I am not a beauty guru, let me make that clear. However, my sister is quite skilled at makeup and I’ve tried to pick up a few of her tricks. Sometimes my makeup looks decent, but it’s always coated with the wrong color of foundation and a bit too much eyeliner. I realized that the products I was using on were damaging my eyes and skin. For some reason, I thought everyone’s eyes turned red and became itchy when they wore makeup!
Obviously, that’s false. I learned that I’m allergic to most makeup products. Thus, began my search for healthy products to slather on my face.
The majority of drugstore and high-end makeup products are composed of extremely toxic chemicals. We’ve all heard the phrase: “if you can’t read the label, don’t eat/drink/ put it in/on your body” and we all ignore that while chugging a Coca-Cola or pounding a bag of chips while watching the Office. But truly, the things we put on our face daily are full of really harmful ingredients.
Ophthalmologist Shalini Sood-Mendiratta, MD, raises the point that ingredients such as kohl contain traces of lead inside of it. Other harmful substances that occupy our products include BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), urea, sulfates, and phthalates. Sood-Mendiratta also reminds makeup wearers to be careful around the eyes especially with eyeliner, since applying the product directly to the waterline can block the oil glands that send oil to protect the cornea.
Clearly, we need to take a step back and really analyze what we are putting on our faces every day. I have a few product and brand suggestions that might help you protect your skin and eyes.
- Almay.) This is my go to brand. Their products ingredients are written clearly on the label and are specially made to be hypoallergenic. My eyes are never irritated when I wear and remove their products. What I really enjoy about Almay is that they cater their eye products to individual eye colors and skin tones. The eyeshadows are sheer and can be found in small individuals or in a trio full eye set.The concealers are brightening and strong, fighting the breakouts and covering up dark circles without ruining the fragile skin beneath your eyes. Unfortunately, Almay is not a cruelty-free brand. However, their products have worked for me.
- Lush.) I’m sure no one is surprised that this brand is on the list. Lush is known for their healthy (and vegan) ingredients. As a daily cleanser, I use “Dark Angels” which is a charcoal wash, targeted towards blackheads. It works wonderfully for me and comes in a decently large quantity for how much you pay. The “Charity Pot” is also a great buy, especially for stress hives or allergic reactions on your neck, chest, and face.
- Mario Badescu.) I recommend using Mario Badescu products for oily to normal skin. First off, the enzyme cleansing gel is a gentle wash that removes oil but doesn’t dry the skin up so that you don’t look like a flakey crumbling pastry. The aloe moisturizer is a gift from the gods with sunscreen in its concoction. The rose spray is also a great toner or moisturizer if you don’t want to use a heavy night cream. The strawberry scrub is a beautifully smelling scrub that I use once or twice a week to revive my skin. This brand is cruelty-free.
- Coconut Oil.) I recommend using coconut oil as a makeup remover! Go to Costco and buy as much coconut oil as you can. It is nature’s gift to the world and can be used in many ways, from cooking with it to bathing in it. At night, I take a little bit of oil and gently wipe it on my eyelids and lashes, moving it around in a circular motion. Next, I take a clean cotton ball and wipe once or twice. The makeup glides right off and I don’t have to spend time rubbing my eyes with makeup wipes that pull my lashes off and infuriate my skin.
- Apple Cider Vinegar.) This is a great toner for the night, helping disinfect your face while evening out red spots.
Bonus: This is not a product, but this is a hypoallergenic tip. Wash your brushes! You’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again now. Washing the brushes that you put on your face regularly is a must. Bacteria builds and builds on the moisture from your eyes or the moisture from a wet foundation. Not cleaning the brushes will result in the spread of more bacteria that will clog your pores, and possibly grant your eyes an infection.
All in all, here are the hypoallergenic products and brands that work for me. I’m not promising all of these will work for you since everyone is different. One last piece of advice is to be patient. All of these products won’t magically cure your skin or make your eyes less damaged. It might take weeks or months for you to see a difference in the way your skin reacts to new products, so just be calm and conscious of what is going on in that pretty face of yours.