A well-matched lipstick is most ladies’ favourite makeup product. For those beauty addicts out there, we’re sure you have every shade for every occasion! It has the abilities to turn one look into another and take you from day to night chic. But have you considered what ingredients are being used to create that beautiful bright red lip?
Unfortunately many lipsticks that are sold by conventional brands contain heavy metals and chemicals which you simply shouldn’t be putting on your skin, let alone near your mouth. Many of these ingredients are used to create longer lasting wear and brighter colour, but after years of research from natural brands, we know that this is no longer essential and you can brighten up your makeup look with a healthier, greener approach.
To start with, we’ve taken a closer look at the common ingredients still found in well known high street and even high-end brands and that we would recommend you avoid! Thankfully, as we know, there are now more options other than ones laden with chemicals, so we’ve also taken a look at the beautiful natural alternatives which make us look great and are good for our skin too.
Ingredients To Avoid
Before 2007, it was not common knowledge that lipsticks were contaminated by lead. It wasn’t until a large-scale test conducted in America on many well known high street, and high-end brands discovered it to be present. Despite that being nearly ten years ago, you may still find this unwanted ingredient in particular lipsticks.
There are two sides to this argument, the side from the manufacturer and brands who claim that the levels of lead present in the lipsticks is so low that it causes no risk to the person whatsoever. Then there are those who campaign for safe cosmetics who argue that lead is a harmful toxin and completely unnecessary. It may be no surprise to you which side we are on! Lead is known to stay in the body once consumed, so even if the percentage of lead in a product is minuscule, it is still entering your body where it will remain.
Even more alarmingly, you may well not find lead listed as an ingredient on lipstick, as it is often there due to contamination. Although it is also known to make the colour of your lipstick last longer.
There’s no denying it is a well-established toxin, and it has been linked to neurological issues such as depression and learning difficulties when consumed in vast amounts. Whether this is possible from the consumption of lipstick over some years is unknown, but quite frankly we still don’t want it near our lips!
Parabens are widely used in cosmetics as a preservative, and this comes at the top of our ‘never at Naturisimo’ list. Some parabens are known to have weak oestrogenic activity, disrupting our hormones, so much so, the use is restricted in some countries.
They are listed in some ways on ingredient labels, look out for Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben and Isobutylparaben.
Mineral Oil/ Petroleum
Mineral oil and petroleum are the bases of many cosmetics, you will find these ingredients in cleansers, moisturisers and other makeup items like foundation. It is used in lipsticks to create a moisture barrier on your lips, making the colour last longer but it will inevitably dry your lips out in the process. It has also been linked to the cause of breakouts in the skin due to the fact it can clog your pores, even at the highest cosmetic grade.
The crude oil is created as a by-product of the distillation of petroleum. Although there are many levels of petroleum used and the cosmetics industry has their level of ‘cosmetic grade’ mineral oil, there is still evidence that mineral oil can contaminate the body. So why is it used? It’s lightweight, inexpensive and is effective at providing a barrier over the skin (while locking in any dirt or grime collected beforehand!). There are many other natural alternatives to this ingredient these days such as natural plant extracts and essential oils; we can’t see any reason why a by-product of petroleum is still being used in cosmetics.
Artificial/ Synthetic Colours & Fragrances
Synthetic colours which create the beautifully bright hues available from conventional makeup brands are often laden with heavy metals, whizzed up in a chemistry lab. Nothing natural about that! Synthetic colourants are often listed as a colour followed by a number, for example, one of the most popular shades used is RED 6. These colours are made from petroleum and coal tar and will often contain a significant amount of toxins.
Fragrances are a tricky one. Brands are not legally obliged to declare what is in their ‘unique fragrance blend’. This is to protect their signature scent from being copied by other brands. This means that a mixture of chemicals and artificial scents can be used to fragrance the product and we may always remain in the dark about its true content.
Carmine In Lipsticks
There is one type of lipstick which will always be at the height of fashion, which will come back to year after year and that is the bright red classic lip. The main ingredient in achieving this brilliant bright colour is called carmine. Otherwise known as cochineal, true red or E120 (depending on the brand you are buying). Carmine is a bright red pigment which contains aluminium salt of carminic acid, which is extracted from the red cochineal beetle. Removing this colour involves killing the insect to retain the dye. For a long time, this was the only 100% natural and non-toxic red pigment available, and some of our brands’ lipsticks do still contain this ingredient. However, as with many aspects of natural beauty research, development has moved on, and red lipsticks are now being formulated without the use of carmine, such as Living Nature in ‘Wild Fire’ and ‘Pure Passion’, Ilia Lipsticks and Kjaer Weis Lipsticks.
It’s not all doom and gloom! As we know, although many lipsticks still contain these particular ingredients, luckily the world of natural and organic beauty has been working hard to find alternative ingredients which work the same, but are safe and just as beautiful for us too!
These are the healthy, natural ingredients to look out for:
Castor Seed Oil
Packed with beneficial fatty acids, castor seed oils help keep lipsticks bacteria free while also providing excellent moisture and protection for your lips. Try Axiology Vegan Lipstick whose castor seed oil is cold pressed, organic and GMO-free.
The vegan alternative to using beeswax in lipsticks, Candelilla wax is derived from the leaves of the small Candelilla shrub and benefits your lips by retaining moisture, leaving them super soft and supple. Provide your lips with effortless nourishment with an Inika Vegan Lipstick.
Mineral Powder Pigments
The natural alternative to synthetic and lab produced colours. These pigments include iron oxide, mica, titanium dioxide which are always approved for cosmetic use. Try the 100% natural Zao Matte Lipstick which also uses nourishing plant extracts.
Vitamin E Oil
Help protect your lips from environmental pollution with added vitamin E. It’s packed with antioxidant benefits and is usually listed as Tocopherol. You can find it in many natural lipsticks blended with some other nourishing ingredients such as the Ilia Lipstick which also contains jojoba, sesame, sunflower and grape seed oils.
Is there any cosmetic this wonder ingredient doesn’t pop up in? Probably not! Known for its natural hydrating properties, it works to keep your lips flake free by clearing away dead skin cells. Achieve all day protection and beautiful colour with Lavera Natural Lipstick.