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3 Toxic Cosmetics You Should Replace Now

by guest blogger Ava Anderson, natural beauty expert and safe cosmetics advocate

I always say that it is all about the ingredients, and I recommend using products without harmful ingredients in order to reduce your daily, weekly, yearly, and lifetime body burden of chemicals with known and suspected disease implications. Since up to 60 percent of what you put on your skin reaches your bloodstream (this increases to almost 100 percent with scalp, underarm, and groin exposure), it makes sense to use cosmetics that DO NOT add to your body burden of toxic chemicals.

Over time, you should replace all harmful personal care products, but here are three cosmetics we recommend tackling first:

1. Foundation. Foundation is a good place to start, as many women cover their whole face and neck with it daily. Liquid foundations contain many harmful chemicals, including the following, found in a major drugstore brand: propylene glycol, methylparaben, and propylparaben, all of which are considered endocrine disruptors. These are important to avoid because the endocrine system regulates ALL biological processes in the body, including development of the brain and nervous system, growth and function of the reproductive system, and metabolism and blood sugar regulation, as well as the functions of the ovaries, testes, pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN recently released a report calling endocrine disruptors a “global threat” to fertility and the environment. In 2011, another shocking study showed that methylparaben along with an endocrine disruptor widely found in food packaging, BPA, turned healthy cells into cancer cells and rendered the breast cancer drug tamoxafin ineffective.

Liquid foundations also contain ingredients that have the potential to be contaminated with cancer causers: PEG/PPG 10 dimethicone, PEG/PPG 18, retinyl acetate, tocopheryl acetate, laureth 7, and PEG/PPG 20 dimethicone.

Loose powders and brush-on foundations, which are applied topically, not only have the endocrine disruptors methylparaben, propylparaben, but have other ingredients of concern, too. One best seller (and many similar products) contains retinyl acetate, alumina (suspected of being neurotoxic), and other hazardous ingredients that can be inhaled.

Look for products without these ingredients. Our AvaFACE foundation, formulated with French clay, silk, and organic arrowroot powder is one such product.

2. Lipstick. According to a recent piece by The New York Times, “Millions of women and girls apply lipstick every day. And not just once: some style-conscious users touch up their color more than 20 times a day.”  A recent study also found that “a wide range of brands contain as many as eight other metals, from cadmium to aluminum.” Those will never appear on a label because they are contaminants of other ingredients.

Besides endocrine disruptors like propylparaben, other harmful substances in typical department store and drugstore lipsticks are tocopheryl acetate and retinyl acetate, as well as titanium dioxide, which usually exists in nanoparticle form. Nanoparticles have been shown to cross the cell barrier and drive into organs, including the brain in humans, where they can cause long-term oxidative damage. There is no way of knowing what size particles are in your product unless the manufacturer tells you.

So, what’s the solution? Organic lipstick with as few harmful chemicals as possible.

3. Mascara. With toxic ingredients like these from a best-selling major brand of mascara, you can see why it is important to find an organic alternative that still delivers results: triethanolamine (which reacts with other ingredients in products to become carcinogenic nitrosodiethanolamine), propylene glycol, methylparaben, butylparaben, quaternium 15 and quaternium 22 (both of which release cancerous formaldehyde as they break down), and synthetic colorants that have been linked to organ-system toxicity.

I hope you will replace your conventional products, starting with these three, and opt for safer choices. If you combine the ingredients lists above, you can see how just a few products can contribute to your daily chemical body burden. There are seven parabens in just one single daily application of lipstick, foundation, and mascara and we ladies know we apply these more than once every day.

At the age of 15, Ava Anderson launched her own line of personal care and home-cleaning products, Ava Anderson Non-Toxic. Now 19, Ava is educating tens of thousands of American families on the issue of toxic chemicals in personal care products through her line, which now includes baby, skin, face, hair, body, scents, bugs, candles, home, sun, and pet products. This fall, Ava will be a sophomore at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and will also actively help run her multimillion-dollar empire with 12 full-time employees. Her goal is to help force a paradigm shift on the issue of toxic chemicals in cosmetics.

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34 Responses to 3 Toxic Cosmetics You Should Replace Now

  1. Christi September 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting such a great informative article!! Over the past years I’ve been working to remove toxic chemicals from my home and articles like this are so important so that we can spread the word to others!!

  2. Christi September 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    Wonderful article. So glad you are helping spread the word on such an important issue.

  3. Katie September 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this information. It is helpful to learn how to take small steps to live better. Ava is inspiring!

  4. Corinne September 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Excellent article! I also use Ava Anderson products and love them. They are safe AND work great too! I can’t believe toxic chemicals are allowed to be in our products!

  5. Rigfmom September 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    So helpful and informative. You are an inspiration at such a young age. Thank you!

  6. Pam Burley September 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    Great article! It is obvious that Ava has done her research and knows her stuff. Her passion to share that knowledge is manifested in the way she presents herself, as well as in the products she creates.

  7. Jamie September 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    I love Ava’s foundation, blush, lip gloss, and mascara. A toxic free face has done wonders for my asthma and allergies. Thanks for sharing this info with others, here! I am excited to see Maria’s book , “Organic Manifesto,” here too–I’ll have to check it out! 🙂

  8. Tiffany September 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    I never used to think about how I applied cosmetics multiple times a day, repeatedly exposing myself to these toxic chemicals. I LOVE my Ava cosmetics, as well as Ava’s other products too! 🙂

  9. Robin Jonas September 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Awesome. Thanks for posting. Love me some Ava Anderson. Feels good to put a product on my body that I know is NoT going to harm me!!! And my family!!!

