Makeup... silly but I get shivers walking into a M.A.C. store. Despite my firm feminist beliefs regarding societal and cultural pressures on female beauty, makeup has always been fascinating. I know this has less to do with cultural pressures and more to do with my love of colours and yearning to "paint" something. I really only get excited about eye shadow and adore seeing all the beautiful sparkly hues in MAC.
As what I put on my face can be absorbed into my skin and blood stream, I've decided to "green" my makeup one step at a time. The cheater that I am, I'm starting with mascara first... and most likely will leave eye shadow for the very last... lol.
I know many women who abhor all makeup except mascara. Although Andrew thinks my eyelash curler is some crazy, torture contraption, mascara has been a daily thing since I was 16. I've long since stopped using waterproof mascara (if it's that difficult to remove with soap, what kind of chemical crap is seeping into my system?), but I adore my MAC mascara. (my fantastical bag of makeup-y fun! It looks catastrophic, but that's just because each product lasts a ridiculously long time... so they collect!)
However, I knew deep down that it contained some nasty chemicals. That mascara smell?? Not the result of herbs and spices and the fact that black goop can "lengthen, strengthen, volumize, grow another limb etc" is a little "Who" shouting up: "Warning! Chemical Alert!!". Mascara can be extra tricky as our eyes are sensitive areas to infections and disease. I rub my eyes a lot (not so great for infection control either!) and all that black stuff is being rubbed along the edges and absorbed into my system.
A couple of months ago I made the decision that I couldn't keep this "eco" ness up and continue buying a new MAC mascara. I went to the local natural products store (Planet Organic) and marched myself up to the lady at the beauty place. After a bit chatting, she recommended Dr. Hauschka's volumizing mascara. It was pricey, but I'd rather try something that works instead of start a wasteful trend similar to the shampoo experience (btw I'm on day number 5 and my hair isn't catastrophically greasy!! WOOT). (my mascaras, side by side)
Dr. Hauschka is a well known and quite respectable natural product company. I have tried their shampoo and was NOT a fan, but I've heard and read good things about their transparency and products. So no prior research was had, I purchased my mascara and went home.
The verdict? The mascara actually SMELLS different, kinda citrus-y. It smudges a bit more than the MAC mascara, but lasts fairly well and washes off the lashes easily with water. However, trying to get the stuff off my skin is another story. Even the facial-lady (another story I soon will report!) was amazed at how difficult it was to remove the mascara from my skin. Weird.
Now it's almost that time to invest in another tube (mascara should be replaced every three months to decrease likelihood of bacterial infection). I thought I'd just replace the one I have, but figured it wouldn't hurt to actually do a little research first... What I've discovered isn't as rosy of a picture.
First I looked up the ingredients of Dr. Hauschka mascara:
Water/Aqua, Pyrus Cydonia (Quince) Seed Extract, Alcohol,Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Sorbitol,Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Acacia Senegal Gum,Cetearyl Alcohol, Beeswax/Cera Flava, Mica, Camellia Sinensis (Black Tea) Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Leaf Extract, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Lysolecithin (Hydrolyzed Lecithin), Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright) Extract, Silk/Serica Powder, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil (Jojoba Wax), Rosa Damascena Flower Oil (Rose Essential Oil), Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Wax, Fragrance/Parfum (Essential Oil), Citronellol, Geraniol, Linalool, Hectorite, Maltodextrin,Ferric Ferrocyanide/CI77510, Carmine/CI 75470, Silica, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide/CI 77891, Ultramarines/CI 77007
Looks alright, some weird-type chemicals in there but nothing catastrophic. May as well compare to MAC mascara... and couldn't find the ingredients on their website. Right. So I looked it up on Skin Deep Cosmetic rating system:
WATER (AQUA PURIFICATA) PURIFIED; COPERNICIA CERIFERA (CARNAUBA) WAX; STEARIC ACID; GLYCERYL STEARATE; POLYISOBUTENE; SILICA; ACRYLATES COPOLYMER; AMINOMETHYL PROPANEDIOL; PVP/EICOSENE COPOLYMER; ALEURITES MOLUCCANA SEED OIL; HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN; PANTHENOL; ACACIA SENEGAL GUM; BEESWAX (CERA ALBA); TOCOPHEROL; HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE; PROPYLENE GLYCOL; SIMETHICONE; DIMETHICONE PEG-8 POLYACRYLATE; POLYBUTENE; PVP; OLEIC ACID; BENZYL ALCOHOL; ISOSTEARIC ACID; CALCIUM ALUMINUM BOROSILICATE; DISODIUM EDTA; PHENOXYETHANOL; METHYLPARABEN; ETHYLPARABEN; PROPYLPARABEN; BUTYLPARABEN; ISOBUTYLPARABEN; MICA; TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891); IRON OXIDES (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499); CHROMIUM HYDROXIDE GREEN (CI 77289); CHROMIUM OXIDE GREENS (CI 77288); FERRIC FERROCYANIDE (CI 77510); ULTRAMARINES (CI 77007)
Wow, much more chemicals at first glance. I felt pretty darn smug. I wonder what Dr Hauschka's rating would be? Wouldn't you know that Dr. Hauschka and MAC have close ratings?? I couldn't believe it. They both rate a 6; a moderate hazard.
What the eff you say? I know. However, if you look more closely, you'll see that the biggest black marks go to the ingredient "fragrance" of 8 for Dr. Hauschka. Typically this is a big red flag for scary chemicals like formaldehyde and such. However, following fragrances we have "essential oils" in parentheses, which would take care of that. Other black marks include the use of ethanol, geraniol and linalool. Both geraniol and linalool have been banned from cosmetic products in Europe since 2003. Not so great.
If we check out MAC's rating scores, we see that parabens and other pretties take up a large portion.
Want to see how your mascara fairs? Click here and search away!
There are also some low hazard ratings including Earth's Beauty mascara (2), Suncoat sugar-based mascara (2), most of Jane Iredale's mascaras (1-2's) and Coastal Classics "whispering seas" mascara gets a 0!
Well, I guess my search has not ended. Although Dr. Hauschka does have less sketchy chemicals than my MAC mascara, I'm not about to spend 25$ (yep, crazy huh?) on a mascara that a bit more chemical-free every three months.
I'm thinking that Suncoat will be my next purchase as I know a few places that carry them (re: my phobia for ordering online). I love how on their site they list why certain chemicals are dangerous (i.e. petrochemically derived) and how they are using sugar-based polymers that are renewable and biodegradable. Further, the company is Canadian :)
Happy Painting (sigh, sometimes I can be such a girl!)
article and photos copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com