When we first started thinking about getting pregnant, I took a hard look at what I was putting on my skin. I had never thought twice about it, or even been aware that skincare and makeup contained potentially toxic ingredients. But, I’d just finished WomanCode and found myself sitting on the bathroom floor squinting over labels, trying to figure out which products I should keep and which ones I shouldn’t.
Once I was pregnant, my doctor warned against using certain ingredients like retinol while pregnant. It made me wonder, if these things aren’t safe for me or my baby while I’m pregnant, are the really that safe for me when I’m not pregnant?! Doubtful.
In the past two years, I’ve learned a lot about all the harmful and toxic ingredients found in our skincare and makeup and made a bunch of swaps myself. It’s a big reason why I joined Beautycounter and why I continue to use and wear their products every single day!
It made sense to me that skincare products with harsh chemicals could be bad for us, but makeup was one area that took me a while to warm up to. I mean, it was just sitting on my skin, right?! Wrong. Because our skin is super porous, we’re actually absorbing some of that, not to mention that simply having those bad ingredients sit on our skin isn’t good either. Tons of makeup can clog pores, cause breakouts and actually be an endocrine disruptor!
But, the good news is that there are tons of amazing products—both skincare and makeup—out there that are free of potentially harmful ingredients and you can feel good about wearing, whether you’re pregnant or not!
If you’re new to safer or clean beauty, I hope I didn’t just overwhelm you. It can feel like a daunting process to switch out every single one of your products, but I always suggest you start small with just one! One of the first ones I tell people to start with for makeup is foundation because it covers the majority of your skin unlike things like eye shadow or blush.
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How To Know If You’re Using Non Toxic Foundation
First things, first—is your current foundation toxic? The easiest way to figure it out is to look at the ingredient list. If it’s not on the actual bottle (often it’s on the box that it comes in and not on the actual foundation), look up your product online and find the ingredient list there. Here are a few common toxic ingredients to look for in foundation:
Check the Ingredient List
Look for things like parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS or SLES), BHA & BHT, and retinyl palmitate/vitamin A. I have a list of 8 common ingredients that you should avoid in this post if you want to dig a little deeper!
Natural Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Safe
Beware of branding and marketing! Natural is a great buzz word, but here’s the deal, plenty of natural ingredients aren’t good for our health. Case in point—petrolatum, which is derived from petroleum, is technically natural, but not an ingredient that should be in your skincare or makeup products! Beware of other catchy phrases like 100 pure, cruelty free, organic (this is great, but still check the list!), and natural ingredients—always make sure you read through the list!
Do a Quick Search
I love that there are now several awesome resources out there that we can use to figure out where our products sit on the scale of safe or not. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) has an amazing source on their site called the Skin Deep Database that you can search for products and get a super fast answer! Not every product in the world is in there, but there are a lot.
Another great resource is the Think Dirty app which I have on my phone so I can quickly search a product if I need to! Again, it doesn’t have every thing, but you can find most big brands.
Shop Reputable Brands
I won’t lie, navigating the non-toxic beauty world can be a struggle! Especially when ingredient lists are long and you can’t pronounce half the things in them! Your best bet is to shop at reputable stores and online retailers who dedicate themselves to only providing safer alternatives. My favorite beauty brands are of course, Beautycounter (we just launched a men’s line!!), Credo and Sephora’s Clean at Sephora section. I have my 5-minute makeup routine here if you’re curious!
Negative Effects Of Toxic Foundation
Unless you instantly get a rash or breakout, it’s sometimes hard to know how and if our makeup, foundation or skincare products are actually affecting us. Why? Because the majority of it is happening internally and we usually don’t know until much later.
Hormone & Endocrine Disruptors
Some toxic ingredients can mimic estrogen in our bodies, causing our delicate hormonal balance to get thrown off. When our hormones aren’t balanced, a whole slew of weird symptoms can happen. Things like oily skin, brain fog, breakouts, dry flaky skin, fatigue, and so many more. All those weird mystery symptoms that leave doctors scratching their heads can often be the result of too many toxins and endocrine disruptors floating around in our body.
Reproductive & Fertility Issues
If our hormones are out of whack, it can lead to bigger issues. Infertility, trouble getting and staying pregnant, painful periods, irregular periods—things that none of us want to deal with. Another great reason to switch your products if you’re trying to get pregnant or thinking about it in the next few years.
I’ve become very familiar with my liver this year, thanks to Liver Rescue, and learned that by supporting and treating my liver as best as I can, I’m doing wonders for my body! Our liver is our body’s number one detox organ, and if we’re constantly slathering chemicals on ourselves and eating foods filled with pesticides and oils, our liver is having to work extra hard to get rid of all of those. When this happens for an extended period of time, our livers get overworked and other symptoms start popping up. Acne, fatigue, brain fog, gout, weight gain, eczema, diabetes, strep, SIBO, and much more.
Side note, this is a great book if you’re struggling with weird mystery symptoms that you can’t kick! The point being, is that it’s all tied together! If you want to feel and look better, it’s best to remove as many toxins from your body as you can. One of the easiest ways to do this is by simply switching out your skincare and makeup.
Benefits Of Using Non-Toxic Foundation For Your Skin
Less Toxins in your Body
Easily, the number one benefit of switching to a non-toxic foundation is that you’re exposing yourself to less toxins on a daily basis. Of course, we can’t get rid of all toxins—we have to breathe and drink water, but the more we can reduce that number, the better. Out of all the ways to reduce toxins, makeup and skincare is the EASIEST! Why wait?!
It’s been nearly a year and a half since I switched to clean foundation and I’ve seen my skin improve each month. It doesn’t happen overnight, but I’m happy that it’s happening on it’s own—I’m not on any face medication and it makes me so happy to see it clear naturally simply based on me making healthier choices for my body.
You’ll Still Look Gorgeous
When I talk to people about switching, one of their biggest fears is that the product won’t perform as well. I get it—that was my fear too. It took a while, but I finally did find a liquid foundation that I absolutely love. Beautycounter’s Tint Skin (I use Sand in the summer and mix in a little bit of Linen during the winter) is easily my favorite and I’ve been using it for over a year now. I’ve tried other brands and I wasn’t too happy with them. Beautycounter’s foundation blends with my skin tone really well and leaves my face with a nice semi-matte finish, which I love because ideally I prefer looking as au naturale as possible!
If you’re not into liquid foundation, there are great options for mineral foundations and mineral powders, but I find that these don’t have staying power throughout the day like a liquid one does.
If the first one you try doesn’t work for you, keep trying! There are so many out there now and they keep getting better and better!
In general, I know that the question of how the products will perform is a big one for everyone thinking about switching. But, here’s the deal, people are becoming more and more aware of what’s in their products and the beauty industry is listening, which is so exciting.
They’re making changes to their products and hopefully legislation will follow! That being said, I’ve been so impressed with the high performance products I’ve used and continue to use everyday! This is true of the foundation I use on a daily basis and all the other skincare and makeup I use throughout the day!
If you’re like HELL YES, let’s make a switch, but want some help picking the products and makeup that are right for you, just fill out this quick form and I’ll get back to you asap with personalized skincare picks to make the process that much easier!