Green lipstick probably isn’t going to
be spring’s newest look. But green makeup – as in ecologically
sustainable, earth-friendly makeup – is definitely in. More than a
passing trend, it’s a movement toward ethical and eco-friendly
products that beautify your face without damaging the environment.
Unfortunately, life after L’Oreal can
get a little complicated. With so many products labeled ‘natural’ or
‘organic’ or ‘eco-friendly,’ it’s hard to know where to begin. These
are a few of the labels you’re likely to see, what they mean, and
how you can use them to make better decisions that benefit both you
and the Earth.
Organic crops are produced without
pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or genetic modification. But
beware products that claim to be organic: unless that claim is USDA
Certified Organic, the glossy ‘organic’ lipstick you’re tempted by
could contain as few as one organic ingredient. The green and white
USDA label guarantees that the ingredients in your product are 95%
For many people, being green also
includes being kind to the other animals that share the planet with
us. Cruelty-free products (look for the Leaping Bunny or PETA
symbol) are developed without being tested on animals. Vegetarian
cosmetics may contain ingredients like beeswax, honey, or milk;
vegan cosmetics contain no animal products at all. Watch out for
ingredients like stearic acid (usually derived from cow or sheep
fat), oleyl alcohol (inedible beef fat), and carmine (red dye made
from crushed beetles and frequently found even in ‘natural’
When in doubt, go for the makeup with
the most eco-friendly packaging – recyclable, recycled, minimal, or
Cargo Cosmetics pioneered
the biodegradable lipstick: PlantLove Botanical Lipstick is not only
made with eco-friendly ingredients, it also comes in a biodegradable
Finally, here a few things to avoid on
your next makeup shopping spree:
Things you can’t pronounce.
Synthetic chemicals tend to have long, complicated names.
Natural ingredients don’t. For example, Burt’s Bees’ Beeswax lip
balm contains: beeswax, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil,
peppermint oil, vitamin E, lanolin, comfrey root extract and
rosemary leaf oil. Many synthetic ingredients, including
parabens (preservatives), sodium laureth/ lauryl sulfate
(foaming agent), and pthalates (binders) range from mildly toxic
to potentially carcinogenic.
ingredients. Not only are fossil fuels a non-renewable resource,
they don’t absorb into your skin. Choose a plant-based oil
instead, such as jojoba, coconut, or sunflower oil.
The labels ‘pure’ and ‘all-natural’
– unless the ingredients and a USDA organic tag back it up!
These labels are not regulated.
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