A lot of people are used to buying cosmetics based on pretty-looking packaging, but we are slowly coming to understand that not all is what it seems. Reading ingredients can seem confusing with all those long chemical names, but if you want to avoid unknown or questionable ingredients, the old adage holds true: Less is definitely more.
After reading this list of nasty stuff that’s commonly used to make us feel great, you might suddenly have an urge to toss out all of our products and go natural! BR Naturals.
You might remember we already covered Ambergris in a previous blog post we wrote about nasty things in our perfumes, however it doesn’t go without mention in this list simply because of its unique and rather disgusting origin.
This waxy, yellow substance is generated in the intestines of Sperm whales to protect them from sharp objects (such as a squid beak) that they sometimes swallow. It’s often called the “gold of the sea” because it’s almost as valuable as solid gold. Just one pound of the stinky stuff can earn its finder up to $10,000 albeit the difficult of finding washed up on shores without knowing the perfect conditions. Whales either pass the substance along with their feces, or they can occasionally cough it up if there is a blockage, to then be found by someone lucky (?!) enough to stumble upon it while at the beach.
Ok, this one has to be fake, right? No.
Sorry to disappoint, but if it’s not lead, it’s beetle butts in your lipstick…
Cochineal Beetles (Dactylopius Coccus) are tiny insects that feed on cactus plants in Central and South America. Female cochineal beetles eat the red cactus berries, so when the beetles are crushed, a very powerful red dye is produced.
Cochineal dye has been used for centuries, and it is very safe for most people, so it is commonly used in lipstick, ice cream, candy, yogurt, and eye shadow. In fact, Starbucks recently admitted to using cochineal dye in some of their beverages, causing a big problem for their many Vegan fans. (Source)
It is a common misconception that mascara contains bat guano, but in reality, mascara contains fish scales.
According to Snopes, the confusion arose because mascara does contain something called Guanine, which many people confused with guano. Guanine is a crystalline material that produces a shimmering or light-diffusing coloring ingredient in products like mascara and nail polish.
It is made not from bat feces, but from ground-up fish scales (is that better?), and it is commonly used in the formulation of bath products, cleansing products, fragrances, hair conditioners, lipsticks, nail products, shampoos and skin care products.
Want to avoid it? Shop for vegan skincare products that don’t contain animal by-products and very few, easy to understand ingredients.
Tallow is a common ingredient in many products, including eye makeup, lipsticks, makeup bases and foundations, shampoos, soaps (sodium tallowate), moisturizers and skin care products. It’s made from dead animal carcasses.
Tallow is made by rendering animal fat, which means boiling the carcasses to create fatty byproducts. The dead animals used to make tallow come from many different sources, including labs, slaughterhouses, zoos, shelters, and yes, even roadkill. (Source | Photo)
Some people go to great lengths to be beautiful, but this one in our opinion is quite shocking.
Because of its high protein content, bull semen has become a popular ingredient in hair products. Used particularly for dry or damaged hair, the semen is mixed with a plant called Katera and applied to the hair in high-end salons. The process takes about 45 minutes, costs about $90-120 USD, and has been described as “Viagra for hair.” (Source)
Diatomaceous earth (DE), a soft rock that is easily crumbled into a white powder, is one of the two components in dynamite. DE is also an abrasive substance that is used in most mild exfoliators, natural toothpastes, deodorants and powders. Thankfully, DE is completely natural and poses no health risks so long as it is not contaminated with anything else. (Source )
Snail ooze is collected and used as a ingredient in many famous moisturizers. The glycolic acid and elastin in a snail’s secretion protects its own skin from cuts, bacteria, and UV rays, making it a great source for proteins that eliminate dead cells and regenerate skin. It is also helpful for removing scars, stretch marks and curing acne.
As promising as that sounds for youthful looking skin, we don’t particularly like the idea of causing distress to animals, nor using their ooze on our skin.
Squalane is a naturally-occurring oil that almost all plants and animals produce, including humans. The squalane that is extracted from the liver of sharks goes into creating Shark Liver Oil, which is used in many products. Its greasy consistency is easily absorbed into the skin, making it a perfect ingredient for many products like lip balm, sunscreen, and moisturizers. Though many companies have stopped using Shark Liver Oil due to environmental concerns, it is still a widely-used ingredient in beauty products. (Source | Photo)
TNS Recovery Complex by SkinMedica claims to use cells derived from human infant foreskins (NouriCel-MD) in their “revolutionary” line of anti-aging products. Using a combination of soluble collagen, antioxidants, natural growth factors, and matrix proteins, they claim to slow the aging process and encourage new cell growth to promote a youthful complexion. (Source)
If that’s not weird enough for you, aborted fetus cells are being used to make anti-aging moisturizers by a company called NeoCutis. (Source)
Ever heard of Lanolin? If not, you’ve probably smeared some on your body at some point in the form of lotion, balm, or shaving cream. The fact is, Lanolin is collected from sheep wool and is used in vitamin supplements as a water-proofing agent, and in countless beauty products. Lanolin is commonly-used to soothe sore nipples in breastfeeding mothers, but it is also equally effective at oiling up a shoe leather to make it more supple and water resistant. Beauty giant Olay uses lanolin in their facial moisturizers, as do many other well-known companies. (Source | Photo)
If putting something that was derived from questionable animal or even human sources onto your lips, face, or nipples might sound gross to you, then check out the plant-based cosmetics from BR Naturals!
Everything is made from plant oils, contains no synthetic preservatives or chemicals, and vegan (except for beeswax in our lotion bars) and scented with essential oils.
Keywords: vegan, vegetarian, natural, organic, chemical-free, natural, natural skincare
Original article can be found here.