Gross Ingredients Hiding in Your Makeup and How to Make the Switch

Do you know what is in your makeup? You might not expect to find insects, known toxic chemicals, or beef fat. In 2015 the Environmental Working Group reported that the average woman uses 12 products every day; the average teenage girl uses 17. These personal care and beauty products contain approximately 168 unique ingredients. To make matters worse, the laws put in place to protect us against these ingredients are out of date. The Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act has not been updated since it was passed in 1938. With these facts in mind, it is time for you to take control of what you put on your skin. While there are several frightening ingredients, we picked three to get you thinking twice about your makeup routine. 

Discover the gross ingredients hiding in your makeup

The lovely red hue of your favorite lipstick comes from the use of carmine (also referred to as cochineal extract, or natural red 4). Cochineals are beetles that are used to make red dye. The insects are dried, crushed, then soaked in an alcohol solution. About 70,000 insects are needed to produce 1 pound of dye. While most makeup uses carmine, some companies prefer Red 40 which is derived from petroleum distillates or coal tar. Lab studies on mice show that Red 40 causes tumors and reproductive issues. 



Many lipsticks, chapsticks, and foundations contain chemical sunscreen (look for Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, and Homosalate). These chemicals can be absorbed into the body and detected in breastmilk and urine. The EWG recommends that consumers avoid Oxybenzone. 



Tallow is used as a conditioning agent. It is a fat that is rendered from beef or mutton. Commercial tallow often contains fat from other animals. This fat is produced when the carcasses are boiled. 



If you have tried mineral makeup before and hated it, I understand. The two most common complaints are that women don't like the way it looks or that it makes them break out. The good news is that both of these complaints are caused by the same ingredient: bismuth. Bismuth oxychloride is a common filler ingredient in makeup. Since many mineral makeup brands use bismuth, most suggest that you "buff" when applying. This motion helps the bismuth adhere to the skin. Unfortunately, bismuth is also known for blocking pores, which then causes breakouts. Bismuth must go through intense processing to be considered safe to use on skin. 

In addition to essential oils, supplements, and household products, Young Living has a fabulous makeup line: Savvy Minerals. You can feel safe knowing that Savvy Minerals is the cleanest makeup on the market. You don't need to worry about weird or unsafe ingredients. You won't find any of the ingredients listed above. Additionally, Savvy Minerals is free from talc, bismuth, parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, or synthetic colorants. Prepare yourself for a foundation that feels light and allows your skin to breathe. This makeup is easily customizable and looks great in all skin tones and types. Because Savvy Minerals doesn’t irritate the skin it can also improve the look of your skin, allowing you to feel more confident on the days you don’t have time for makeup. 


Let's start with the brush set. Your makeup is only as good as your brushes. There's no point in investing in your makeup if you don't invest in the tools you use to apply it. That being said, the brush set is totally optional. If you have good brushes that you love, scroll to the next section. Makeup brushes can be expensive, which is why I am in love with the Savvy Minerals brush set. It is by far the best value for a great product that I have ever seen. This set comes with five beautiful brushes. When you order the set you will receive brushes for each of the following, all labeled with their individual use: foundation, veil, eyeshadow, blush, blending. The brushes are made from soft, luxurious synthetic fibers. Why synthetic? To be cruelty free. The brushes come in a beautiful black case with a removable center pouch for easy makeup storage. The entire set is $85. 

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In addition to using the best tools for the job, we recommend using Savvy Minerals Misting Spray when applying foundation for a smooth, flawless look that will last all day. The misting spray soothes and refreshes skin with a scent that is subtle yet feminine. Additionally, the misting spray can be used to wet eyeshadow for a rich color that won't flake or crease. Feeling daring? Spray the misting spray on wet hair to add shine and detangle. 


Savvy Minerals foundation comes in 10 shades. There are 3 warm shades, 3 cool, and 4 dark. Don't be afraid to mix colors! Try combining foundations to create a custom color that is adjustable depending on the season. Simply shake a small amount of foundation into the lid of the foundation container, spray your foundation brush with the misting spray, then dip the brush into the lid to pick up the Minerals. If you are a BB cream or liquid foundation fan, Savvy Minerals will work for you too. Mix a small amount of the foundation with your favorite facial moisturizer. This mixture can be used as a BB cream or a base for fuller coverage. No matter which method you use, the amount of coverage is up to you; start with one coat of foundation then build to obtain your desired coverage. 

Discover gross ingredients hiding in your makeup and switch to a natural alternative

Selecting the right undertone (warm or cool) isn't as difficult as you might think. Please note that it is possible to have neutral undertones. In that case you can choose either or blend foundations - the foundation is that forgiving! Here are a few tips to help you determine if you have warm or cool undertones: 

  1. Look at the veins in your arm. Do they look more blue or green? If they look more blue than green, you have cool undertones. If they appear more green than blue, you have warm undertones. 
  2. Do you look better in silver or gold jewelry? If silver is more flattering, you have cool undertones. If gold is more flattering, you have warm undertones. 
  3. Grab a white shirt or scarf. If it washes you out you most likely have cool undertones. If it enhances your skin tone you most likely have warm undertones. 


Check out part 2 here. Learn about eye makeup, blushes, bronzer, and lip color. Stay tuned for part 3: a plan to assist you in slowly switching your makeup out for Savvy Minerals over the course of a few months. This way you can get everything you need to clean up your beauty routine without breaking the bank.