Beauty is only skin deep. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You are what you eat. We've all heard these sayings before. But you may not have heard this one: You are what your skin eats. What?!?! Over the period of one year, over four pounds of cosmetics can be absorbed through the skin of someone who wears makeup every day. Your skin is literally eating (or absorbing) your makeup and becoming part of you! And, with that, one could almost argue that going makeup-free would be a sure-bet weight loss plan. But that's not what this is about.
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, we all want to look good for our special somebodies, or somebodies-to-be. And, most of us admittedly need a little "help" in putting our best face forward. But why cake on synthetic makeup made with all sorts of unrecognizable or unpronounceable things like cochineal extract (ground up beetle skins to you and me) or preservatives or plasticizers like parabens or phthalates?
There are far more kinder, gentler, and more natural ways of enhancing your best features than applying a chemistry set to your face every day. Luckily for us, there's a group already on the lookout to help us sort all of this out. They are called The Environmental Working Group and they have a database called Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database which has a host of information about what products are safest (freest of nasty chemicals) and which ones should be avoided entirely. You can key in any ingredient and find out just how good (or bad) it is for you. Or, you can go "shopping" and choose your own criteria for products you'd like to see.
If after you've read through the ingredients list on your cosmetics and have become completely disgusted, do not fear. You do not have to venture out makeup free! There are ways to make your own beauty-enhancing products. One of my family members has given up conventional soap altogether and uses a mixture of olive oil, honey and lemon on her skin and swears by it. There are also recipes and websites out there for homemade skin care and makeup products. A good source of information is Better Basics for the Home, by Annie B. Bond. And, I am sure any Google search for homemade cosmetics (or the like) will return a bunch of fun recipes to try!
As you prepare for Valentine's Day, or even if you think Valentine's Day is a bunch of hooey, do yourself and the earth a favor by learning more about what is in your makeup and how to make safer cosmetics choices.