Looking for natural, clean makeup? Learn about the dangers of conventional makeup, the ingredients to avoid, and how to make the switch to non-toxic makeup. I’ll also share my favorite clean makeup, Savvy Minerals.
Did you know the average woman puts over 500 chemicals per day on her body. Most of that is from makeup, cosmetics and other beauty products – including chemicals like parabens, phthalates, synthetic colorants, and synthetic fragrances. Let’s find out more about these ingredients and why you should avoid them.
Why Avoid Conventional Makeup
There’s been a lot of news lately on the toxic chemicals in makeup:
- Toxic Twelve Chemicals and Contaminants in Cosmetics
- Chemicals of Concern in Cosmetics (filter by makeup)
- Are Some Makeup Ingredients Toxic?
Here’s a quick highlight on the ingredients to avoid:
- Formaldehyde-based ingredients such as quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, and diazolidinyl urea used as preservatives in cosmetics, but have been linked to cancer and allergic skin reactions.
- Parabens are preservatives that inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi in makeup to give it a longer shelf life. They’re also known to be endocrine disruptors and can cause reproductive issues.
- Talc is a common ingredient in foundation powders, lipsticks, eye shadows and blushes. It’s a known carcinogen and linked to respiratory issues too. There was even a report just a few years ago of asbestos-contaminated talc in popular preteen stores.
This is just the short-list. There’s literally hundreds of ingredients in makeup and cosmetics that can cause health issues, including:
- Coal tar
- Lake dye
- Mineral oil
- Nano particles
- Synthetic colorants
- Synthetic fragrances
So what can you do instead? Opt for natural, clean makeup. But this is where it gets hard because there’s so much out there.
Be Careful with “Natural” Makeup
Once you start learning about all the harmful ingredients in conventional makeup, you’ll want to start the search for natural, clean makeup. The challenge is finding products that are truly clean. That was my struggle with skincare, cosmetics and beauty products, cleaning products, and even food products.
The label may say “all natural” but there’s no regulation on what constitutes as “natural”. As long as the bulk of the material is natural, the entire product can be called “natural-based”. But that means a small percentage could include preservatives, synthetic fragrances, and toxic chemicals and still be considered natural.
That’s why it’s important to read labels. The label could say it’s vegan, cruelty-free, oil-free (which isn’t actually good for your skin), or maybe it contains some natural ingredients like clay… but it could still have a laundry list of chemicals.
Here’s the ingredient list for a popular foundation powder that I used before and thought was natural (notice the bismuth and parabens right off the bat):
Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Zinc Stearate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Methylparaben, Silk Powder, Propylparaben, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pantothenic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid
So what can you do instead? Read the labels. Make sure it’s got the ingredients you’re looking for, and none of the ones you want to avoid.
For me, the simplest answer is find a brand you can trust and stick with it. That way, you know that you’re avoiding questionable ingredients in all of your cosmetics – including foundation, eye shadow, lipstick, etc.
My Favorite Non-Toxic Makeup: Savvy Minerals
I’m a huge fan of Young Living. I’ve been using their essential oils for nearly a decade, and made the switch with their skincare products and supplements too. Be sure to check out my favorite skincare essentials here.
When Young Living came up with a new makeup line, I was excited but skeptical. Why? Because I’m very picky about my makeup. I’ve noticed that other clean makeup brands had good ingredients, but the coverage was lacking or wouldn’t stay on my skin all day. I wanted both great coverage and clean ingredients. It was tough to find makeup that could check all the boxes.
But then I tried Savvy Minerals makeup and was so impressed. The coverage is fantastic. It’s buildable so you can layer more on for a glam look, go light for a natural look, or find something that works in between.
Savvy Minerals is leading the clean beauty revolution by banning more than 2,500 ingredients and even some “natural ingredients” other clean makeup companies use, including the 1,328 prohibited by the European Union banned cosmetic list.
Here’s what you won’t find in Savvy Minerals:
- Mineral oil
- Heavy metals
- Synthetic dyes
- Synthetic fragrance
I will tell you that conventional makeup from the department store used to make me breakout. Without fail, I’d get breakouts a few times a month. It took me a while to realize it was the ingredients in the makeup – like bismuth – that were causing the breakouts. And when I tried natural makeup, I found the coverage wasn’t enough for me or it melted off my face within a couple of hours. Hello, raccoon eyes.
