1. Synthetic Dyes
These are the nastiest, the cheapest and the most common. Cosmetic companies use FD&C artificial additivessuch as FD&C Blue No. 1, Red. No. 40 and Yellow No. 5 to color their products. Our skin is our largest organ and it absorbs what we put on it. If our bodies don’t recognize something as natural, it will fight and try to resist it (whether you notice it or whether it’s happening beneath the surface). While the FDA recognizes these colors as safe enough to use in food and body products, that doesn’t mean consuming artificial colors and flavors makes them healthy! We don’t even know the long term health harms from these synthetics!
2. Minerals/Iron Oxides
Iron oxides are oxidized iron…and iron is a metal. While this option may seem harmless, it can actually cause your skin to look sallow over time and worsen your complexion. Also, some companies use nano particles, which are ultra-fine particles that can be embedded into the skin or lungs. Dr. Oz believes that long term use of mineral makeup (especially loose powder) can lead to inflammation, irritation and lung disease. If you choose to use mineral makeup, look for non-nano particles, which are larger and don’t penetrate the skin or lungs. (Rest assured that when we rarely use minerals, i.e. titanium dioxide, they are in non-nano form.) Mineral makeup is certainly better than the synthetically-dyed kind, as it generally has less irritants like dyes, binders, fragrances and preservatives. And sometimes it’s the only choice for certain colors or shimmer. But there is almost always a healthier option.
3. Fruit Pigments
Just like it sounds: this category is pure color pigments from fruit! Nothing to hide here! For instance, yellow is achieved from squash pigments, red from tomato, blue from blueberries, etc. This category is essentially health food for your skin! When you wear cosmetics colored from fruit, you are getting beautiful, natural hues. But, what’s even better: you’re getting the benefit of all the vitamins and antioxidants present in that fruit!