthalates in everything from deodorant to nail polish and scented lip balm under the ingredient “fragrance”. Since fragrances are considered trade secrets by makeup companies, they get away with not having to tell us what lies inside of them.

Lead

This one hasn’t been an issue since lead paint the 50’s, right? I wish. The truth is that lead can still be found in foundations, lipsticks, and even whitening toothpastes!

The worst part is that we as a nation know lead is bad for us. It leads to miscarriage, delays puberty, and is poisonous when ingested. You won’t find it any ingredient list, but over 400 popular brands were found to be contaminated with it nonetheless.

Brush

Formaldehyde Releasing Preservatives

Formaldehyde is classified as a human carcinogen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Researchers, as well as the International Agency for Research on Cancer. You will most likely find this toxic gas resulting from the breakdown of Quaternium-15.

Q-15 is found in everything from pressed powders to eyeliners. While a company could choose rosemary, tea tree oil, or even vitamin E instead, they stick to this tried-and-true poison instead.

Just the Tip of the Iceberg

I could get into parabens, butylated compounds like BHT and BHA, and PEG compounds, but I think it’s more important to talk about safe alternatives for a moment. While nothing is ever 100% toxin free, there are products you can buy to decrease your exposure risk.

Just like with food, look for organic ingredients like almond oil, rice, and hemp. There are organic, cruelty free, toxic free, and vegan-friendly alternatives out there. What would you recommend?

The Importance of Healthy Fats

Fats are something we’ve all been trained to avoid, but there are a group of fats that our bodies need to stay healthy.

During the carb-crazy dieting years, fats received a lot of flack from the general public and dietitians alike. As it turns out, some fats are actually good for you. What foods contain them, and how much should you eat in a day?

If you’ve been searching for an answer to the fat dilemma, then I have the answers you crave.

The Two Fats

Not all fats are created equal, and it is important to understand the differences between them. There are mainly two types; saturated and unsaturated.

Unsaturated fats are oils, meaning that they stay liquid at room temperature. Saturated fats, on the other hand, turn into a gelatinous solid at room temperature. While we do need both in out diet, less saturated fat is what we should be aiming for.

How Fat Helps

Our bodies use both types of fat as a source of energy as well as a way to store it. It also helps us to absorb certain nutrients, like vitamins A and E, along with antioxidants. I was surprised to find out that these fats also help support our cell structure.

So, fat really isn’t that bad for us after all! We need it, we just don’t need it in the same way we need water.

Where to Cut Back

The trick to not letting fats make us fat is by cutting back on the saturated kind. Unsaturated fats are filled with heart healthy Omega-3s. A simple solution would be to avoid processed meats, pizza and fast food, as well as processed snacks.

However, knowing what to eat might be a bigger help. Besides, hearing the things you can eat when dieting, or making a lifestyle change, is a lot more satisfying that hearing the list of the things you should avoid.

Eat Up!

There are more delicious things than I originally thought that have a ton of healthy fats just beneath the surface. If you’ve gone veggie, skip the first four on this list.

  • Grass fed beef
  • Wild salmon
  • Tuna
  • Duck
  • Avocado
  • Walnuts
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Flax and Chia seeds
  • Spirulina

 

The list might not be long, but it’s hard to deny how delicious some of these are. Plus, they can be easily added into any diet without having to sacrifice a hearty meal.

Do you know of any other foods packed full of healthy fats that I could add to this list? What ways do you incorporate healthy fats into your diet?

Healthy Substitutions for Your Kitchen

Looking to take healthy cooking to the next level? Try out these healthy substitutions when cooking at home.

In my never-ending quest to create a healthier lifestyle, I am always looking for ways to improve my eating habits. Even when buying organic groceries and cutting out meat, cooking a healthy meal at home can still be challenging. Is it even possible to take your already healthy cooking to new, healthier heights?

The answer is yes! After some research, I found a few alternatives to tried and true staples that I use to make my recipes and meals even better for my body.

Whole Wheat Flour

I am not on the gluten-free wagon, nor is it a necessity in my home, but using processed white flour isn’t the healthiest option out there when baking or making some pan-fried veggies. By choosing to use whole wheat flour instead, I incorporate the entire grain into my diet. Not only is it healthier, it also adds some much-needed fiber, which helps to keep me feeling full throughout the day.

I did find that some of my recipes needed adjusted, but at least my vegan chocolate chip cookies are as healthy as baked goods get. You can take this alternative one step further by purchasing whole wheat bread and pastas, too.

Unsweetened Applesauce

Finding a butter substitute for baking can be a daunting task, but in trying out vegan recipes I found that unsweetened applesauce makes for a pretty good alternative. By mixing it with a few ground flax seeds, it provides the perfect consistency without all of the saturated fats.

