Thursday, September 20, 2007

Day Seventy-Seven - Makeup Exam

Re-evaluating The Products I Put on My Face

OK, I know that yesterday I said I was going to stay on the topic of water conservation, but I have the attention span of a gnat and something has since trasnpired that I feel the need to blog about. This week, I broke my compact, again, and went shopping. With the fall weather in the air, I was feeling all renewed and thought I'd replace my soft pink, at-the-beach lipstick with a darker, I'm-in-the-mood-for-a-pumpkin-latte shade. So off to Target I went....

I checked out the different colors Neutrogena offered, since I recently started using their face bar in my toned-down morning routine and really like that product. Being blessed with mayonnaise-white Irish skin, I thought maybe a darker shade would make me look less Casper-like. So I tossed my new "Ruby Bliss" in the cart and checked out, happy with my purchase.

The next day I was excited to see how the new 'stick looked and slapped some on in the morning before taking the kids to preschool. I got an interesting "tingling" sensation when I applied it, but didn't give it too much thought. By noon, my lips were very chapped and had a puffy look to them. Not a pouty, "hey, you look like Angeline Jolie" look; more of a "perhaps you should seek medical attention" look. When I got home, I checked the ingredients on my Ruby Bliss. Here they are:

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Titanium Dioxide 1.1%

Inactive Ingredients: Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Phenyl Trimethicone, Petrolatum, Polyester-4, Polyethylene, Caregin, C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanosterol Esters, Carnuba (Copernicia Cerifera) Wax, Menthyl Lactate, Stearoylinulin, Flavor, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, BHT, Sodium Saccharin, Alumina, Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-2, Triisostearate, Methylparaben.

May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Red 6, Red 7 Lake, Red 6 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Red 36, Red 33 Lake, Red 27 lake, Red 20 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Red 30.

Ahhh, nothing like a litle Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2 to make a gal feel sexy. I feel pretty, oh so pretty...

I guess I could start with the fact that petrolatum has already been banned by the European Union for use in cosmetics. I could also tell you that studies have shown polyethylene can cause abnormalities in the brain development of mice. Maybe then I could then mention that a large number of those other poly-named chemicals are petroleum-based. OK, let's stop now, before it gets really scary.

Now, I'm not one of those people who is afraid to get any chemicals on myself, for fear of poisoning my body. I'm sure I did a fine job of poisoning it when I voluntarily smoked cigarettes for fifteen years. But come on, I put this shit on my face! Right on my big, fat lips! I probably end up swallowing most of it, unless I spend the day kissing hubby and kids, in which case, I'm getting it all over them! Ugh. Is nothing sacred anymore?

And then I got to thinking, as I tend to do these days, about what kind of impact the makeup industry has on our environment. I guess my concern is, what kind of waste is generated at the lipstick factory where Dr. Jekyll is concocting the latest batch of Ruby Bliss? How much of these fun chemicals end up as waste - in our landfills, or, worse yet, in our water? Is there some poor lobster out there who now is suffering from chapped, puffy lips, just so us ladies can look purdy? Do lobsters even have lips?

Fortunately for me and my white-as-bedsheet, rosacea-riddled skin, there are alternatives. Due to an increase in demand, a number of environmentally friendly cosmetic companies are popping up. These companies use all-natural, organic compounds in there formulas and, as an added bonus, most do not test their formulas on animals - and none of them test on lobsters.

Unfortunately, my budget does not allow me to run out and replace all of my cosmetics right this very minute. However, as I run out of each item, I will be replacing it with an all-natural alternative. Hopefully by then, the swelling will be down....


I'll eliminate the demand I would otherwise create for chemical-infused-poly-techno-carcinogenriffic-face-paint and instead use my dollar to vote for the more ecologically friendly products. Who knows, maybe all-natural makeup is just what I need to eliminate the rosacea? Only time will tell.

Difficulty Level 2 out of 5

Most of these products are not currently found on the shelves of CVS and Target, so I will need to buy them online. Not a big deal for me, though, as I'm a big fan of online shopping. :-) The only downside is that it's difficult to get an accurate representation of color on a computer screen, so selecting the right shade might be hit or miss. I will definitely update you all on how this works out! Would also LOVE to hear from any of you who use these eco-products.


leslie said...

This is a fabulous post! I will now have mental images of lipstick applying lobsters for forever more :)
I have not used cosmetics for many years, and I remain scintillatingly beautiful :)

Olive oil for gloss. Pinch the cheeks for color.

When someone told me many years ago that there was arsenic in cosmetics, I thought, "Not up there on my list of preferred beauty treatments."

Caroline said...

Hey Erin! I recommend a product from Burts Bees (have you heard of it??) called Lip Shimmer. It's a combo chapstick/lip color in one and it doesn't have any of the icky ingredients "Ruby Bliss" had. Plus, you can get it at Ukrops or Target. Cool, eh? Try it out and let me know what you think. I'm a big fan of Burts Bees. Even Noah's bath gel is BB baby wash/hair shampoo.

Burbanmom said...

Thanks, Caroline! I did know about Burt's Bees, but thought they only made chapstick (I actually bought one of their sticks in DC last weekend). I will have to check out their "collection". I'd love to get rid of the Johnson & Johnson Baby stuff for the kids. The ingredients list reads like a Chem Lab Book...