Anything great starts with a good foundation: buildings, relationships, careers, and of course– makeup. If you’re a woman you probably love your foundation because it helps even out your skin tone and cover up problem areas. Whether you need a good concealer to help hide your tired eyes after staying up with the baby, or you had a hormonal breakout and need your bb cream stat– you rely on your foundations. I mean, they have always been there for you, right?
Maybe not the way they should be. Conventional foundations, concealers, and bb creams may be able to cover up that wicked pimple or your dark circles, maybe even decrease the appearance of your smile lines– but do they help heal those things? Definitely not.
Chemicals and toxins found in conventional foundations, concealers, and bb creams seep into your skin probably causing more acne, wrinkles, and problematic skin. If that wasn’t already terrifying enough (holy wrinkles) the toxins that are widely found in cosmetics are associated with even more serious health problems like cancer, organ toxicity, infertility, and developmental problems.
The good news is that since discovering the harms of commonly used cosmetic chemicals (no thanks to the FDA) ethical companies are coming out with amazing natural and organic foundation. These natural foundations are extra beautifying- they contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other powerful healing ingredients from the earth that are effective AND good for you.
In this article I am going to let you in on all the harms of conventional foundations and then give you the best organic foundations, concealers, and BB Creams so that you don’t have to worry about having a good foundation, you’ll just have one.
Problems With Conventional Foundations, Concealers, and BB Creams
Fun fact about polyethylene glycol: it was used as a nerve gas during World War 1! Now, you can find it in most cosmetics including your foundation! PEG compounds are known carcinogens and are full of heavy metals like iron, arsenic, lead, and cadmium (1).
If that isn’t scary enough, PEGs are known carcinogens and penetration enhancers. This means that the other harmful chemicals found in your product (like ethylene oxide, 1,4 dioxane) penetrate your skin way easier (1).
Since the FDA only recommends rather than requires the removal of these toxins from personal care products—they are still found in tons of conventional care products like your foundation and should be avoided.
Siloxanes found in cosmetics can cause harm through inhalation and absorption. These chemicals are a topic of concern because evidence suggests that they are endocrine disruptors and can interfere with hormones and reproduction (1).
Triethanolamine (TEA) is found in over 40% of self-care products. TEA is a reactive byproduct of ethylene oxide and ammonia—two known dangerous toxins. When tested on animals it was discovered to react with other chemicals in cosmetics to create nitrosamines (known carcinogens) that lead to bladder, liver, and testicular cancer (2).
More studies done on animals found low doses of TEA applied around the eyes and mouth (where we apply our foundation and concealer) has adverse effects on organs in addition to the respiratory and immune systems (3).
The carcinogen asbestos has been found in some talc. Talc is widely used in powdered products including foundation. The mineral substance is added to products to absorb moisture, prevent caking, soften products and make makeup opaque. Health concerns around talcum powder include cancer, organ toxicity, and irritation (4).
Formaldehyde is a preservative used to preserve dead bodies! And it’s also a preservative used to make your foundation last longer! Gross.
Formaldehyde has been shown to have adverse effects on the immune system and associated with increased risk for nasal cancer. Since you won’t find formaldehyde listed on the ingredient list look for chemicals that release formaldehyde after being mixed with water like quaternium-15, DMDM hydantion, sodium hydroxymethylcinate, and ronopol (5).
Mineral oils, which are derived from crude oil, are found in a variety of cosmetics including foundation and concealer. Health concerns associated with mineral oil include human immune system allergen, respiratory toxicant, immune system toxicant, organ toxicant, and cancer promoter (6,7).
Probably the most famous of the preservatives, parabens are widely used in cosmetics to make your makeup last longer. The problem with parabens is they are easily absorbed and then penetrate blood. We don’t want that happening because they are known endocrine disruptors meaning they mimic hormones which have been associated with breast cancer, infertility, and fatigue (8).
Author of Toxic Beauty, Dr. Samuel Epstein writes, “Parabens’ presence in breast tissue on its own incriminates them as a possible cause of breast cancer, but they have also been shown to stimulate the growth of estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells in lab tests.”