Avocado Everything

It might not be everyone’s favorite fruit, but it is incredibly healthy for you. It contains a variety of healthy fats to keep your heart in tip-top shape and makes a great mayonnaise or cheese substitute with its creamy texture. If you really can’t stand avocados, try using hummus instead.

Keep Your Greens Dark

Looking for a healthier salad or something more nutritious than iceberg lettuce on your sandwich? Switch to spinach, arugula, and watercress. I honestly think all three of them make any sandwich taste better, and they certainly take my salads to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Ditch the Dairy

Milk is used in all sorts of baking recipes, added to cereal, and used to make cookies taste even better than they already do. Choosing skim milk or a plant-based alternative like soy, almond, and rice helps you to cut back on fats and calories. They can even be used in place of heavy whipping cream for recipes like fettuccine alfredo. If you’re trying to avoid glaze or adding additional sugary parts, you can always be creative and try to add decor with some small pieces of candy with no added sugar.

Smoke Your Own Salmon

Sure it super tasty and seems healthy but some smoked salmon is full of additives. Some brands cut corners by injecting salt as well as sugar and some brands even spray on fake liquid smoke. If enjoy smoked salmon, why not try smoking it yourself. Cold smoking can be a bit tricky but we have found it easiest with a natural gas smoker. Knowing exactly what is in your food should be a priority for anyone trying to make a healthy change

These are just a few of the alternatives I’ve started using in my home. Do you have any others you would like to recommend? I always love hearing about new ways to stay healthy!

If you want to learn more about cold smokers check great post by Electric Smoker Guy, too: Best Electric Cold Smoke Generator – Attachment – Box Review

The Nutrition Behind Eating Garden to Table

Canned fruits and veggies are out! Farm to table is in. Growing your own garden is one of the most health conscious choices you can make.

Growing up, my family always bought their produce from the local grocery store. However, my grandmother did tend to a small garden in her backyard and I can remember how incredibly different her tomatoes were than the store bought variety. Not just how they looked, but how much better they tasted.

With GMOs, pesticides, and more plaguing our produce these days, I’ve taken the task of putting vegetables on my plate into my own hands. Aside from looking and tasting a whole lot better, there are a variety of benefits to reap from the Garden to Table , or Farm to Table, movement.

More Variety

I never realized it before, but every time I went to the store I bought the exact same vegetables. My garden has introduced me to a wide variety of veggies I had never tasted before, as well as new variations of some of my favorites.

Instead of buying nothing but beefsteak tomatoes, white onions, and portobello mushrooms, I can enjoy enjoy varieties like chanterelle mushrooms and roma tomatoes. Plus, I can plant all sorts of squashes, broccoli, and even beets in the Fall. It certainly spices up my meals.

More Nutritious

My garden has also introduced me to heirloom vegetables. The way mega corporations have grown vegetables over the years has lead to a decrease in their nutrient content. Heirlooms, on the other hand, have been passed down by private owners for generations, making them immune the flaws in modern day veggies and thus making them more nutritious.

Using different gardening methods like cover crops and integrated pest management to promote the health of my soil also give my plants a nutrient boost. It also feels good to eat healthy.

Ripe and Ready

Who hasn’t bought a vegetable from the store and had to wait until it was ripe, only to find that a few days later that it was brown. Commercial growers pick their crops early to give them a longer shelf life, which makes good sense for a supermarket, however, not always the most convenient at home. When you can pick your produce from your backyard, it’s available when you need it and nothing goes unused. Not to mention, nothing compares to picking fresh tomato or basil to use as an ingredient when cooking a meal.

 

Chemical Free

Research has shown the side effects GMOs and pesticides can have on our health. Since I know what I’m putting in the ground and how I care for it until the day I pick it, and the only shelf life I need to worry about is the time it takes to get a vegetable from my garden to my table, I know that what I’m eating is at its best and free from harmful pesticides.This makes a garden grown at home a save haven from the likes of carcinogens and toxins.

Choosing to grow my own produce has brought a variety of benefits to my dinner table and the health of my family. If you’re property doesn’t have the proper space for a garden, consider container gardens on your deck, indoor herbal gardens, or shop a local Farmer’s Market for fresh produce. What do you like the most about the Garden to Table/Farm to Table movement? Have you noticed any other benefits that I forgot to mention?

Making the Switch: Why Eating Organic Makes Sense

Grocery stores all over the country are swapping out their inventory for organic foods. Here’s why you should make the switch too.

The organic label has become incredibly popular over the last few years but navigating labels and health claims are still confusing to many consumers, myself included. What do all these labels mean, and is organic food actually better for our health and well-being? How are we supposed to know if the items we buy are actually GMO and pesticide free?

If, like me, you’ve ever wondered what the true benefits behind switching to organic foods are, then this article should help.

 

What Does the Organic Label Really Mean?

