Makeup: beauty or beast?

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Jacob Armstrong -- “All natural”and “organic” may not prove to be safer for skin.

Most women want to be beautiful. Many use makeup to bring out God-given attributes in their faces but can the very tools they use be harmful?

Many women have experienced a breakout when they use a new makeup brand or skincare line. The logical takeaway from this is the product should be discontinued, never used again and, above all, “must be bad for the skin and clogs pores.”

This is not entirely true. And to add to the confusion, many people diagnose themselves as “sensitive” or allergic to the particular product that they used. According to FDA guidelines, no ingredient can be used that will cause harm to the consumer.

With a rise in consumers seeking a holistic approach to life, the cosmetic industry has hopped on the holistic hype of the 21st century and has since been inundated with cosmetic companies creating natural lines of makeup, specifically honing in on mineral makeup.

The rise in popularity of natural makeup has created the belief that makeup must be horrible for the skin unless it falls within the natural ingredient category.

What is natural makeup? The answers cause even more confusion, and it doesn’t help that popular culture is moving toward a holistic approach for many remedies that aren’t always regulated by fact-centered studies.

When a product is deemed “natural,” it’s referring to ingredients that comprise the product. These natural makeup products and ingredients are described as everything from “all natural” to “organic.” Some may even claim they exclude certain ingredients for the prestige of a natural makeup claim.

That still doesn’t answer the question of whether these products aid skin health. When a brand wants to use organic ingredients, they have to not only adhere to what the FDA approves as organic, but also what the USDA deems organic. These regulated claims and expectations fuel the fire when it comes to common misconceptions about natural makeup being healthier for skin.

Even experts are perplexed by this hype. Makeup artists are constantly asked about the difference between mineral and regular makeup ingredients.

As much as the consumer believes natural is better, there are still many questions industry professionals have for the movement.

Jessica Gonzalez, makeup artist for MAC cosmetics, believes many people assume with confidence that mineral makeup is better for their skin.

“Many people tell me all the problems they are still having with their skin, and it seems like they just believe in the product because it is considered ‘all natural,’” Gonzalez said.

For some California Baptist University students, makeup is an afterthought.

“I don’t have any clue if they are better or not, I just put on makeup. I don’t really take that into consideration, it seems like it would better if it’s natural,” Kelly Hahn, senior, said.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, many organic ingredients can cause allergic reactions and irritation. Popular natural cosmetic brand Bare Essentials even states that one in four consumers will not be able to use their product.

To make matters worse, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t give a definition of the term “organic” when it comes to cosmetics. It doesn’t have to be regulated by the FDA, but rather the USDA and National Organic Program that deals with organic guidelines. Somehow, the cosmetic brands have to adhere to the guidelines of the FDA.

In reality, consumers are better off with traditional makeup brands that aren’t adding all natural ingredients or using organic ingredients to their makeup formulas.

Beauty and skin health come down to traditional aspects of health, such as drinking plenty of water, getting proper amounts of sleep and eating healthfully. These traditional health tips are what help skin look its best, and makeup will look better as a result.

The most important aspect to making makeup look its best and be its best is taking proper care of skin. As far as makeup, it’s about finding makeup that is best for your skin type.

Makeup can be either beauty or beast, depending on your desired product. If a consumer chooses to absorb all the hype and not focus on fact, they will be left confused with no accurate information.

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