For many years, various studies and laboratory tests have revealed that adolescent girls across America have plenty of chemicals contaminating their young bodies. Back in 2008, Environmental Working Group (EWG) detected 16 different chemicals from 4 chemical families - phthalates, triclosan, parabens, lead and musks - in the blood and urine samples from teen girls aged 14-19. Because many studies link these, and other chemicals to potential health problems including big bads like cancer and hormone disruption, it's important that your tween and/or teen use the safest makeup possible in order to limit exposure to chemicals. If your adolescent is getting interested in makeup as a daily accessory or just wants to use makeup to have fun and dress up once in a while, try to choose safe products and teach your daughter to choose safe products as well.
Keep the following in mind when shopping. One safe product from a cosmetic company doesn't mean that ALL products within the brand are safe and non-toxic - often you'll have to pick and choose products from various brands. For example, the brands shown below have many safe products within their line, but that doesn't mean that all their makeup is totally safe. Always read your labels and double check questionable ingredients at Skin Deep. Plus, note that eco-friendly and safe do not always go hand-in-hand. Makeup can be eco-friendly, but not totally safe or pretty safe but not that eco-minded. Additionally, expect to pay a little more for safer cosmetics. It's worth it, but safer, less chemically inclined makeup products usually cost a little more. Keep reading to see some safer brands of makeup your tween or teen may want to check out.
Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC) is a fully vegan, cruelty-free company, meaning they don’t test on animals or use animal products in their goodies. BWC makes all kinds of body care products including a full line of cosmetics.
- The vast majority of their cosmetics score very safe at Skin Deep.
- They have a fairly wide range of color choices in their makeup line.
- All of the BWC cosmetics are fragrance free.
- Many BWC cosmetics are gluten-free.
- Full product ingredient lists available.
- Hard to manage website.
- Very expensive.
Costs – Expensive
- Expensive for the average teen – or even the average adult. I’m talking $20+ for one eye shadow, $30+ for blush and $16+ for lip gloss.
Maia’s Mineral Galaxy’s makeup line is natural mineral-based and made with non-nano particles. All their mineral cosmetics are produced from loose powders that have no fillers added and their range is large and mostly affordable.
- Cruelty-free – no animal testing of any kind.
- Large range of cosmetics.
- Excellent Skin Deep score.
- Cosmetic products are non-synthetic, non-fragrant, non-toxic, and chemical and artificial color free.
- Offers tiny samples so you can try before you buy.
- Mostly affordable – even for teens.
- Website could be easier to manage.
Costs – Mostly Affordable
- Fair prices on most products such as eye shadow for $14, $11 for concealer sticks and $10 for lip gloss. They also have a few higher prices though such as $18+ for blush and $34 for finishing powder.
Afterglow Cosmetics offer natural color cosmetics, free of many of the synthetic preservatives, bismuth oxychloride, petro-chemicals, synthetic dyes and fillers found in traditional cosmetics. They have an outstandingly large range of cosmetics too.
- Cruelty-free company.
- Partner of The Conservation Fund and its Go Zero program.
- The main materials used in their packaging are recyclable plastics and aluminum and all products are shipped with minimal packaging. They also internally repurpose or recycle all incoming packing material and paper.
- Mostly paperless company. When they do print they use FSC printing standards and soy inks when possible.
- Affordable starter kits available if you’re new to minerals.
- Organic Exclusives Program in place so you receive points good for new makeup with each Afterglow purchase.
- Useful, easy to manage website in place.
- Decent rating at Skin Deep, though about half their products score a 3, which isn’t that bad, but not as good as a 1 or 2.
- Expensive for the average teen.
Costs – Expensive
- Typical costs include $26 for blush, $24 for lipstick, $18 for eye shadow.