Why Safer Makeup Matters: Heavy Metals, Hormone Disruption and Other Things They're Not Telling You | Flourish Blog

Why Safer Makeup Matters: Heavy Metals, Hormone Disruption and Other Things They’re Not Telling You



Why Safer Makeup Matters: Heavy Metals, Hormone Disruption and Other Things They're Not Telling You | Flourish Blog

Most of us consciously try to be healthy—we go to yoga, drink our greens but then we *unknowingly* slather chemicals all over our skin and face daily.  

Beauty products should be good for you, right? After all, something that is supposed to enhance your natural beauty should be designed to nourish your body, right? Humm, well not so much.

What about the more “natural” brands?  Sadly, I personally find that the “all natural,” organic, or “crunchy” brands just don’t perform but they also are completely unregulated—brands can slap a label on with no regulation or proven effects on their safety—as well as many natural items contain a higher level of heavy metals, which aren’t safe for humans at any level.


Sadly, the beauty and skincare industry is not regulated and the ingredients in personal care products are not required to be tested for safety.  Take lead for example, something that has been removed from paint and other products because it has been deemed too dangerous, but is still found in 95% of lipsticks on the market.  Crazy, right?

Why Safer Makeup Matters: Heavy Metals, Hormone Disruption and Other Things They're Not Telling You | Flourish Blog

So you might be wondering, why makeup? What if I am using a good deodorant and a safer moisturizer? That’s creating a barrier right Caroline and keeping me safe?  Well, sadly powder makeups are some of the most toxic products and are not only absorbed through the skin but also through your respiratory system thus creating an increased potential for harm!

Switching to safer products has been a journey for me over the past two years but one that is so personal to me.  After suffering a miscarriage and dealing with horrible hormone issues and adrenal fatigue for a few years, I knew I had to take my health one step further by taking a look at the toxins in my life and home.  This transition has taken time, but I am living proof that this can truly transform your health, vibrancy and life!

I don’t wear much makeup daily, but when I want to feel glamorous, I really want to feel good! 

So today, I want to share a pretty in depth look at why you should consider the ingredients in your makeup seriously and what products I love!

Why Safer Makeup Matters: Heavy Metals, Hormone Disruption and Other Things They're Not Telling You | Flourish Blog

Why Safer Makeup Matters: Heavy Metals, Hormone Disruption and Other Things They’re Not Telling You

Heavy Metal Toxicity

Colorants used to give cosmetics their lasting pigments such as foundation, blush, powder, eye shadow and lipstick are particularly high in heavy metals.  Heavy metals such as lead, mercury, aluminum, cadmium and arsenic are naturally occurring substances, but not safe for humans at any level.

Heavy metals build up in the body and cause toxicity to the neurological system, imparting brain functioning, the reproductive system in both males and females and development in a fetus in utero as well as small children and adolescents.

“Lead toxicity is a particularly insidious hazard with the potential to cause irreversible health effects. In evaluation of its toxicity in humans, it was found that bone to blood mobilization increases during pregnancy, lactation, physiological stress, chronic disease, along with advanced age. Its release back into the bloodstream, particularly during times of calcium stress in the pregnancy period, makes the developing fetus more prone to its toxicity through mobilization as part of the blood supply and after birth through lactation (breast feeding) of the infant.”  (*source)

“Cancerous breast biopsies show higher accumulations of iron, nickel, chromium, zinc, cadmium, mercury and lead than non-cancerous biopsies. In addition, several metals act like estrogen in the presence of some breast cancer cells.” (*source)

Batch Testing for Heavy Metals

Why is this so important? It’s not enough just to test and ingredient once and they say the end product will be safe.  Supply chains change, sourcing changes, where the ingredients are sourced from in the world can change with time and the manufacturing process can also lead to cross contamination or the unknown addition of dangerous by-products.  This is why batch testing the end product is so important.

Very few companies are that rigorous in their testing, which is just one reason why I feel confident wearing Beautycounter makeup, especially foundations and other powders like blush and eye shadow.

Why Safer Makeup Matters: Heavy Metals, Hormone Disruption and Other Things They're Not Telling You | Flourish Blog

Hormone Disruption

I’ve mentioned this many times and it is well known scientifically, but toxins in the products we use are directly affecting our hormones due to their endocrine disrupting properties.

According to the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences: “Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption.”

Endocrine disruptors mimic or partially mimic naturally occurring hormones in the body like estrogens (the female sex hormone), androgens (the male sex hormone), and thyroid hormones, potentially producing overstimulation.  Endocrine disruption is one of the root causes for many hormone issues today such as estrogen dominance, thyroid and adrenal dysfunction, infertility struggles, painful periods, hormonal acne and more.

In a study done by UC Berkley,

“Researchers provided teen study participants with personal care products labeled free of chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, triclosan and oxybenzone….samples before and after a three-day trial in which the participants used the lower- chemical products found significant drops in levels of these chemicals in the body.” (Source)

Just 3 days lowered the chemicals present in the body!!

This is especially concerning to me for women as many of these toxic beauty ingredients are linked to not only endocrine disruption but also miscarriage, birth defects and developmental delays later on in children.  So, your makeup is not only affecting you but also future generations!

Why Safer Makeup Matters: Heavy Metals, Hormone Disruption and Other Things They're Not Telling You | Flourish BlogWhy Natural Isn’t Always Better

With clean beauty becoming a trend, many companies are adding labels like natural or organic to their products to make them more marketable, but very often these products aren’t always safer for you.  Natural is not a regulated term as well as many “natural” ingredients aren’t safe for you, like previously mentioned heavy metals.

Products labeled “organic” or “natural” can contain petrochemicals, and those certified as organic can contain as little as 10 percent organic ingredients by weight or volume (source).

This blog post I wrote on “Sourcing vs Safety” will help you understand why it is so important to look at the safety of an ingredient and how it interacts with your body, rather than just looking if it is “naturally sourced.”

Safer Makeup That Performs

I don’t believe women should ever have to make a choice between feeling glamorous and risking our health, which is why I confidently wear (and love) Beautycounter’s makeup.  

Beautycounter makeup not only makes me feel confident about my health but also makes me feel confident about my look.  

Their motto: “No secrets added.” 

Beautycounter makeup delivers flawless, long-lasting wear, luscious texture and rich color with their 4 P’s:

  • PAYOFF: One-swipe full-color intensity. We select safer, artist-grade pigments that deliver rich color payoff.
  • PRECISION: Our formula goes through a triple-milling process that grinds the ingredients to the most perfect, most precise particle size. The result is silky-smooth, blend-able powders with even application.
  • PERFORMANCE: Long-wearing color. Our formula contains ‘Butter powder,’ which is a natural binding ingredient that helps the powders attach to skin and stay on all day.
  • PURITY: Beautycounter screens every batch of powders for heavy metals, to ensure we deliver higher-performing, significantly safer formulas.

I know one day when my sweet daughter Remington wants to play dress up, I will happily let her dig into my makeup bag!


My Favorite Safer Products


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In Full Bloom is a digital journal encouraging you to thrive, not just survive, and find joy in nourishing your whole self—mind, body and soul. Imagine we were sipping iced matcha lattes together and catching up like lifelong friends. Let's cultivate conscious living together.

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