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Is olive oil in your make-up bag?
It's been two years since we launched our online store selling eco friendly bags and in that time I've worked hard to go green in many areas of my life beyond just reusable bags.
One recent focus of mine is my beauty products. It takes a lot to make this face presentable each morning!
I'm not a cosmetic junkie, but I must admit, I don't leave the house without wearing a minimum of foundation, blush, eye liner and mascara. Call it vanity or insecurity, but I just don't feel dressed if I haven't done my face.
Over the years I have purchased everything from pricey designer products to drugstore cosmetics. Recently I tried some of the organic and natural cosmetics to reduce the chemicals I put on my skin.
But one thing I have never done before is make my own beauty products -- until now.
In researching eco-beauty products, I've seen many different ways to use kitchen staples in my make up bag. One that has worked very well is olive oil as a natural make up remover. I've been using it for the last few months and couldn't be happier.
I didn't buy anything special, I just poured some from the bottle I have in the pantry. I used an old lotion jar that I had thoroughly cleaned. You could probably use an old baby food jar or any other small container that has a lid that tightens securely. After removing my eye make up with it I pat a little of the oil under my eyes to moisturize my skin.
Why Olive Oil?
Not only is olive oil good for your heart, it's good for your skin. It contains the same healthy fats as avocado, which plumps and moisturizes the skin with a combination of vitamin E and vitamin A. So it makes a terrific moisturizer for your face, feet, hands -- anywhere you have especially dry skin.
It contains at least four different antioxidants which some believe can help neutralize damaging free radicals that can lead to skin aging. I also found many references to using olive oil as sunscreen. As a very pale-skinned woman of Irish descent who gets a sunburn just sitting by the window, I'm not quite ready to give up my SPF 50 quite yet. Let me know if you've tried it though!
Another benefit of using olive oil is the price. I've always been pretty frugal (I am the daughter of the Queen of Frugality, which I guess makes me a princess) and I love finding ways to save money. I use olive oil frequently in the kitchen so I buy it in large quantities. I buy a three liter container of organic extra virgin olive oil for $26. The 4 oz bottle of drug store eye make up remover is $7 and the department store cosmetic counter brands are two or three times that. My natural make up remover costs a fraction of a penny per use.
The average U.S. consumer uses about 10 cosmetic products every day, including makeup, soap, shampoo, lotion, hair gel and cologne, says Lisa Archer, the national coordinator for The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC), a nonprofit advocacy group based in San Francisco and financed in part by the Breast Cancer Fund, a nonprofit organization. As a result, she says, people are exposed to roughly 126 different chemicals daily, many of which haven't been thoroughly tested.
"We're operating in a vacuum in terms of safety," Archer says. "The FDA doesn't even define what 'safe' is, so it's totally up to the discretion of cosmetic companies."
As I learn more about the ingredients in most cosmetics I am committed to using more and more natural products and even creating some of my own recipes!
In the meantime there is some information out there on safer cosmetics. You can find a great database from the Environmental Working Group. They have analyzed thousands of different products and scored them from 0-10 based on low to high hazard, reflects known and suspected hazards. It's a great resource as I begin looking at my cosmetics.
Do you have any eco-beauty tips to share?