Makeup Detox – How to Cut Back

Woman without makeup

Detoxification is essentially the act of removing—whether directly or through the use of substances aimed at promoting a biological response to stimulate your body to be more efficient—harmful toxins and pollutants that could do great harm if unmitigated. There are a variety of methods to do this, some entirely untested, and some that show some promise.

Skin detox, then, is closely related, and is essentially the practice of removing toxins from your skin that would negatively affect both your health and aesthetic appearance (which, in itself, can indirectly affect your health, because low self-confidence can contribute to things like self-esteem issues and depression, which needless to say aren’t very good for you).

But today, Vine Vera’s going to discuss yet another related-but-not-quite-the-same topic: makeup detox. Makeup detox, in a similar vein, means eliminating toxins from the makeup you use, by re-thinking your makeup choices, and making changes to what you use on a regular basis. You probably typically chose makeup based on what you think will look good on you; that is, after all, what makeup is for. But if you fail to consider the potential effects of harmful additives in your makeup, you can bet it will wreak havoc on your skin.

What to Look Out For
The most important thing when it comes to makeup detox is knowing what ingredients to avoid. Makeup contains a variety of components to achieve the desired effect on your face, and some of them are harmless and help you look great. Others may even be beneficial to the skin. But some, irritatingly enough, are connected with a variety of problems, and the cosmetic industry uses them anyway.

As a general rule, avoid artificial colors and fragrances, generally listed as color+number combinations, like “red no. 4,” or in the case of artificial smells or “fragrance.”  Fragrances are highly unregulated and can contain all manner of harmful ingredients, and artificial colorings often contain coal tar, a known carcinogen that was banned in the UK, but still used freely in the US.

You should also steer away from parabens, formaldehyde, mercury (yes, mercury is sometimes used in cosmetics, and hasn’t been banned by the FDA yet for some reason), alcohol, and lead. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but these are some of the worst offenders. To generally stay safer regarding makeup, always opt for mineral-based, all-natural makeup options. Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s good for you, but it does allow you to avoid many of the most dangerous additives, as those will not typically be found in “natural” products.

How to Cut Back
Just scanning ingredient lists isn’t necessarily enough to keep your skin safe, sadly. You may avoid the worst-case scenarios of using known carcinogens on your face daily, and careful scans of ingredient lists can certainly help with the primary goal of detoxification: remove and avoid toxins. But that said, there’s more to makeup detox than just that. Even if you use the most natural, toxin-free makeup, it is still possible to dry out your skin and damage it in other ways.

Carefully consider what you actually need in your makeup routine. In terms of foundation, liquids are generally enough, and adding a pressed powder on top of everything else not only makes your makeup look caked-on and unflattering, it can dry your skin out too. Anything terribly oily or greasy, like many hard-stick or grease-based concealers can clog pores, so go for creams when you have the choice; foundation, concealer, blush and even eyeshadow can be found in light cream forms.


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