For Part 2 of our Greenify Your Life series, I’ll be giving you guidance on how to find yourself a safer foundation. I have listed ingredients found in both powder and liquid foundation so we can kill two birds with one stone.
What ingredients should I be looking to avoid in my foundation?
Fragrance (6-methylcoumarin, parfum) – Now, fragrance is a hard one because it is the one product that gets a free pass in the ingredients list. The manufacturer is not required to list the actual ingredients in the perfume, rather, they are allowed to simply clump it all into the one ingredient: ‘Parfum’ (or other such word). This means that you have no clue if this is a safe product for your skin which is worrying as some fragrance ingredients are proven to cause photosensitivity but you’d never know what was the causal ingredient! Best to keep an eye out for products that list essential oils as their fragrance or are up front about what goes into their fragrance.
Silicone Emollients – These are found in approximately 80% of all concealers, primers and foundations. The silicone allows for smoother application but it also creates a layer on top of the skin, causing the skin to be suffocated of oxygen. Over time, this can cause certain skin reactions, breakouts and a duller complexion.
Petroleum based products (Paraffin, mineral oil, petrolatum) - These petroleum products are also found in the majority of skin products and, too, suffocate the skin and clogs the pores causing the same issues as silicone. This goes for your ‘timeless’ Vaseline too (We recommend using paw paw ointment instead!). These products have also been under heavy scrutiny due to the fact they are the cause of many serious health ailments.
Parabens (Propyl, Butyl, Methyl, Isobutyl, Ethyl etc) - Parabens are used to stop fungus and bacteria from growing in your makeup. They are found in almost every beauty product for both males and females. There is research done to suggest they may be linked to the cause of breast cancer due to the fact that they mimic estrogen within the body. The jury is still out on whether these man-made chemicals are bad for the body but have a read of both sides of the argument to form your own opinion. To be safe, I would say opt for products that have parabens near the bottom of the ingredient list rather than the top.
There are a million other ingredients that we could also list here, but we’ll start with these common ingredients for now.
So, how do you Greenify?
Phase 1.) Read the ingredients label of your foundations. Any foundations with the aforementioned near the top of the list, get rid of them ASAP.
Phase 2.) Research online or in stores for highly reviewed foundations that do not contain huge amounts of the above products. They do not have to be from an organic brand, necessarily, just slightly more safe on the skin. Naturally, we would guide you towards Alexami’s Mineral Foundation Powder, which is free of these ingredients.
During this product transition, if you have been using products with heavy amounts of silicone etc, your skin may go through phases of drying or over-oiling. This is a natural occurrence as your skin begins to normalize to your new product.
Phase 3.) Once your new safer product is empty, try your best to convert to a completely natural and/or certified organic product free of all the nasty ingredients. Or better yet, perhaps your skin will heal itself and you’ll be able to go out with barely any foundation at all!
As an afterword, please know that some people get iffy about whether certain ingredients are actual harmful or not. I have gone off personal experience and research but please understand people react differently to different products. For example, I know people who prefer silicone in their foundation routine, and don’t believe there’s any harm in using it. Remember, there is no firmer knowledge than through your own personal experience and broad research so I suggest that you use this as a starting guide and go from there.