You can’t rely on only that vague “natural” label.
If you’re looking for non-toxic makeup, dermatologist Bobby Buka, MD, agrees that labels can be a misleading. Instead, look for more specific claims. One claim Dr. Buka suggests looking for is “fragrance-free.” Adding an artificial fragrance can introduce toxins that may irritate the skin. If you prefer scented, choose products that get their scent from essential oils.
Similarly, choose natural makeup without artificial colors whenever possible. This is admittedly tough since the majority of items contain some color (that’s kinda the point, right?). Some brands contain dyes made from natural ingredients like red clay, turmeric, or beets, but it will up the price.
One toxin that most natural makeup products eliminate is parabens. In some preliminary research, parabens have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and a reduction of sperm counts. That’s because it mimics estrogen when in the body. Many personal care products will advertise right on the front if they are paraben-free since this toxin is under so much scrutiny at the moment. If it doesn’t say, just flip that bottle over and read the ingredients list. If you see any word ending with “paraben,” you may want to pick a different product.
On the bright side, if you’re looking for great skin care products, you can always make them yourself at home. Consider these facial mask recipes, beauty uses for coconut oil, and this coffee grounds body scrub.
Dr. Buka is a section chief at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Buka is also a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology and the Society for Pediatric Dermatology.
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Hi, I'm Dr. Preeti Parikh.
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When shopping for beauty products,
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it can be a difficult task to find
the right shade, the right brand.
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But what about what's in your products?
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That's equally important.
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We called Dr. Bobby Buka to help us
figure out what we should be looking for.
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Hi Dr. Bobby.
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Help us figure out what to avoid
when buying beauty products, and
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if it's worth the money to actually
buy those natural beauty products?
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I'm not exactly sure what
the word natural means anymore.
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I would certainly find a beauty
product that's color free,
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fragrance free, and depending upon what
you're trying to do with your skin.
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Whether that's protect it from ultraviolet
exposure or maybe include a retinol for
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exfoliation, but it should be targeted.
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Are there any other toxins or chemicals
that people should be aware about and
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when they're buying beauty products?
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The problem with parabens is that they
are not metabolized by the body very well.
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We find them in skin tissue
years after exposure,
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then they tend to accumulate as well.
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This is a structure that
mimics estrogen in the body.
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For example, tumors that are estrogen
sensitive can respond to parabens and
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that's the thought behind increasing
slightly the risk for breast cancer.
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How do you find out
when looking at beauty
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products if it has parabens in it or not?
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There's a lot of ingredient lists
that you gotta turn over the bottle and
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look, either it'll be called
propylparaben or ethylparaben.
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A lot of manufacturers
have gotten savvy to this,
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and put right on the front of
the bottle no paraben included.
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Look for that, but also turn a bottle
over and check out an ingredient list.
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Thank you so much for your time.
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It was really helpful.
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