Sunday, 20 January 2013

Safe and Clean Cosmetics.

When I recently came across an oppurtunity to write a beauty article on Safe and Clean cosmetics, I jumped at the chance. The main purpose of the article was to feature the use of make up and its benefits as well as safe and clean cosmetics. Take a read below for an in depth review of the topics asked. Be warned though, its a little long winded, you may need a coffee or two!
What are your thoughts about the benefits of make up?  How would you describe your attitude towards cosmetics, beauty products etc?
Like most women, I swear by make up and refuse to leave the house without it on. It is a fundamental part of my daily routine and I definately feel more confident with it on. I can safely say, its the probably the area where I spend the most amount of my money on, and sadly, shoes and clothes do not fascinate me as much.
On the contrary, I know several girls that refuse to wear even the slightest amount no matter what the occasion and yet they still appear to be confident and content. Perhaps it a pychological matter, whatever the reasons, it is definately an area that deserves some interest and debate.
I have always believed that there are several advantages to wearing make up and using cosmetic products, as well as very few disadvantages, however clearly. these can differ from person to person as well as several other factors.
There was once a time where make up consisted of just one shade of lipstick, a few strokes of mascara and talc powder. It was thick and heavy and often clogged pores. It was worn if women wanted to dress up and attend weddings and parties. Whilst this still remains the case today, there seems to be a whole new concept about when, how and why it is worn. The apllication of make up today comes as second nature to most including myself. It takes as little as five minutes in the morning to apply make up to create the desired look of the day, including natural barely there office look, to the smokey, Arabic inspired eyes for the evening, by just using minimal products.
What are the benefits? Well, I find there are several. Make up is fundamentally worn to cover minor skin conditions and blemishes, enhance appearances and facial features such as the plumping of lips or slimming down a nose using contouring techniques (if worn correctly) as well as making the wearer look and feel good and confident with the way they are presenting themselves to the world. And lets face it, when you look good, you feel good.
Today, most conventional make up contain vitamin A, C and E, sun filters,  minerals as well as anti allergic substances to meet the demands of women that are generallly concerned for their skin and health. Mineral make up is also the best solution for women that have senstive skin and those that suffer from acne. For instance, a friend of mine often suffers from adult acne and flare ups due to stress, after reccomending the Bare Minerals range to her, she finds less skin flare ups as well as no irration to her acne. She also reported that she finds it light and smooth on her skin and find  it does not clog up her pores like most products she has tried in the past.
The most recent advantage I have found with make up and its usage is the fact that more affordable professional drugstore brands such as MUA Professional cosmetics are now mimicking the more higher end brands in terms of their product lines, I suppose its a liitle like Primark Vs River Island. As a mother of two myself, I feel this is ideal for mums or those that are on a budget but still want to keep up to date with the latest key trends.
MUA sold online and at larger Superdrug Stores, has now  become one of my favourite affordable drugstore brands. The range includes, eye and face primers, their own range of make up brushes, make up trolleys, face mists as well as a large range of eye, lips, face and nail products all at quality affordable prices. Their best selling £4 Heaven and Earth eyeshadow pallette is often considered as a dupe for Urban Decays Naked pallette, (Retailed at £32), whilst the quality of both the products are not 100% identical, MUA’s pallette offer similar shades and results. A review of Heaven and Earth by MUA, written by myself,  can be found here.
I  suppose you could say, we really are spolit for choice. Today, there are so many cosmetic and make up products to choose from it can sometimes get a little overwhelming.
Whats more, with a multi billion pound industry and aggressive advertising by all the big names, I suppose the only disadvantage is not  knowing the right product for you and your skin type considering it is so easy to harm your skin just by unknowingly using the wrong product. It can also become a tedious endless cycle in trying to conceal and cure blemishes and flaws until the right product is found. Furthermore, keeping with with the latest make up and beauty trends and regularly purchasing products can also prove to be quite costly.
Do you think we know enough about the ingriedients in cosmetics?
 Unlike the ingriedients in food, I do not think there is a big emphasis on the ingriedients in cosmetics and it is not something that is often considered as much, even though they can come from a variety of sources, some are even unexpected. Sadly, I do not think there is even much demand or awareness for the ingriedients in many of the products we use in our day to day lives and if there is, it is from a very small percent of the population.