When you see that “Organic” label, it refers to the way an agricultural product was grown and processed. Here in the states, that means absolutely no synthetic pesticides, genetic modification, petroleum based fertilizer, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. I’ll give you a moment to let that last one sink in.

When it comes to livestock, whether they are raised for consumption or for their eggs/milk, organic means they have access to the outdoors and have only eaten organic feed. It also means they haven’t been pumped full of antibiotics, growth hormones, and haven’t eaten other animal by-products. A lot of this food has been used as a natural home remedy, but if treated with a lot of chemics they certainly became more dangerous than healthy for you. Let’s focus on why do we really need organic food!

What Are the Benefits?

Aside from not eating vegetables that grew in sewer-sludge, an organic diet offers a lot of benefits to both our mental and physical health.

  • Fewer Pesticides: that means fewer toxins that lead to things like birth defects, weaker immune systems, and cancer.
  • Fresh Food: without preservatives, the food has to hit the shelf and your plate faster. Organic food is often made on local farms near the market. This also supports small business and the local community.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Local, organic farms reduce pollution, conserve water, and consume less energy than their mega-corporation counterparts. This is not only better for the land but also a healthier environment for surrounding animals and people.
  • Nutrient Rich: Studies show that organic foods provide our bodies with more nutrients than mass produced meats and vegetables do. A healthier diet means a healthier you!
  • Non-Chemical Animals: Eliminating antibiotics and growth hormones reduces the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains while keeping this hormone altering substances out of your diet. Not feeding cows animal byproducts also reduces the risk of mad cow disease.
  • GMO Free: Genetic modification alters the chemical makeup of plants, causing them to grow larger and become more pest resistant. However, studies on animals have shown them to damage internal organs, thicken the digestive tract, and slow brain growth. Pumping our bodies full of chemicals isn’t good any way you look at it.

Anti-cancer, anti-toxic chemicals, and beneficial for the environment?! It’s almost like this was the way food was meant to be grown! Now that you know the benefits of making the switch, are you more likely to buy organic produce?

The Benefits of a Vegetarian Lifestyle

Ever wondered what the science behind eating a plant-based diet looks like? Here are the top benefits a vegetarian diet has to offer.

Why should anyone go vegetarian? I mean, people need to eat meat, right? Do the benefits actually outweigh missing out on a perfectly cooked filet mignon?

It might seem like a common sense diet to some, but there still seems to be a mass of confusion around why anyone would strike meat from their diet. So, let’s clear the air! Here are the scientific facts proving that a plant-based diet is the only diet anyone should be eating.

Down With Disease

By removing saturated animal fats and cholesterol-laden meats from their diets, vegetarians are less likely to develop any form of cardiovascular disease. The CDC estimates that 610,000 people die from heart disease each year, accounting 1 in every 4 deaths.

Eating a diet high in red and processed meats has also been linked to multiple forms of cancer including, prostate, colon, gastric, and breast cancer. These meats can have up to as many carcinogens as five cigarettes, not to mention an excessive amount of hormones and steroids from the animals’ diets.

Goodbye, Cold

I used to get a cold each and every Fall, which made enjoying one of the best seasons out of the year incredibly difficult. Going veggie meant eating more fresh fruits and vegetables than I ever had before. This leads to an increased amount of antioxidants in my diet, effectively pumping up my immune system to keep it fighting off infections better than ever before.

Tired of Being Tired?

Eating all of the saturated fats associated with meat causes them to build up within your bloodstream. This stops muscles from getting proper amounts of oxygen, which makes anyone as sluggish as a Monday morning. Switching to leafy greens not only eliminates the fat, but adds energy boosting carbohydrates (the complex kind) that have ended my 2pm slump at work.

Toxins Kill

I used to think plants were the culprit of pesticides found in our diet, but it turns out that 95% of those toxins actually come from meat. That doesn’t include the hormones, carcinogens, heavy metals, and other chemicals these animals are pumped full of. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty sure people aren’t supposed to eat toxic chemicals.

Animal Friendly

I always pictured a farm like you might see in the commercials, one with lots of open space and plenty of room for the animals to graze freely until it came time for the farmer slaughter them. Yeah, that place doesn’t exist. American “farms” keep animals shoulder to shoulder, wading in their own waste, ridden with disease and open sores, only to kill them in some of the most torturous ways imaginable.

If you need proof, look into independent documentaries like The Sustainability Secret or What the Health. If everyone in the U.S. cut one meaty meal out every week, 1.4 billion of these animals could be saved from their disgusting, inhumane conditions.

Just Do It

If you had told me I would stop eating meat altogether just a few years ago, I would’ve scoffed in your face. No bacon cheeseburgers, pepperoni pizza, or a perfectly cooked steak? I couldn’t have comprehended life without them!

However, after just a few months of changing my diet I started to feel healthier than I ever had before. Plus, I know I’m doing my part to end animal cruelty and the disgusting practices of the meat industry in out nation.