I've just seen a face...
November 23, 2009 9:30 AM   Subscribe

Yikes! Nearly every 'healthy' cosmetic brand has toxic waste in it! Here I thought using Burt's Bees was good for unicorns and everything, apparently they have issues too! So does the Body Shop - badly. Search the database... Anyone have a good, healthy brand line? Please no "Stop Using." Try telling that to a 13 year old who just got permission.
posted by eatdonuts to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I've never heard of the brand, but based solely on the info from that site, Coastal Classic Creations seems to be the "best" for most of the makeup categories.
posted by brainmouse at 9:34 AM on November 23, 2009

Response by poster: They seem to only make shampoo and basic skin care items, not makeup. :(
posted by eatdonuts at 9:38 AM on November 23, 2009

Why do you think they don't make makeup? The database you linked to has tons of makeup listed, as does their website.
posted by brainmouse at 9:43 AM on November 23, 2009

For skin care, I am a huge fan of Avalon Organics and California Baby. I also wash my face with plain honey and make my own skin masques (there are dozens of easy recipes online for such things).
posted by balls at 9:45 AM on November 23, 2009

I love Tarte products, sio42, but that site makes it also sound scary.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:47 AM on November 23, 2009

This doesn't quite answer your question, but I've had terrible, terrible experience with Dr. Hauschka/Coastal Classic makeup. I'd rather not wear any makeup than pay $26 for mascara than runs and clumps so dramatically.
posted by zoomorphic at 10:19 AM on November 23, 2009

Are you looking for any kind of makeup, or specific kinds like just eye makeup? Is there anything she is not interested in?
posted by 8dot3 at 10:32 AM on November 23, 2009

Best answer: Recently discovered this, and love it. The pigments are all fruit and vegetable based. I love their skincare line as well. It's not dirt-cheap, but considering the quality of the ingredients, I think it is worth it.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 10:50 AM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

What specific products does she want?

There might be home-made ways to get around store bought ingredients. As balls mentioned above, there are a lot of recipes for various things online.
posted by kathrineg at 10:54 AM on November 23, 2009

Best answer: The EWG are a very conscientious group and do a lot of good work, but they are very cautious in their ratings, and sometimes estimate risks beyond current levels of knowledge. Many of their hazard ratings are based on "data gaps" for compounds which don't have a lot of toxicological data, or are estimated for undisclosed ingredients like "fragrance". They base such ratings on a "precautionary principle": unless proven harmless, they assume something is harmful. While this may be the safest course, it can lead to the conclusion that everything is bad for you. Many of the components are probably innocuous, but some may not be, thus leading to EWG's ratings.

You have your own levels of comfort with regard to the risks, but I'd be very comfortable giving any of the green-rated cosmetics to a child of mine. I would be cautious with the yellows and avoid the reds. Remember, just because something has a long and technical name doesn't mean it's bad for you or "toxic waste"; it just means that, like everything else in the world*, it's a compound.

*NB: May not include unicorns
posted by bonehead at 11:00 AM on November 23, 2009 [7 favorites]

posted by birdie birdington at 11:11 AM on November 23, 2009

Best answer: Everything is toxic in the right doses. It's not fair to call most chemicals "toxic waste" when, used in moderation, they can be quite safe.

I wouldn't base your entire relationship with cosmetics on one article.
posted by inturnaround at 1:08 PM on November 23, 2009 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I wouldn't be scared too much by the Cosmetics Safety Database. It classifies both ethanol (pure grain alcohol) and acetic acid (a 8% solution of which is common vinegar) as cancer risks.
posted by demiurge at 1:30 PM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Adding to what bonehead and demiurge said, note that the EWG rates citric acid as a level-4 "moderate hazard." Even glucose isn't considered completely safe. Yet both are key elements of your own metabolism. This suggests to me that there's probably some hazard inflation going on in these ratings, and you're probably fine at least with the greens and lower-rated yellows.
posted by fermion at 1:33 PM on November 23, 2009

Seconding what demiurge says.

Any site that tells you vinegar is a carcinogen counts as hyperbolic.
posted by yellowcandy at 2:07 PM on November 23, 2009

I'm going to agree that the database is overcautious. I looked up Aveda lipstick. It rates a "4" - moderate risk. The lipstick's two most risky ingredients according to the breakdown? Rice bran oil, and peppermint oil. Not quite "toxic waste".
posted by donnagirl at 3:41 PM on November 23, 2009

Best answer: Evil microbes found in opened products most likely got their via the fingers and brushes of the person who uses the product.

As a rule, the smaller the company, the more unwanted organisms you find in the product. Used to have a derm who did tests on products. She said "botanical" in the name was always a bad sign (that was back when it was the buzzword.) This was ten years ago so things may have changed, but the make-ups and products that never had unwanted critters swimming around were Mary Kay (very high quality control, apparently) and products from Cosmair (Lancome, L'Oreal, Maybelline). Mary Kay Ashe is dead and Cosmair has acquired many other brands since then, so it's unlikely that things are the same.

On the other hand, the biggest problem she and another derm I know see - as far as product fussiness and skin - is women who refuse to wash with soap and use lotions and moisturizers instead. They end up with skin that look okay, but feels dry and tight because they have a fungus.

If you have pets or are regularly kissed by children, your face probably deals with some unwholesome microbes every day - and miniscule quantities of peppermint oil and vinegar are not going to hurt you.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 4:11 PM on November 23, 2009

Best answer: There are brands out there, but I am going to be up-front, they are not cheap. However, they are high-quality and last a very long time even though they seem very small. Also, be aware that most you will have order online, unless you happen to be in one of the select cities where these brands are sold.

Hakansson is one of my personal favourites, I just bought some in Stockholm and I am going to be ordering the whole line. RMS Beauty is brand new, but looks very promising, although there is not much selection.

Eve Organics, Alima Pure, and W3ll People are more affordable than the first two, but I have not tried any of those brands yet.

Two online stores you might want to check out are Puresha and Content, both contain a variety of other brands which I believe will meet your requirements.
posted by eldvno at 4:22 PM on November 23, 2009

In the same vein as Puresha is Spirit Beauty Lounge.
posted by birdie birdington at 7:33 PM on November 23, 2009

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