Does make-up make you pretty? How safe are make-up and other cosmetics for your body and the environment? If Health Canada has approved them, are they okay? Is it possible to make yourself pretty without poisoning yourself?

Myth Busted!

Ever heard of the Dirty Dozen? Researchers have found that there are a distinct dozen ingredients appearing in cosmetics that are unsafe. David Suzuki’s website states that one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals. The David Suzuki Foundation did a survey and found that 80% of Canadians’ cosmetic products contained at least one of the dirty dozen. The foundation has made a great wallet-sized shopping guide to use when buying your cosmetics, it shows all of the dirty dozen so you can check the ingredient list before you spend your money.

Cosmetic companies have managed to find loopholes in Health Canada’s laws. This allows them to list many chemicals under “parfum” or market “fragrance-free” products even though there are scents in the form of masking agents.

But how do you check to see if the ten or more cosmetics you use everyday are harmful? Check out Skin Deep for their extensive cosmetic database. You can check out the ingredients, health risks and more. They’ve also busted their own myths on the website. We, at Green Action Centre, decided to test out some of our own products lying around the office. The shampoo we found had five of the Dirty Dozen and the leave-in conditioner had three of them. However, the lip balm didn’t have any! But according to Skin Deep, there were still a couple minor warnings.

So why not make your own products? It’s fun, fairly easy and definitely worth it! Head to the Montreal-based for some awesome recipes to make your own cosmetic products including an herbal shampoo, a body scrub and bath salts! They also have a great list of other easy and quick, natural cosmetic ideas.

Please also head over to our page regarding making your own greener, healthier personal products.

Want to learn more about the types of chemicals to look out for & what you can do? Makeup Artist Essentials has put together a thorough guide to chemicals in makeup, broken down by category!