The truth is, there are many companies that are often reluctant to disclose any information about what their products contain, yet there definately need to be more of a demand for information on ingriedients so that many of the companies may start to provide us with it more frequently and upon request.
For example, how many people are actually aware of what parabens are and why we should avoid them? What exactly are they?
Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives and are found in a large variety of products such as shampoos, commercial moisterisers, toothpaste, gels, cleansing gels, personal lubricants as well as additives in food. So that means that a a large percenatge of products we use on a day to day basis contains paraben and it is certainly difficult to find products that are paraben free. Their main purpose is to fight fungus and bacteria and cost little to manufacture. Unfortunately, nearly all of the parabens used as preservatives are man made and not natural occurents.
So why should they be avoided?
Now, before we get a little too carried away, upon carrying out a little research, I have come to realise that studies have been carried out in favour and against parabens and whether they are safe or not. The alarming piece of study carried out was that parabens have been potentially linked to cancer, this piece of information is obviously enough to make you want to avoid the use of paraben when and where possible as a precautionary route. Needless to say, the safety of the health and body must always be put first.  Furthermore, paraben has also been known to play a role in the development of breast cancer, since it mimics the estrogen hormone, according to some sources, researchers have been known to find paraben in breast tumors and have concluded there to be a relationship between parabens and tumors, another reason why it should be avoided at all costs.
I suppose the jury is still out on this one and whether parabens are dangerous or not i guess is up to the individual themselves but, if a link between chemicals and cancer is not enough for people to avoid paraben then i dont know what is. I have now started to find alternative products to the ones that contain paraben. All i know is that it is better to be safe than sorry.
How would you describe your attitude with choosing and buying cosmetics.
For the majority of my teenage years, I was often heavilly influenced by magazine and television advertising of the latest lotions and potions on the market. My cupboard was a make up junkie filled stash of all the latest creams, hair products, make up and so on and working part time in Superdrug Stores PLC with their frequent in store promotions didnt help matters!
In regards to make up and cosmetics, I often believed that the more you had, the better it was. Cheap make up didnt bother me, neither did cheap creams and hair products, seeing a cupboard full of the stuff made me happy and whilst my friends often spent on clothes and shoes, I splashed out on beauty items. I was like a little girl in a sweet shop.
However; this is not the case today. Today, being a little older and wiser,I have headed more towards the natural, organic products , even with food and find browsing around in a health food shop rather pleasant. It is definately more about quality than quantity and id much rather have fewer expensive quality natural products than a cupboard full of everything and anything.
I am definately more sceptical about what I use on my skin particularly after reading several horror stories in newspapers and magazines, cases with lanolin, paraben and coma horror stories with hair dye chemicals.This is exactly why an allergy test must always be carried out as per instructions.
I dont  think many realise the harmful effects of some of the ingriedients found, even something simple as passive smoking or using cleaning detergents in our day to day lives can have harmful effects on our skin. This of course can only be brought to our attention on closer inspection of our skins through mapping and analysing done by a skin specialist. The question is though, how many consumers are actually concerned? How many are willing to change their buying habits? Sadly, the answer is not many.
 I have come to realise that the heavilly perfumed face creams such as Chanel and Dior will in time do my skin more harm than good. Whats more, they are so heavilly perfumed that when applied near the skin of my eyes, it it irritates them that I no longer purchase them and instead, opt for the natural, alcohol and perfume free brands even though they may cost just a tiny bit more and take just a little more time to find.
What do you think? Do you think it is important to be aware? Do you think there are good products out there?
It is the right of us as consumers to be aware of and question any ingreidrients that are in our products.
The question is however, just how much are the companies willing to disclose to us, are they prepared to disclose anything at all? This is of course at their own discretion.
As a former Avon Rep, I still from time to time, purchase some of their catalougue items. In the past recent months, there appeared to be a big hype on Argan Oil and its benefits. Now, I wont bore you with all the details of Argan oil and all the good things it can do for your hair, but on purchasing a bottle of Avons Morrocan Argan Oil,  I came to realise that the product did not contain much Argan Oil, in fact it appeared 13th on the list of ingriedients. Upon contacting Avon, they notified me that the product has been ‘sourced responsibly’. So what about the Berber women that form as part of the farm that harvests the oil? They each take some form of percentageto build back into their community now, if this was the case and the product did contain Argan oil  then why are the Berber women not driving around in prestigious cars or carrying designer handbags? Does it not make you wonder? Are Avon delibrately misleading their consumers so that the can cash in on all the current hype?
