It is no longer a secret that some cosmetics can irritate skin or cause other medical problems after years of repeated use. Luckily for most of us, there are alternatives to commercially-produced makeup sold in Singapore that are free from most of the harmful chemicals that will be listed below, were not tested on animals or are free from animal ingredients, and are made from components that are gentle on the skin.
If you have skin allergies, sensitive skin or other medical concerns, you should not hesitate to inform your makeup artist before any big event even when choosing products for a facial before the application of the makeup. You can ask for alternative makeup products without compromising style. Just remember, however, that unlike most food products, cosmetics do not usually undergo strict regulation and even more so when it comes to ‘organic’ cosmetics.
Alternative Makeup Products
If you think that most of the products are harmful to your skin, try some of these “indie makeup” products next time you go to Singapore beauty shops or ask any makeup artist in Singapore about these names. Some of them can be pricier than mainstream brands, but they include vegan options and are also cruelty-free.
2. Melt Cosmetics
4. Kat Von D
5. Anastasia Beverly Hills
7. Too Faced
8. Urban Decay
9. Milk Makeup
10. Charlotte Tillbury
12. Marc Jacobs Beauty
13. Hard Candy
Ingredients to Avoid
According to a study in the US about beauty products, at least one in eight of more than 80,000 ingredients used in cosmetics are skin irritants, carcinogens, and endocrine disruptors. If you’re not convinced, then remember tha some of these are used in other products such as concrete, automobiles, and paint.
Here are 12 ingredients in a product that every makeup artist should avoid:
Coal Tar Dyes: These ingredients are commonly found in hair coloring products, especially the dark hair dyes. These are usually labeled in various names, such as p-phenylenediamine, FD&C, D&C, and CI or code index numbers between 75000 to 77000. Just look for the label ‘CI’ which is followed by five digits.
BHA and BHT: Be careful when moisturizing after a facial, because moisturizers might contain butylated hydroxyanisole or BHA and butylated hydroxytuolene or BHT, which are preservatives. They are also found in some lipsticks and are considered carcinogenic and are toxic even to aquatic organisms. Don’t be afraid to ask your beautician about alternatives to mainstream lipstick brands.
Dibutyl Phthalate: Used in some nail polish as a solvent and plasticizer, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is considered a reproductive toxicant, an endocrine disruptor, and is also toxic to wildlife. It is also found in fragrances and other products and might not be even listed.
DEA-Related Ingredients: Diethanolamine or DEA and its compounds are used in most soaps, cleansers, and shampoo to make the product sudsy or creamy. You can also find this in sunscreens and moisturizers and are known to adjust pH levels, irritate skin and eyes, and even cause cancer if they interact with nitrites. Besides, DEA compounds, you should also look out for similar chemicals like triethanolamine (TEA) and monoethanolamide (MEA).
Parabens: These are used as preservatives in some cosmetics such as perfumes and are considered reproductive toxicants and endocrine disrupters. Parabens are also present in some food although at low levels, but they are usually metabolized. The parabens that are absorbed through the skin, however, are the real problem. Unfortunately, some manufacturers do not place this on the label and include only low levels of parabens in the products.
Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives: There are preservatives that slowly release formaldehyde when applied on the skin, and formaldehyde is considered carcinogenic, so you should look for the following names on the labels: diazolidinyl urea, methenamine, DMD hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, and quarternium-15. You should tell your makeup artist to avoid any cosmetic that uses preservatives if you have sensitive skin. Thankfully, most makeup experts nowadays are also conscious about the kind of products they choose.
PEG Compounds: Your makeup stylist might like cream-based makeup because they are ideal for blending, but be wary of those products because they might contain polyethylene glycols (PEG) compounds to make the cream thick and soft. Studies also show that when contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, the result could cause cancer. Look for names with “eth” in them to identify these compounds.
Fragrance or Parfum: Finding products that do not have parfum can be tricky, because even the ones labeled “unscented” have fragrance. But there is a way to find out if the product has fragrance. Look for agents such as diethyl phthalate (DEP), which is commonly used by manufacturers. People with asthma, sensitive skin and allergies already know that avoiding products with fragrance is a given. Make sure your makeup stylist knows this so he/she will only use products that are safe on your skin.
Petrolatum: This might come as a surprise, but petroleum jelly or mineral oil jelly can be harmful to the skin when used for extended periods. It is found in various products such as lip balms and hair products to moisturize and lock in the shine. Unfortunately, if it’s contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) it can be carcinogenic.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate: Also used in foaming cosmetics, SLES can becomes carcinogenic like PEG compounds when contaminated by 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide. Just look for names with “eth” on the label.
Triclosan: This is often used in cosmetics with antibacterial properties, but while this is a good idea, triclosan can cause antibiotic resistance and is considered an endocrine disrupter.
Siloxanes: Do you like cosmetics that not only add color but also smoothen, moisten and soften your skin? Make sure that it does not contain siloxanes which are labeled with ‘-methicone’ or ‘-siloxane’. They are known as endocrine disruptors, reproductive toxicants, and can affect hormone functions.