Safe cosmetic brands uncovered | Queen of Green | David Suzuki Foundation
Photo: Safe cosmetic brands uncovered

Would you know if there’s lead in your lipstick? Canadian author Gillian Deacon takes your questions on her favourite safe cosmetic products!

Gillian Deacon, award-winning broadcaster and author of There's Lead in Your Lipstick: Toxins in Our Everyday Body Care and How to Avoid Them, is so passionate about helping Canadians avoid the harmful chemicals hidden in shampoos and lipsticks, she agreed to answer questions from our David Suzuki Foundation Book Club fans! (The David Suzuki Foundation and the Queen of Green do not endorse companies, products, or brands. Below are solely recommendations by Gillian.)

What's the safest deodorant?

Gillian: My favourite is Crawford Street Skin Care, an independent outfit in Toronto that also retails online. It's effective and so natural you could eat it. I've also had success with Weleda's spray deodorant.

What's the safest foundation?

Gillian: There's a section on foundation in the "Face" chapter of my book. Mineral makeup is safer than products made with petrochemicals. But be careful, not all mineral makeup is all that natural. Lavera, made in Germany, has liquid foundation with aloe vera and many certified organic ingredients. I use dual pressed foundation and powder from Zuzu for TV. Sappho is a new line out of Vancouver from Emmy-award winning makeup artist Joanne Fowler.

Is expensive "all natural" makeup any better than cheap Covergirl makeup?

Gillian: It's worth paying more for truly natural ingredients. Synthetic chemicals are cheaper, which is why most manufacturers use them. But that's all we know about them. No testing is required on those ingredients, so it's anyone's guess how they affect our long-term health. Increasing evidence links those chemicals with many health concerns. Don't put yourself or your family at risk of serious health problems just to save a few bucks. Having gone through breast cancer treatment, I don't say that lightly!

I have "gluten sensitivity". Even contact with my skin causes a reaction. Are there safe cosmetics out there for me?

Gillian: Green Beaver, a Canadian company, has just come out with a natural product line specifically designed for the gluten-intolerant.

Which mascara is eco-friendly?

Gillian: I love Lavera mascara for everyday. For a more va-va-voom evening look, I use Gabriel. They are both made with plant-based ingredients. I have more suggestions and details in the "Eyes" chapter of my book.

Is there safe nail polish out there?

Gillian: I love No Miss nail polish. There is also Priti, Nvey and a few other safe options for nail colour. When I treat myself to a pedicure, I bring my own polish!

What about hair dyes?

Gillian: It takes harsh and unfortunately toxic chemicals to change the colour of human hair. The exception to that rule is henna. Use regular henna or, depending on your hair colour, try a product like Logona which mixes henna with other plant ingredients. Tints of Nature is another colouring option. Coverage won't last as long as permanent dye, but it's safer and better for our water quality.

Do you have a safe personal care product that you can't live without and think others should know about?

Sincerely,
Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green

April 4, 2011
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/queen-of-green/2011/04/safe-cosmetic-brands-uncovered/

Read more

Post a comment


27 Comments

Feb 12, 2014
12:18 PM

I have switched all my Makeup to Younique and I LOVE the 3D fiber lashes as well made from 100% green tea fibers. Younique Makeup Canada specializes in organic, all-natural, mineral-based cosmetics that are free of parabens, oils, synthetic fragrances, and cheap fillers.

www.NaturallyYounique.com <<<

Dec 03, 2013
2:08 PM

I never leave comments online but just HAVE to say how amazing Sappho foundation is!!! I use foundation every day and had tried many brands but this one is by far the best thing I had ever put on my skin. It feels like second skin, moisturizes and covers perfectly! They also have very good tones, which I found to be the best issue with natural foundations, I could never find a good balanced natural looking colour. I am absolutely in love with this brand!!!

