Get some good stuff on your face

BRONWYN WILLIAMS
Last updated 12:41 23/01/2013

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Makeup & Skincare

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Do you really know what's in your makeup? Some ingredients are slightly dodgy, others could be downright dangerous - but there are natural alternatives that do the job just as well.

MASCARA

These are some of the chemicals commonly found in mascara:

Parabens: Used as a preservative in many cosmetics products. It has been suggested that they could cause breast cancer.

Phthalates: A plasticiser, added to increase a product's flexibility, elasticity or durability. Large dosages of the substance can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system.

Diazolidinyl Urea: A preservative. There have been concerns with the use of this product due to the fact that it's a proven formaldehyde releaser. While it's legal to use in cosmetics at a dilution of 0.5 per cent, it has been linked to causing mild damage and a sensitising of the skin. 

NATURAL MASCARAS

Youngblood Outrageous Lashes Mineral Lengthening Mascara, $58.70: This mineral-based product is formulated with no lead, chemical dyes, perfumes, alcohol, zinc oxide or mineral oils. Well suited to sensitive skin. 
Inika Mineral Mascara, $40.99: This 100 per cent natural formula is certified organic, non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free. 
Jane Iredale Lengthening Mascara, $39.90: Free of lacquers, shellac and petroleum-based ingredients, this product is hypoallergenic, gluten and cruelty free, and vegan.

TOOTHPASTE

These are some of the chemicals commonly found in toothpaste:

Fluoride: For a while back there fluoride was pumped into our drinking water, our soft drinks and all our toothpastes as a supplement, but studies now show that an excess of the stuff can be seriously damaging to our teeth, bones, reproductive system and the brain.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: While not technically considered toxic, SLS is known to cause microscopic tears in mouths that can lead to canker sores.

Sweeteners: Most commonly used sweetener in toothpaste is saccharin - a derivative of coal tar. It has been on and off the FDA list a number of times so is best to avoid as it's still under debate as to how safe it is. 

NATURAL TOOTHPASTES

Comvita Propolis Toothpaste, $8.10: With baking soda, propolis and Xylitol - a natural tooth-friendly sweetener found in birch trees. 
Red Seal Natural Toothpaste, $3.20: This toothpaste is SLS-free, with no added fluoride, parabens or artificial sweeteners. 
Weleda Calendula Toothpaste, $8.10: Cleans the teeth using natural chalk and calendula to fight plaque build up and keep gums healthy. Uses fennel oil as an alternative to peppermint flavour, great for those taking homeopathic remedies who need to avoid peppermint. 

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LIPSTICK

These are some of the chemicals commonly found in lipstick:

Methylparaben: A common preservative, this is actually restricted in the European Union and deemed a "moderate hazard" by the Cosmetics Database.

Lead: A frightening amount of lipstick brands contain lead. We hate to break it to you, but the lipsticks with the highest amount of lead on the market may be in your handbag. They are Maybelline's Colour Sensation in Pink Petal, (7.19 parts per million of lead), and L'Oreal Colour Riche in Volcanic, (7 parts per million).

Synthetic Colourings: Not all synthetic colours are created equal. FD & C colouring are coal-derived ingredients and can be carcinogenic, as has something they call "Lakes" colours - a derivative of aluminium, barium potassium, and strontium.  

NATURAL LIPSTICKS

Karen Murrell Lipstick, $30: All Karen Murrell lipsticks are certified organic, and are free of paraben preservatives, artificial colourants, artificial fragrances, petrochemicals, harsh detergents, talc, TEA and toxic ingredients.
Dr Hauschka Lipstick, $49: All Dr Hauschka products are 100 per cent natural. This lipstick contains rose-hip, almond, and jojoba oils, rose wax, beeswax, shea butter and rose blossom to nurture and protect the lips. 
Kjaer Weis Lip Tint, $82 from Mecca Cosmetica: This New York makeup brand is made from 95 per cent organic ingredients. 

EYELINER

These are some of the chemicals commonly found in eyeliner:

Kohl: Also known as kajal, this product has been used throughout the Middle East as a cosmetic for centuries, but is deemed unsafe in most Western countries due to high lead levels commonly found in it. 

Talc: Used as an anti-caking agent, talc is closely related to asbestos.

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA): A common preservative in eyeliners, it's a probable carcinogen that can be absorbed through the skin. 

NATURAL EYELINERS

Dr Hauschka Eyeliner, $39: It calls itself Kajal eyeliner, but don't worry - this has been certified lead-free. With natural plant waxes such as quince and Japan wax, it soothes and smoothes the eyes on application. Chantacaille Gel Liner, $64 from Mecca Cosmetica: While not certified organic or 100 per cent natural, Chantecaille focuses on botanical-based products, and this eyeliner is paraben and lead-free.

Jane Iredale Mystikol, $48.Another product that's not certified organic or 100 per cent natural, although it is mineral-based and doesn't contain any harsh chemicals. It's also hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested and is safe for even the most sensitive eyes.

FOUNDATION

These are some of the chemicals commonly found in foundation:

Ethyl acetate: Gives off a sweet smell and is commonly used in glue, cigarettes and cosmetics. While deemed a low risk chemical, it is used as an asphyxiant by insect collectors, and prolonged exposure may cause damage to the lungs, heart, kidney and liver.

Petrolatum: This paraben preservative mimics the natural estrogens that lead to cancer, and can cause skin rashes and irritation.

Propylene Glycol: A petroleum derivative used as a as a humectant (moisture retainer), surfactant (oil emulsifier), and solvent. Also used in hydraulic brake fluid and antifreeze. Although it claims to be 'natural', workers using this product are required to wear protective clothing as it has been linked to liver, kidney and brain damage. 

NATURAL FOUNDATIONS

Lush Colour Supplement, $21.90: Made with soya and rice bran oils instead of mineral oils, with oats and orange flower water for added skin benefits. 

Dr Hauschka Toned Day Cream, $73: A lightweight tinted moisturiser that is free of synthetic chemical fragrances, colours and preservatives; parabens, mineral oils, silicones and PEG (polyethylenglycol).

Inika Liquid Mineral Foundation, $69.99: Certified natural and organic and packed with antioxidants and vitamins.

- Stuff

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