Concerning cosmetics, there are generally a few good rules of thumb to follow: don’t share with friends, pitch mascaras every three months, avoid using too much bronzer and always wear “green”! 
The “Going Green” movement isn’t just for home or workplace, it’s a lifestyle. It is also the latest place you can help with the environment. So how can you add green to your beauty habits?  

  • Avoid products that test on animals. Buying cruelty-free makeup supports animal rights movements and takes business away from companies that still use archaic and unnecessary testing practices. Your choices have impact far beyond your reflection!
  • Avoid synthetic ingredients. Did you know you could absorb 5 pounds of chemicals annually by using conventional beauty care products? Beauty shouldn’t be chemical. I know it’s near impossible to find a 100 percent natural product but some brands list just how natural they are. Day after day, you’re using products that have a cumulative effect over time. If you can remove chemicals from your products by making better choices, then why not do so? Besides, those synthetic ingredients eventually end up going down the drain and into our waters.
  • Consider mineral makeup. Mineral cosmetics surfaced when it was discovered that the minerals that provided the pigment for most cosmetics were effective cosmetics on their own – without the unnecessary dyes and perfumes. Made of simple minerals, mineral makeup rarely irritates and improves the condition of the skin over time. It looks like powder, feels like a cream and “buffs” on like silk, giving a natural radiance.  Keep in mind, it best benefits normal and combination skin, as it can settle right into dry areas and wrinkles. Which mineral makeup is best? Look for a mineral makeup that’s free of preservatives, fillers, talc (which some studies link to cancer), oils, fragrance and other potential skin irritants.
  • Realize that less is more. Save the dramatic looks for special occasions. It is good to let your skin breathe and, above all, never, ever go to bed with makeup on.
  • Cut waste. Look for recyclable packaging or better yet, creative “green” packaging. For example, CARGO brand lipstick tubing is made from a corn polymer. Corn is a renewable resource. The box is compostable and the bumps are seeds, so you can plant the box in a pot or garden! How’s that for “green!”

Beauty tools can be green, too. An Aveda brush has no animal fibers. The handle is flax fiber and resin, not wood. Last year a large makeup company reduced the packaging on 300 products. Thus saving 3,425 tons of corrugated materials, 1,358 barrels  of oil, 5,190 trees, 727 shipping containers and $3.5 million intransportation costs, in just one year! Aside from educating ourselves, what else can the consumer do?

There are good resources out there to help you find better choices. The Skin Deep Database ( is an amazing tool; you can look up a product and find alternatives. Vote with your dollar. Be wary, as companies can change just the typing on their labels to make it sound organic. Choose to give your money to companies making a positive difference rather than those using chemicals.
Good for your skin, good for the planet and good for you!