dirty makeup ingredients

“Dirty” Makeup Ingredients To Avoid & “Think Dirty” App

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Makeup Ingredients To Avoid

by Heather Anderson, founder of Wildbloom Skincare

A question you may be asking yourself: Are my skincare and cosmetic products safe? With cancer, autoimmune disorders, and other health ailments a legitimate concern, we must be mindful about the skincare and makeup ingredients we are feeding our skin. After all, our skin is our body’s largest organ, and it absorbs what we put on it. 

Did you know?

In general, the FDA does *not* require pre-market approval of cosmetics or skincare products*. In addition, the term “natural” is un-regulated, which leads to many brands claiming that their products are safe when quite the contrary may be true. These loose terms should raise your eyebrow in concern.

As a safety precaution, beauty product manufacturers should require Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for every ingredient sourced. An MSDS contains safety information about the ingredient or substance including its common and scientific name(s), complete constituents, properties, characteristics, origin, usage/handling/storage requirements, and any special considerations or safety warnings.

makeup ingredients Heather
Heather Anderson

At WildBloom Skincare our lab requires an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for every ingredient that comes through the door, and we follow strict guidelines to make sure ingredients are used properly. Formulas must also be preserved to be shelf stable. While many product lines contain parabens and other harsh chemicals as preservatives, we use a mild preservative system to ensure safe and healthy stability of our products.

Here is a short list of common “dirty” skincare and makeup ingredients to avoid when choosing makeup and skincare products:

  • Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Diethanolamine (DEA)
  • Formaldehyde
  • Fragrance / Parfum
  • Hydroquinone
  • Mineral Oil / Petroleum
  • Oxybenzone (chemical sunscreens)
  • Parabens
  • PEG Compounds
  • Phthalates
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Retinol / Retinoic Acid
  • Siloxanes / Polysiloxanes (Silicone)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Triethanolamine (TEA)
  • Urea

There are many other dirty ingredients out there, coal tar dyes for example, which are commonly found in cosmetics like lipstick. Become a savvy consumer and do your research when trying a new product. And, look through your current beauty arsenal and ditch anything with a red-flag ingredient.

P.S. If you’ve been holding onto products for longer than six months, we say ditch it! As a general rule of thumb, use your products within six months of opening.

*This point does not apply to products with SPF / drug facts, as this class of products is regulated. In addition, color additives must be approved.

SIDE BAR – Helpful App

think dirty
Think Dirty App from iTunes

Think Dirty is a 5-star rated app that allows you to scan your beauty products’ bar codes and get a list of ingredients along with a “dirty” rating scale.  It also lists clean alternatives so you can easily replace makeup and skincare products that you trash.

Download Think Dirty.


4 comments on ““Dirty” Makeup Ingredients To Avoid & “Think Dirty” App

  1. Thanks for sharing that app. I can’t understand why so many people are willing to buy any product that has min eral oil or petroleum in it. They dont seem to realize that petroleum comes from the oil industry.

    1. It took me (Thea) 2 decades to figure out that petroleum in my makeup/skincare was the reason I had adult acne. It goes by a lot of sneaky names– especially as a byproduct.

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