How Natural is your Glam

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About the Author

Meet Carissa, a fashion and beauty consultant and blogger. She has a passion for fashion and everyday beauty products, and she uses her blog as a creative outlet to share what she loves. She is an Italian girl from Long Island, New York, a happily married mother with three children, and the owner of a gorgeous Golden Lab Bailey. Here, Carissa gives us a look into her passion of maintaining the naturalness and health of our beauty regime. Enjoy!

You can learn more about Carissa and checkout what she’s up to at her blog Natural Glam Girl. You can follow her instagram here.

How Natural is your Glam?

Everyone these days seems to be concerned about the things we put into our bodies. How healthy is the food we are eating? Is it organic or plant based? Are there GMO or additives?

But what about the things we put ON our bodies? Our skin is our largest organ and just as important to protect from harmful chemicals. My name is Carissa and I started a lifestyle blog, Natural Glam Girl, inspired by my passion for natural products.

The concept of Natural Glam Girl came about as I have loved using makeup and beauty products for as long as I can remember. I was however, concerned about the toxins and other chemicals that can be found in an industry that is so large yet under-regulated. I have a passion for glam but was on a quest to keep it as natural as possible, hence the start of Natural Glam Girl. I have to be completely honest, this does not mean all my beauty products are “clean”. There are different levels of what is considered a “clean” product and I do still use some cosmetics that are not toxin free. Personally, I have limited or converted a majority of my beauty regimen to incorporate products that with a reduced amount of toxins as well as chemicals to create for myself a safer beauty routine. In this article, I will share the top four most common and harmful toxic additives to avoid as well as a proposed solution, all the while telling you a little about my own journey for healthy, natural products.

Consulting for Natural Products

Last year, my quest to find a cleaner beauty regime led me to become a consultant for a direct selling company:

The skincare products, based on botanical principals, came to fruition in the United States in 1980 and are now shared throughout the world by a growing network of Consultants… For 40 years, they’ve been on a mission to create clean, plant-based products while working to leave a lighter environmental footprint.

I absolutely love building a business and getting paid to share a makeup and skincare line that is environmentally friendly, non-GMO, and made with botanically based ingredients. However, when I first joined I hated the idea of network marketing. I was worried what my friends and family would think.However, I decided that what I put on my skin was important and I wanted to share these amazing products with others. I am currently in the process of building a team of individuals with a similar passion of creating their own business and getting paid to recommend and sell products while educating others on the importance of harmful chemicals.

So… what are the harmful ingredients in beauty products that you shouldn’t be putting on your skin?

There are many harmful additives in the beauty industry. Most are harmful by the same decree: they are either definitive carcinogens or likely carcinogens, and their long term usage causes negative health effects. The more common additives that are found in beauty products are the follows:


Why are they put in products?
Parabens are a synthetic, inexpensive preservative. They create a longterm shelf life by preventing the mold and bacteria growth.

Their harm:
Parabens penetrate your skin and will integrate and join with skin tissue. Once inside tissue, they mimick oestrogen and disrupt hormone function. Having too much oestrogen in your body can trigger an increase in breast cell division and tumour growths. Parabens have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues.


Why are they put in products?
They are an inexpensive chemical used to create lather–they are in your soaps, washes, and your shampoos.

Their harm:
Sulfates are a common ingredient in many compounds, and, especially if used over long periods of time, they can irritate eyes, skin, and lungs. Because they are so compoundable, they are easily contaminated and proved to be carcinogenic to animals. The contamination regularly occurs during the manufacturing process.


Why are they put in products?
Formaldehydes are another preservative used to extend shelf-life of beauty products. They are usually found in hair and straightening products.

Their harm:
Formaldehyde is the subject of more extensive studies because it is known to be a carcinogenic chemical. The short term effects of formaldehyde are watery eyes; skin irritation; coughing; a burning sensation in eyes, nose, and throat; and general respiratory difficulties. People’s sensitivity to formaldehyde can vary. The long term effects are an increased risk of leukemia, brain cancer, and lung cancer. These products are concerning.


Why are they put in products?
Talc absorbs moisture, smooths or softens products, prevents caking, and makes makeup opaque. It can be found in baby powder, body and shower products, lotions, feminine hygiene products, eyeshadow, foundation, lipstick, deodorants and face masks.

Their harm:
Talc is banned in the EU because of the lengthy list of harms associated with this ingredient. Talc is linked to endometrial and ovarian cancer. Talc is associated with mesothelioma, a condition involving tumuor growth on the linings of organs such as the lungs, stomach, and heart. Talc elevates lung burden and can cause respiratory distress. Its inhalation can interfere with the mechanisms that clean and heal inflammation in the lungs and therefore can lead to lung cancer. Talc can be contaminated by Asbestos. Asbestos is a fiberous molecule, easily released into the air, whose particles cannot be broken down by the human body. Because the body cannot destroy these particles, they lodge themselves into lung, skin, and organ tissue. Asbestos causes Asbestosis, Lung Cancer, and Mesothelioma.

FDA Regulations

Aren’t there regulations in place to make sure products on the shelf won’t cause us damage?
You may be surprised to learn that the FDA does not have a more active roll in the regulation of cosmetics.
Here is a summary of the FDA’s quite limited involvement with the cosmetic industry:
  • Under the law cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA premarket approval (with the exception of color additives).
  • The FDA does require cosmetics to have an ingredient declaration.
  • FDA regulated does not mean FDA approved.
  • The strictest FDA cosmetic regulation is that of alteration or misbranding.
  • The FDA does not recall products, that is the responsibility of the company.
  • Individual companies are responsible for the safety and testing of their products.
Here’s a link with an informative Q&A that further describes the FDA’s authority over cosmetics.

How to make sure your glam is natural!!

While this entire topic is concerning and alarming, I have found a way to make sure your glam is natural, or at least more natural.

In my research, which includes watching Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s (one of my guilty pleasures), I watched an episode in which the Environmental Working Group, the EWG, appears on the show. The EWG discussed downloading their app which lets you check the safety of household cleaners and beauty products. Being a good researcher (and a dedicated KUWTK watcher), I downloaded the EWG app and started scanning the products in my home. The EWG checks products using their databases and ratings. Not everything in my cabinet was listed when I scanned it, but there were a good amount of products which were in the EWG database and did have ratings. Actually, I was very happy to find that a lot of my household and beauty items received good ratings! I went around scanning my entire house; it was kind of addicting! I highly recommend downloading the app to learn more about the products you are putting on your skin, or just looking up your products on the internet to get informed.

While the app is a quick way to check what products you have already bought, learning about what ingredients you should avoid buying or making a commitment to buy from companies who advertise safe and as preservative-free products is also a great thing to do. I am very passionate about this topic and I applaud the companies that take an active interest in providing safe and effective options. In a market that is growing by the billions, it would be great to see more progress made towards removing harmful ingredients and providing safer choices for the things we put on our bodies.

“My goal is to bring awareness regarding the beauty industry and the potentially harmful ingredients that are being used. It is a reminder that we as women are our own best health advocates and need to take a proactive approach when selecting our personal care products.”

You can learn more about Carissa and check out the great things she’s up to at her blog, Natural Glam Girl. You can also follow her on Instagram here.

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