There’s a variety of cosmetic products available on the market for every skin type. Products have different formulas and ingredients; what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. Many products available at the drugstore contain harmful ingredients that irritate the skin and can cause many future problems. In order to know which products are best for you, you should know the different types of makeup and how they’re used:
Primer: applied under foundation for a smooth, even base. It also helps minimise the appearance of pores and controls oily skin. A good primer will keep your makeup in place all day.
Foundation: used for evening out the skin tone and covering imperfections. It creates a smooth base under all other makeup. There are many foundations available for every skin type, from matte to hydrating formulas. The coverage of foundations can also be either more natural or full coverage.
Concealer: it conceals blemishes, redness, dark spots and under eye bags. It can come in a cream or liquid formula. Liquid formulas are mostly for the under eye area, while cream, thick formulas are meant for problematic blemishes.
Powder: used for setting face products in place. It can come in a loose or pressed form. Powder can also for many different purposes: highlighting, mattifying or brightening. It gives the skin a blurred effect.
Blush: used to give the cheeks some colour and glow. It provides a youthful, healthy look and usually comes in pink and peach colours.
Bronzer: warms up the complexion and gives the skin a glow. It comes in tan, warmer colours and can also be used all over the body.
Highlighter: enhances the high points of the face and gives a glass-like skin effect. It softens facial features and is applied to the tops of cheekbones, the nose, sides of the forehead and the cupid’s bow.
Eyeshadow: it comes in hundreds of colours and formulas and is applied onto the eyelids. It brings out your eye shape and eye colour. You can create any look you imagine with eyeshadow. Rainbow ombre look? No problem.
Mascara: thickens and elongates eyelashes. Tiny fibres are applied onto lashes with the mascara wand. Mascara opens up the eyes and defines them.
Eyeliner: defines and shapes the eyes. It’s mostly used for a cat eye or to open up the eyes. It usually comes in black, but can be found in other colours.
Lipstick: the finishing touch to a makeup look. Lipstick can come in different formulas and finishes (matte, sheer, creamy). The iconic red lipstick has been around for decades and continues to be popular.
Lip gloss: it is used just like lipstick, the only difference is that always gives a glossy finish. It makes lips appear fuller and more prominent.
Cosmetics contain a lot of unnecessary chemicals, preservatives and toxic ingredients that can damage the skin. It’s important to note that your skin is the body’s biggest organ and should be taken care of just like any other part of your body. There are many ingredients you should always avoid when looking at products. Here a few:
- Triclosan: a wide-spectrum antimicrobial agent that is believed to penetrate through the skin and is an endocrine disruptor which affects hormone function. It’s known to decrease thyroid hormone concentrations.
- Parabens: these preservatives are used to prevent the growth of bacteria in makeup. After the skin absorbs them, they’re transmitted into the bloodstream and can even cause breast cancer or early puberty.
- Heavy metals: nickel and chrome can be found in darker makeup products, especially green and metallic coloured ones. They are extremely toxic and have been linked to lung cancer and brain damage.
- Carbon black: a powdery substance that can be found in eye products. It’s also linked to cancer and organ system toxicity.
- BAK: typically found in eye products such as mascara. It’s toxic to the epithelial cells of the eyes.
- Synthetic fragrances: they’re commonly used in cosmetic and skincare products. Some side-effects of these substances are rashes, coughing, skin sensitivity, asthma attacks, dermatitis and migraines.
- Ethanolamine compounds: they contain chemicals called nitrosamines that have been linked to cancer. Try to look for the letters TEA, DEA and MEA in ingredients and avoid them.
- Retinyl acetate: a form of vitamin A that has been linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.
Avoiding these toxic ingredients can be simple. Switch to organic brands that use only safe and natural ingredients.
Our favourite brands:
This brand stands for simple, multipurpose beauty products with clean formulas. No products contain gluten, sulfates or parabens and are filled with beneficial ingredients such as aloe and botanicals. Your skin will feel luxurious, nourished and all around amazing after using their products.