That’s why I’m loving Savvy Minerals makeup. It’s make with all-natural ingredients that actually NOURISHES my skin.
What’s in Savvy Minerals Makeup
Makeup should give you the coverage you want (whether it’s natural or glam) without compromise on clean ingredients. That’s exactly what you get with Savvy Minerals by Young Living, the new standard in clean beauty.
Here’s what you’ll find in Savvy Minerals makeup:
- Kaolin clay
- Arrowroot powder
- Jojoba oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Mango seed butter
- Coconut seed butter
- Natural minerals
- Olive fruit oil
- Sunflower oil
- Vitamin E
- Aspen bark extract
- Pure essential oils
In addition, Young Living is committed to clean makeup that’s good for you and the environment:
- Responsibly resourced
- Plant based
- Cruelty free
- Toxin free
- Essential-oil infused
Every Savvy Minerals product was carefully crafted so you can feel fabulous about yourself and what you’re putting on your skin. Each makeup products is naturally derived ingredients made without cheap fillers or synthetics – and that’s a beautiful thing.
My Favorite Savvy Minerals Makeup Products
- Mattifying Primer – helps to prep the skin for a flawless finish. It also minimizes the look of pores and fine lines, so the Liquid Foundation and Foundation Powder goes on smooth and lasts longer.
- Liquid Concealer – covers spots, lighten under eye circles, and hide imperfections. The buildable coverage that helps to lighten and conceal trouble spots, but also helps to hydrate the skin. It’s made with Manuka and Tea Tree essential oils to help reduce the appearance of blemishes while the rich pigment helps hide discoloration.
- Liquid Foundation – glides on the skin and has a light-weight formula that never looks caked on. It gives skin a youthful, deewy look. It’s made with Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood essential oil to boost the natural radiance of skin, avocado oil to hydrate and reduce moisture loss, and lots of other skin-loving ingredients.
- Foundation Powder – made with high-quality, mineral-based ingredients with buildable coverage for a natural look. It comes in a variety of cool, warm and dark colors and shades. I’ve got a guide below on how to pick the right shade.
- Eye Shadow – comes in multi-color pressed palettes or individual loose powder. It’s fun to mix and match combinations to go glam or go natural. The palettes are infused with Lavender essential oil so they’re perfect for sensitive eyes.
- Eyeliner – comes in dark black and made with mineral-based ingredients, talc and paraben free. It’s the ideal eyeliner for sensitive skin. It can be used wet or dry to achieve the desired intensity.
- Multitasker – can be used an eyeliner, eyeshadow, or brow filler. It’s a dark brown shade that’s perfect for a fine texture that blends beautifully for smooth, even, and buildable application.
- Lengthening Mascara – glides on without unwanted clumps or flakes to lengthen and define lashes. It’s non-irritating and great if you have sensitive eyes. It’s hands-down the best natural mascara I’ve ever tried. It’s made with Lavender essential oil, arginine, buildable natural plant fibers, and carnauba wax.
- Lipstick – comes in a variety of gorgeous colors so you can go natural or go glam. It’s made with castor seed oil, sweet almond oil, and beeswax to nourish lips, make them look fuller, and give lips a gorgeous color.
- Lip Gloss – moisturize and soften lips while making lips look fuller too. It’s made with castor seed oil, beesewax, olive oil, sunflower seed oils, and Peppermint essential oil. It gives lips a natural shine, and the Peppermint feels so good on the lips.
Watch This 5-Minute Makeup Tutorial
Watch me put on Savvy Minerals in this 5-minute makeup tutorial. It’s such amazing clean makeup that’s got buildable coverage so you can easily go from natural to glam.
More Natural Beauty Tips
- 10 Homemade Natural Skin Care Recipes
- DIY Coconut Brown Sugar Scrub
- 100+ DIY Beauty + Skin Care Recipes
This post was originally published in February 2018. It’s been completely updated with new information and republished in 2021.