Jun 25, 2013
8:02 AM

I have switched all my toxic make up with Younique!! I loved the product so much I joined the Company! Will launch in Canada July 1st! Prices are the best compared to other Natural Mineral Make up! Absolutely no fillers, No Parabens, No synthetic fragrances, No Talc, No oils, VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE, CRUELTY FREE… More products to come in the fall, all products are fully labeled with ingredients on both the product and the website!!! www.youniqueproducts.com/SarahKennedy

Jun 24, 2013
11:25 AM

I LOVE the Delizioso Skincare lipstick. It was a great find for me. I’m surprised it isn’t mentioned here.

WOW!

Jun 08, 2013
3:31 PM

Delizioso Skincare Cosmetics are absolutely amazing! They are 100% natural, 100% pure and are actually better preforming than any other cosmetic brands that I’ve tried!!!

Their lipsticks are phenomenal, and though I have not tried everything. I highly recommend them! They are also made in Canada.

May 27, 2013
4:47 PM

Rejuva Minerals is an excellent brand that is GMO free, petro chemical free, titanium dioxide free, paraben free, and more…. The only problem? Not found in Canada, and unless you want to pay $30 duty in shipping, you have to travel to the nearest state to get it. For me in BC, I would have to travel to either California or Idaho to buy it direct.

Apr 05, 2013
1:05 PM

i used to use no miss nail polish all the time, until i discovered “sun coat” water based nail polished. designed and made in canada, the suncoat nail polish is truly odor free with mineral colors.many of the colors are vegan, although some have cochineal in them :(. its more along the lines of a ‘paint’ than a polish, ingredient wise. i find it stays on well, adn if i want to remove it, i just soak my nails in hot water for a few minutes and then gently rub the polish off with my other nails. they also have an oil based nail polish remover, which also has no harsh chemical smell! i can’t recommend this polish enough!! the ‘natural’ brands of regular nail polish still bother me, but this one is just fine.

Mar 26, 2013
12:24 PM

I have to point out the elephant in the room. As far as foundation goes, it’s well and good if we’re talking about medium to fair skin tones. You think your choices are limited? Try being a dark-skinned black woman looking for safer, natural foundation options. The only one I’ve found that comes close is DeVita. It contains mica but is titanium dioxide free. At this point, I’ll take it. Especially since they also have the only moisturizer with natural sunscreen that blends decently with dark skin tones.

Jan 25, 2013
4:26 PM

Than You Jesus there are people such as the sensitive souls that work to keep the earth green with such well thought out products. I would like to start a grocery chain that focuses on only green products. Is it possible that you could supply me with a list of brands for everyday house hold items as well as grocery items to fill my shelves as an all green grocer in my area? If not Thank You Jesus I am certain it is because you have plenty to attend if yes I really look forward to getting in touch with you again to acquire more information and perhaps referals of companies that are all about green living. Thank You Jesus and thank you Mr Suzuki for the wonderful endevour you have not swayed from.

Oct 26, 2012
12:01 AM

Rocky Mountain Soap Co (from Alberta) have a great liquid crystal deodorant. I absolutely love it. I've put it through some serious workouts and never had an issue with being smelly afterwards. Most of their products are awesome actually.

Oct 06, 2012
10:20 AM

Ava Anderson Non Toxic is another great company which makes a complete line of products (cosmetics, body creams, hand sanitizers, all-purpose cleaners, baby products and a LOT more) completely free of toxins. 100% organic and natural. It's the only stuff I buy.

Sep 04, 2012
5:19 PM

Please visit my website at organichennaforhair.com

Aug 09, 2012
10:09 AM

I have discovered soaps made in Canada from The Soap Works. The company assured me that all but 2 of their soaps contained absolutely none of the dirty dozen. I am hoping that the soap is truly a better option to the typical store brands!!

Jul 17, 2012
8:05 AM

Thank you for all that you do! What is a safe and not too expensive sunscreen for face and body? I use Biotherm but it gets expensive as I use it everyday all year. Is there a moisturizer with over 50 sunscreen I could use instead? I'm very fair.