These cosmetics are made with organic, raw ingredients that moisturise and illuminate the skin. All of the products are non-toxic and actually help heal the skin. Their concealer is extremely popular amongst makeup users!
A high-quality brand that uses only plant-derived ingredients in their products. They are perfect for your skin and are also super affordable. Their biggest goal is to completely replace toxic ingredients with natural ones that work with every single skin type. Let’s not forget that they’re cruelty-free, eco-friendly and always offer samples.
A gluten-free makeup brand that offers many organic cosmetics that contain only pure, natural ingredients. They are great for those with sensitive skin or acne-prone types thanks to their delicate formulas. All products are uniquely blended with natural minerals and pigments. They’re gluten-free, soy-free, cruelty-free and fair trade as well as vegan.
This brand’s founder believes that makeup can be made fresh, without parabens, animal products, synthetics or other harmful ingredients and still work well. Each ingredient in every product has been scrutinised before being included into a formulation, only those who are ethically sound, factually healthy & naturally sourced make the final cut. Au Naturale cosmetics is both a brand and a good cause serving as physical evidence to the consumer that cleaner beauty is possible. It’s vegan, organic, paraben free and ethical makeup.
They focus on creating pure, organic products with bio-active botanicals that are nourishing for the skin. They specialise in lipsticks, eyeshadows and other multi-use products. One of their well-known powders is the Fade Into You powder that feels extraordinarily silky and soft on the skin. It contains passion fruit and aloe leaf. Their shadows are pigmented and easy to blend.
A brand that stands for minimalism and natural, cruelty-free ingredients. Their products naturally soothe your skin while also covering your blemishes and creating a smooth complexion. They’re affordable and offer versatile products that can be used for various purposes. Their multi-cream stick can be used as a blush, lipstick or eyeshadow.
This brand takes special care to make sure that their ingredients are certified organic so that no toxins, pesticides, synthetics, or fertilisers make it into its products. Each product is packed with antioxidants and concentrated skin-care benefits without fillers of water or petroleum. Many people love the Juice Boost Illuminator + Bronzer Duo that contains finely micronised shimmer particles that add the perfect amount of highlighter. It can be used on the cupid’s bow, cheeks, inner eye corners, lids, shoulders and bridge of the nose. All of their products are multipurpose and universal.
Beautycounter has something called “The Never List” which is a database of over 1,500 harmful ingredients that they will never formulate with. They’re also continually advocating for stricter guidelines and regulatory laws within the beauty industry. Their Velvet Eyeshadow Palettes are fantastic and contain all the essential neutrals with a few sparkly shadows.
Nude by nature
Nude by Nature create products with 100% natural ingredients and zero synthetic ingredients or preservatives often found in cosmetics such as silicone, siloxanes, phthalates, sulphate, PEGS, triclosan, phenoxyethanol or parabens. Every single ingredient of their products has been carefully selected to deliver amazing results, including some of nature’s best ingredients that have moisturising, anti-aging and skin nourishing benefits to help keep the skin looking flawless. Nude by Nature is always delivers 100% naturally derived and cruelty-free make-up.
This brand manufactures products with only natural ingredients and uses minimal processing, such as distillation, condensation, extraction, steamed distillation, pressure cooking, and hydrolysis, to maintain the purity of ingredients. Every single product has a “natural bar” which gives a percentage of natural ingredients in that product and includes a detailed description. Burt’s Bees products are 99% natural with over half of the products 100% natural. Their formulations support your skin with the nutrients it needs and help you put your best skin forward.
As you can see, there are so many organic makeup brands to choose from. Organic makeup is generally richer in nutrients and contains more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Better ingredients mean better results. People with sensitive skin can benefit the most from organic beauty products that contain high-quality ingredients that won’t aggravate, irritate or worsen the skin.