Since parabens can be easily absorbed through the skin they are especially harmful to developing fetuses, pregnant women and breastfeeding women. Avoid all ingredients with the suffix-paraben. You don’t want them anywhere near your skin.
The Best Organic Concealer, Foundation, and BB Creams
I LOVE this product– and so does everyone else! One of Beauty Counter’s most popular items, their tinted moisturizer is a lightweight and wonderfully creamy foundation that effortlessly blends and evens out skin tone. With over 10 shade options you are guaranteed to find your perfect match.
It even helps smooth wrinkles and fine lines while hydrating your skin! If you’re looking for a foundation that will care for your skin– try this!
If you ever get redness, pimples, dark circles or any other kind of imperfection this concealer pen has got you covered. Made with knotgrass extract to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. With this click-pen and brush applicator, you’ll get flawless coverage and skin that’s brighter and firmer- where you need it whenever you need it. This is my favorite natural BB cream.
The Fruit Pigmented Healthy Organic Foundation will leave you with a creamy matte finish so you can skip the powder. This foundation is full of rich, skin-loving ingredients like mangosteen, aloe, goji berries, cocoa bean, and maqui berry. Full coverage but lightweight- totally ideal for someone that doesn’t want to load up on too much makeup. You have 9 colors to choose from!
Try this foundation for its all-natural and organic ingredients like jojoba oil, castor oil, lavender oil, and meadowfoam seed oil. These healing ingredients are perfect for problematic skin making it the best organic foundation for acne-prone skin…and really anyone else for that matter. If you want an everyday foundation that is easy to blend and lasts all day, opt for this Au Natural choice.
Customers love this formulas light-weight, full-coverage matte finish. The mousse’s creamy application and non-irritating ingredients are ideal for those with delicate skin making it the best organic foundation for sensitive skin. Simple but powerful ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, green tea, olive oil, and arrowroot powder help heal, calm and soothe your skin while making you look like a glowy goddess.
The best part about this foundation is that while you’re covering your fine lines– you’re also diminishing them. Full of organic anti-aging ingredients like aloe, fruit stem cells, and resveratrol grapeseed oil, it might not be long until you don’t even need a foundation. Its easily blended and offers amazing coverage. Did i mention it’s super lightweight? What foundation?
Medium to full-coverage amazing for all skin types, especially sensitive. If you’re prone to breakouts from other foundations try this one out. This pressed powder foundation has soothing ingredients like organic thyme, rosemary, jojoba oil, green tea, lavender extract, and vitamin E. If you have dry skin- this might just be your new foundation.
Juice Beauty’s Organic Blemish Clearing Powder is great for acne-prone or oily skin. It’s lightweight and specifically designed to cover and heal blemishes. With antiseptic ingredients like bamboo, anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera, and excess oil-controlling ingredients like tapioca powder, you can treat this as a spot treatment to decrease breakouts. This is the best organic foundation for oily skin.
Are you excited to try out a new all-natural and organic foundation/concealer/bb cream that’s good for you?! If you have a go-to favorite with healthy ingredients that I didn’t mention above, leave a comment below!
- Kresser, C. (2015). Are your skincare products toxic? Makeup and cosmetics. Retrieved from: https://chriskresser.com/are-your-skincare-products-toxic-makeup-and-cosmetics/
- Fiume, M. M., Heldreth, B., Bergfeld, W. F., Belsito, D. V., Hill, R. A., Klaassen, C. D., & Snyder, P. W. (2013). Safety assessment of triethanolamine and triethanolamine-containing ingredients as used in cosmetics. International journal of toxicology, 32(3_suppl), 59S-83S.
- The Dangers of Triethanolamine.” Natura Veda, 2 Oct. 2017, https://www.naturaveda.com/education/12-toxic-and-carcinogenic-compounds-found-in-beauty-and-skin-care-products/the-dangers-of-triethanolamine/.
- “Talc.” Safe Cosmetics, www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/talc/.
- Darbre, P. D., & Harvey, P. W. (2008). Paraben esters: review of recent studies of endocrine toxicity, absorption, esterase and human exposure, and discussion of potential human health risks. Journal of applied toxicology, 28(5), 561-578.