What's Actually in Your Makeup ?


What's Actually in Your Makeup ?
What's Actually in Your Makeup ?

How often do we actually think about the ingredients that are in our cosmetic products? We tend to just purchase what looks good and doesn’t visibly irritate our skin, and for many women, makeup is a part of everyday life.

Knowing what our skin is absorbing through the makeup we are applying is important though. You could unknowingly be using products that cause adverse health problems down the line, and it is always safer to educate yourself on the ingredients you are using.

So let’s take a look at what’s actually in your makeup, and what to avoid, so that you can safely put your best face forward every day.

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Eye Shadow

Eye shadow is a great way to add a pop of color or a sultry smokiness to your makeup routine. Ingredients in eye shadow typically start with filler, such as talc or mica. A binder is added, usually zinc or magnesium, to keep the product sticking to the skin. Then, pigment and preservatives are included to give you the variety of hues that you see on the shelf, and keep them from deteriorating too quickly.

Oils and waxes are typically added to eye shadow in cream based formulas, which tend to keep their pigment longer when applied to the skin. Whether you wear a powder or cream shadow, you stick to more earthy tones to reduce the risk of irritation since they contain fewer dyes.



Mascara gives the illusion of fuller, thicker, and longer lashes, and it also contains a number of cosmetic ingredients. Common ingredients include a pigment, such as iron oxide, an emulsifier like triethanolamine which keeps the product on your lashes, waxes, preservatives, and possibly a silicone element, which is present in waterproof formulas.



With just a few quick swipes, you can hide any imperfections on your skin with foundation. And there are a ton of options, ranging from pressed powers to liquid formulas which attempt to mimic almost every skin tone possible.

You will usually find a pigmented ingredient which alters the shade of the foundation, moisturizers to keep your skin hydrated and supple, as well as some sort of filler. Typically you’ll see hydrating ingredients such as glycerides and oils, or shine absorbing products like talc or cornstarch to keep oil at bay.



Lipstick can add color and definition to your pout, and you also end up ingesting a decent amount of it so it’s important to know what exactly it contains.

Wax, pigment, and oil are found in lipstick formulas, and vary depending on the shade. The oils tend to give the product intensity in terms of color and also serve as a moisturizer.

Tinted lip balms and sheer glosses contain less pigment for a more “natural” look, and keep the lips soft.


What to Avoid

No matter the type of product, you should be wary of a few harmful ingredients. Parabens, phthalates, and sodium laurel sulfate are toxic and can interfere with your endocrine system. Unfortunately, they are also commonly found in cosmetic products, as well. Possible effects from these chemicals include reproductive complications and even cancer.

Instead, opt for more natural makeup brands such as Physicians Formula or Ecco Bella, and mineral makeup brands that don’t use these harmful ingredients.

Do your homework to make sure you’re putting the healthiest products onto your skin, and don’t assume that all “natural” cosmetics are safe. When in doubt, you can even make your own homemade makeup so you know exactly what you are putting on your skin.

Be in the know. Do your homework and you will continue looking great while keeping your health at the forefront.

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