  10. Courtney Tutalo September 12, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    Great information! Definitely sharing with my family and friends!

  11. Christine September 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    LOVE Ava! Great post on such an important subject. I’m inspired to touch up my non-toxic lip gloss right now. : )

  12. Annie B. September 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    Thank you for taking on this important issue! I have been using Ava products for years now, and am convinced they are changing people’s lives for the better.

  13. Tina P. September 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Thanks to all who dedicate their time, skill and efforts to this issue and educating others. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to learn and benefit from Ava Anderson Non Toxic.

  14. Jodi R. September 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Thank you for this fantastic share! We can’t get enough of Ava products in our house! Thank you for being a Super Woman and taking up this fight with us!

  15. Audrey Sprague September 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    Ava is “spot-on!” I have been using her products since the beginning of her company – and I try to “evangelize” to as many of my friends as I can –

  16. Beth R September 12, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    Thank you for all you do to educate us about this important issue! I love Ava Anderson products! I hope as more people like you and Maria Rodale continue to educate the public we will see a shift to safer cosmetics across the board. I vote with my pocketbook!

  17. Antoinette September 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Love my Ava products & how well they work. Thank you Ava for all you do to educate & keep us safe!

  18. Michelle September 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Thank you for this wonderful article. I recently found Ava Anderson and love all her products. Best for me, my family and my home.

  19. Terri A September 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    Mascara has ALWAYS irritated my eyes. I was so bothered by the chemicals that I never really used mascara and a lot of other products every day. This is so important to share for those who may not be as sensitive and are exposing themselves to high levels of these toxic chemicals! I never understood just how many irritants were in my old products until recently when i tried the Ava cosmetics, in particular the mascara. Just fabulous! I can’t even tell it’s on!

  20. Melyssa September 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    I hope that this message lands in front of all teenagers! It’s so hard to see these potentially toxic products marketed towards them. Hopefully having someone their age be so passionate about this issue will help set them on the right path right from the beginning! Thank you, Ava!

  21. Joy September 12, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Thank you so much for shedding even more light on such a terrible yet important issue. I think Ava Anderson is paving the way for education and understanding, for both woman and men in our country, on this critical subject of toxins in our personal care products. Reform and change will only occur with knowledge. Thank you Maria, for helping others to understand!

  22. Kim September 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    Really informative!! We need more people bringing this issue to the forefront. So many people do not realize the toxic chemi all we put on every day and how we are harming ourselves and our families! Thank goodness for my safe Ava Anderson products!!!!

  23. Nancy B September 12, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    Great article! I discovered Ava’s products two years ago and absolutely love them! I share them with my friends and family – I have two grandchildren and they are Ava users too! I want to do all I can to educate myself and others about the dangers toxins present. I always learn so much reading Ava’s articles. Thank you!

  24. Alayna September 12, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    Thanks for the article-such important information! Mascara always hurt my sister’s eyes until she switched to a non toxic brand- which happens to be AVA!

  25. Chris September 13, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    I am so thankful for people who are willing to help others by educating them about this important issue! Thank you for sharing such a great article<3

  26. Maria Dingjan September 13, 2013 at 2:03 am #

    Are these products available in Australia? My grand daughter is going to start wearing make up soon. I would like to recommend these non toxic products to her and use them myself. People often overlook that our skin is our largest organ, and whatever is applied topically is absorbed into our blood and bodies generally. I am looking forward to hearing from you, thanking you in anticipation, Maria Dingjan

  27. Marla September 13, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    Thanks for this information. As a avid reader of Prevention Magazine I have been looking for this information to get more attention.

  28. Caren Wallace September 13, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    I use Ava Anderson facial care products and hair care products and I have more energy and my skin feels wonderful. I am so glad to have found Ava and her amazing knowledge of the toxins we put on our body!!

  29. jen September 14, 2013 at 7:28 am #

    Love the Ava line. One stop shop for all my nontoxic beauty/household products! The mascara is awesome!

  30. Violet Giar September 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    I have been an image consultant since I was 17 standing behind a few different company products that appeared to work better than the average store counter products. But never before have I found organic products which are endorsed here. Where do I get more information about the use and purchase of these beauty products.

  31. Nancy September 16, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    Maria Dingjan right now Ava is only shipped within the US (Including APO addresses – Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii)

    Violet Giar you can contact Ava Anderson Non-Toxic home office and they will refer you to a consultant who can help you – you can also go to their website http://www.avaandersonnontoxic.com and check out the products.

  32. Maria Dingjan September 20, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Thank you Nancy for answering my query regarding the wonderful Ava cosmetics availability.

  33. Thelma September 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    Well done!!!!! Your only saying these bout your products ’cause it’s a marketing strategy! As long as I haven’t experienced anything wrong with with my products then iam fine with them!

  34. Nancy September 23, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    Thelma the research is right there and I’ve sen and heard enough to know what Ava says is correct. The state of Minnesota has been triclosan from government buildings because of its affects not only on us but on the environment. Do your own research – don’t expect the FDA to protect you.

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