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Beauty Products in Three Parts, Pt. 2: What's On My Face

You heard me! What's on there!? As it turns out, a clever mix of a bunch of products because I'm 23 and scared of aging but not scared enough to wear SPF. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Moving right along from the Part 1 of this Beauty Products saga, I'm now curious to know what exactly I'm putting on my face. What chemicals? And what's the process to make those chemicals (and do they harm the environment)? Which ones are the bad ones? How can I avoid them? All this and more if you stick around!

What you're looking at is most of the facial products I own. I'm not including any makeup besides foundation (because that's that all over coverage, baby). I definitely don't use ALL these products every single day, but I have used all of them at some point in the last month.

So here's the list (from left to right-ish):

Neutrogena Make-Up Remover Cleansing Towlettes

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Daily Face Cream Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation

Burt's Bees Herbal Blemish Stick

Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser

Fenty Beauty Foundation

Glossier Super Bounce Serum

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

GlamGlow SuperMud

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream

Clinique Acne + Line Correcting Serum

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen (there's the SPF!)

Let's start with the chemicals

In the research for my last post, I came across an ingredient called Oxybenzone, an ingredient found in a lot of sunscreens. It's rated an 8 (out of 10) on Skin Deep's Overall Hazard Scale, and is said to cause endocrine disruption, biochemical or cellular level changes, and other things you can sus out for yourself, I'm no doctor. I mean, the concern regarding this one chemical is high enough that Japan has restricted it in a lot of its cosmetics. It's just not good people. And beyond the damage it does to humans who use it, it's toxic to wildlife and the environment.

Current products that contain oxybenzone include Aquaphor Lip Protectant, Banana Boat sunscreens and some (not all and not my products from the brand) Aveeno Moisturizers. So if this ingredient poses serious concerns to our bodies and our planet, what other chemicals are out there in beauty products that are Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad?

Boy, this is a lot of work. Feel free to skip the indented paragraphs if you don't care for science or the cold hard truth.

Cyclopentasiloxane (D5), a silicone, found in: Neutrogena makeup wipes, Tarte foundation

This silicone is used as a conditioner in many beauty products, and it's pretty common. It's an agent in cosmetics that makes your face feel silky and dewey. An EU report in 2015 requested more info on the silicone and it's adverse effects on the environment (primarily marine life). The Environmental Working Group found D5 in 1 of every 7 products in their database. The chemical itself resists degradation in the environment and has the potential to pose long-term risks to our planet. All of this info was from a Canadian study, as the EPA has not yet assessed this chemical in cosmetics. California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) found that D5 increased uterine tumors in animals.

Dimethicone, a silicone-based polymer, found in: Clinique serum, Glossier superbounce, First Aid Beauty moisturizer, Jergens moisturizer, Tarte foundation, Fenty foundation, Fresh face cream

I mean wow. This thing is in everything isn't it? Most forums say it actually traps all the oils in your skin and is ultimately bad for your skin over time, which is probably why it's found in moisturizers. Personally, I have not broken out more after using any of these products. It's only rated a 3 on the Skin Deep hazard scale, meaning it's safe for cosmetic use. HOWEVER, Canadian research shows it's an environmental toxin because it's non-biodegradable and harms the environment during the manufacturing process and the disposable process as it sinks into sediments and soils after washing down the drain.

**According to CV SkinLabs silicones/siloxanes in general have been found in fish and aquatic life in Nordic countries from research conducted there. They were also found accumulated in aquatic life higher up the food chain from Lake Erie and Lake Pepin**

Fragrance, found in: um, everything

This shouldn't be too too shocking, but synthetic fragrances are no good for the planet. I mean they smell great, they're doing a great job at that one thing, but they end up seeping into rivers and oceans and can prevent some organisms' ability to protect itself from other toxins. They don't break down and are beginning to be found in the fatty tissue of some animals.

What now?

Realistically, I want to be the person that is hyper-aware of all the products I buy. It's a little disappointing how many products I use regularly that are not super great. I was specifically bummed about Tarte, which boasts itself as a natural brand.

It doesn't stop with the three chemicals I named, by the way, there's just such limited data on the rest, and it would take me 1000 more words to get into the thick of it. A lot of Canadian journals openly criticize EPA and the FDA for not devoting resources to learning more about these ingredients.

Here's the deal. I'm not gonna stop using these products cold turkey because I think that would actually be more wasteful? I already bought it, you know? But when the time comes for me to get more moisturizer or foundation or cleanser, I am now armed with the knowledge of what to look out for. That feels pretty good.

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