Yet, there are good and genuine  products out there but a little knowlegde and reserach before making a purchase wouldnt go amiss. Although, I am not much of a fan of their make up range, The Body Shop are and always have been passionately against animal testing in their cosmetics and they claim all their products are BUAV certified, complying with their Humane Cosmetics Standards so we can be assured, all their products are cruelty free. And another way to feel good is to do good according to them. Working alongside charities, campaigning on the defending of human rights, generating awareness of AIDS and HIV, protecting the planet and so on.
Upon my latest desire to use more natural and safe skin friendly products, I came across a UK based company called Rose Link. The main products they offer are a Hello Glow Whitening Plus Facial Polish which I recently sampled in return for a product review. Rose Link claim that the product is 100% natural, preservatives free and contain nothing but Rice powder, Coconut Milk powder, Honey powder, Milk powder and Potato starch.  And the results? Well it definitely does what it says on the tin, it instantly brightens and cleanses the skin, and my skin has never looked and felt better. This is just after 2 weeks of using the product and I will definitely be going back for more. And being 100% natural means that I know my skin is not being harmed.
In addition to this, as a Glossybox subscriber, I also came across a brand called Duck Island and their Mandarin and Bergamot range. Having never heard of it, I was eager to try it out and look into it further. It comprises of infused natures extracts. Duck Island is a luxury hand and body lotion range and is the first very few products I have discovered recently that is paraben and mineral oil free. Their packaging is also all recyclable.
What do you think?
There is definately more to beauty than just cosmetics and make up. I have always firmly believed that beauty starts from within and what you put in is what you get out, the more goodness we put into our body, the more our skin, hair, nails and general well being will reward us for it.
There is no doubt that the best thing for our skin, hair and nails is 6-8 glasses of water per day, (more if you exercise) plenty of fresh fruit and veg, exercise as well as adequate sleep. No amount of make up or cosmetics will provide similar results and vitality. Cosmetics are just enhancers that will produce quick and short term results but no real long term benefits. Of course, there are a large variety of products on the market for every beauty needs and wants, serums and creams to cure puffiness and dark circles, a wide range of products that claim to produce smooth glowing skins, treatments for thick and shiny hair, are these all just heavilly advertised in a bid to lure consumers in  and part with their cash? Does the use of imagery play a part with the insecurities and lack of self esteem in women?
What happened to natural homemade remedies? Chances are sufficient B vitamins, sillica and Zinc as well as Iron found in green leafy vegetables will prove to be more beneficial and gurantee the results desired, possibly at a much faster rate too. Of course, the real bonus would be to use these products alongside living a healthy lifestyle.
There is also often a misconception that hair, skin and nail supplements such as Perfectil will produce a full thick head of hair, a clear complexion and long britttle free nails, I suppose some would even find it a little misleading, however what they do not realise is that it only aids in maintaining it by providing vital nutrients that our diets may lack. It is definately not a substiutute for food and therefore is advised to be taken in conjuction with a balanced diet.
Similarly, with weight loss supplements such as Thermatrim, Raspberry Ketone etc, yes there has proven to be many sucess stories of weight loss in minimal time as possible, however do we really know the long time effects of using these? Have adequate research been carried out to see if our vital organs such as the liver and kidneys be affected with prolonged use.
Seeing as its the new year, I have set myself a small goal to be more knowlegable of the several alternatives available to my usual lotions and potions. Too add to this, I have found that pure green tea contain a much higher amount of antioxidants than my moisteriser and women of the Chinese and Japanese origin have been known to swear by it. The added bonus? It is not as foul tasting as I anticipated it to be but best of all, it is also aids in the digestion and burning of calories of food consumed, hence a good aid in weight loss and management with zero reported side effects and doesnt necesarilly cost the earth.
It is true what they say. True beauty stems from confidence, vitality and inner wellbeing.

No comments:

Post a Comment