It seems more and more of my clients and friends are developing sensitivities to eye color cosmetics, usually mascara and/or eyeliner. Have I found a mascara that is safe for all to use? No. Mascara has several problematic ingredients: shellac (maybe listed as polymer on label) in one study on contact dermatitis was found to be the key sensitizing ingredient. Another probable correlation exists with nickel allergy and mascara (and curlers). Nickel won't show up on the ingredient list because it results as an impurity in a raw material used to produce another ingredient. We know the thinner skin on our eyelids allows chemicals to go into the skin at a faster rate making contact dermatitis common around the eyes. This same article states that sweat allows chemicals to penetrate even easier. All mascaras have some kind of pigment, even the "natural" ones. That is how they darken your lashes so if you are sensitive to those you'll have a harder time. Then there is the possibility of reacting to the preservatives. Preservatives are crucial in a formulation like mascara, and even with them you need to pitch yours every three months.
1.) The more you use a product the higher the chance you will develop a sensitivity to it. This makes sense because you don't hear this as much with younger people. Do you really need to wear mascara every day? Definitely don't exercise/steam or sauna with it. Be sure to remove all of it every night. Don't be stubborn and rely on the old "I've always used this and it's always worked for me." Things change and YOU change.
2.) You won't find a mascara to move to just by shopping cleaner brands or reading labels. You'll have an easier time if you are a cosmetic chemist but most of us it will be trial and error--or trial and learn as my Dad says. Especially considering raw materials (the ingredients in the ingredients) can be big unknowns. I have an earlier post about the FDA's role in cosmetics. Use your best sleuthing skills. If you also react to your eyeliner or other product, see if you can find a common ingredient. Some brands have started carrying sample or travel sizes, so take advantage.
3.) Keep me posted on your trials. We can learn from each other and maybe (just maybe because we are all different) shortcut someone's tedious process. Meanwhile, if you can't go natural, curl those lashes to open up your eyes. If you have no nickel allergy use a metal crimper or try one of the heated models, like this one from blinc.
I love the simplicity of summer. Hair loosely fashioned on top of my head. A cute dress. No socks.
Meals are easier; fruit and vegetables abound, my husband’s running the grill and if we have a late dinner it doesn’t feel like bedtime.
I like my beauty routines to be simple as well.
These are my favorite family skincare and first aid staples.
All, except the hair towel, I retail.
Hydrosols are the water by-product from steam distilling essential oils, but they aren't just water, they are better because they contain the chemical constitutes of the plant with all of its active phytonutrients. By misting with a hydrosol after I've removed your mask I am rehydrating your skin. Following with a facial oil or moisturizer, while still damp, I am recreating the top layer of the skin, the acid mantle, which is made of of lipids (oil) and water. The acid mantle is critical to healthy skin. It is why I named my private line Mantle Skincare. I expect I'll see more dehydrated skin once it cools off outside and the heat goes on inside. Hydrosols are also in many of my facial mists I retail for home care. Take one home to add to your regime. It may be the ticket for balanced skin, boosting the results from your moisturizer and possibly allowing you to use a lighter one.
It is all natural, right? I get this question from clients and friends frequently. They know me and my history of really delving into ingredient lists; of skin products/cosmetics and food.
A couple of points to keep in mind:
Natural is a word that is difficult to define. It is not regulated by the FDA* so it holds little meaning on labels on cosmetics and food. Of course some companies hold very high standards of purity and wholeness and for them it absolutely has meaning. The job for us is to decipher who those companies are.
You can read more about high standards to which I hold my Mantle Skincare products in an earlier (6/28/2013) blog post.
It is a rare bird that cooks every thing from scratch with organic whole foods, and relies solely upon the cosmetic chemistry of her own kitchen for skin care. Even fewer allow their faces to be adorned only with color achieved by pinching their cheeks and eating berries. Most of us allow concessions for some conveniences and shortcuts when it comes to the food we eat and the products we use.
*The FDA’s site states: The FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. Furthermore the FDA has very little to do with cosmetic regulations. FD&C (Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic) Act does not authorize FDA to approve cosmetic ingredients except for color additives. FDA oversees compliance but doesn’t require approval before marketed. (The FDA regulates sunscreen, because of its classification as an over-the-counter drug.)
So “natural” has little meaning and you can’t count on the Feds to monitor the millions of ingredients that go into products for the skin. They aren’t equipped to do it. They not only are likely to make a mess of it if they tried, but also would make it very difficult for the smaller companies to make products, especially from plants because their chemistry is complex.
Notice I don’t describe things as toxic, dirty or full-of-chemicals.
I am a chemistry teacher’s daughter. Water is a chemical. Chemical is not a dirty word.
Plants are full of biologically active chemicals.
Amy Linville is an artist and esthetician that believes simple, sustainable and non-rushed daily skincare and beauty rituals are the foundation for finding comfort in your skin and looks, no matter your age.