Jun 19, 2012
5:02 AM

I use LUVU Beauty cosmetics and skin care. I actually believe they supply Jaydancin with there makeup (I saw on a previous post)…cost is very very reasonable, customer service is excellent and shipping is super quick!

Apr 12, 2012
11:59 AM

For Gluten-intolerant skin care and cosmetics, Sei Bella is an excellent line as well. Many of their products are gluten free.

I'm of the understanding that some people with acne can simply be reacting to gluten in their shampoos. (not every one is even aware of their gluten intolerance if it's very mild, right?)

Sei Bella's hair care line addresses this as well.

Mar 16, 2012
8:44 PM

As it turns out, for nail polish, Acquarella seems to be the safest one can get. I do empathize with you, butterfly, but unless one makes their own cosmetics, I guess there's really no way to avoid everything that's a bit toxic, and different people react differently to different ingredients as well.

Mar 09, 2012
6:34 PM

Ere perez from Sydney, Australia,….for the best…everything….!!! I've been using her cosmetic products for over 4 years, check her out online! natural almond oil mascara that really lifts the eyes, and great loose powder foundation and bronzers.. and a vanilla highlighter that you can use all over your face…. made from very natural and organic ingredients.

Feb 24, 2012
1:01 PM

I'm addicted to So Ho Mish Skin Cream by Annie's Apitherapy, the skincare line of Dutchman's Gold honey in Carlisle, Ontario. It has just 9 ingredients and it has made an amazing difference to my skin. (My skin is dry, not sure how it would work on other skin types.) Also love Green Beaver toothpastes. They actually taste good and aren't too abrasive.

Oct 18, 2011
6:18 PM

I gotta say, I have been researching for MONTHS for the healthiest and safest cosmetics in the world. And I keep coming up empty handed. EVERYTHING has at least one toxic ingredient, even the products deemed "SAFE" on the ewg.org website. Most products claim "all natural, organic, chemical free" and it is all a lie! One foundation has bismuth, and the foundation that claims "bismuth free" has titanium dioxide in it. Then the next foundation claims "titanium dioxide free" and "bismuth free" and yet it has mica and kaolinic clay it it. And so on and so on the cycle continues. Sadly, this article has several brands recommended as "safe." If you check the ingredients in every product mentioned, they ALL contain at least one toxic ingredient. If the author had done the research, so we wouldn't have to, why are there TOXIC PRODUCTS NAMED IN THIS ARTICLE????? You can't trust anyone.

Jun 14, 2011
1:14 PM

What started out as a group of small personal care manufacturing companies with concern for the environment and our health lead the way for what is now a 2 billion dollar industry (natural personal care). Once the consumer tide started to change it was interesting to see the majors scramble to get a piece of the market and mostly fail (see green-washing) because they just didn’t get it (It was not all about the bottom line anymore).

When we started in 2001 with our line of Thera Wise plant based OTC therapeutic ointments — www.therawise.com, we had noticed an absence of natural, safe and effective therapeutic ointments available in the market, additionally pointing out that most OTC pharmacy ointments had not changed in their composition for more than 50 years. Just goes to show that a small group of caring individuals can change the world….what should we do next?”

May 03, 2011
6:45 AM

I use Jaydancin organic makeup and skincare from Sparta,Ontario. Cost is very reasonable and delivery is speedy. www.jaydancin.com

Apr 25, 2011
12:21 PM

According to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (cosmeticsdatabase.com), two very safe brands of make up are Rejuva Minerals and Real Purity. A great thing about Real Purity is you can get samples… I got foundation, lipstick, blush, and two eyeshadows for around $17 CAN. Each one is about $1 USD ($1.50 for lipstick). Rejuva Minerals has mascara, I believe.

The jury is out for deodorant with me… I use the Crystal spray for now (the stick ended up absorbing my odor and depositing it back), but I’ve heard you can fashion your own out of baking soda, coconut oil and cornstarch. I’ve been experimenting with it plus beeswax, shea butter, and some essential oils known for their slight antiperspirant properties. I modified the recipe from the Green Spa here!

One safe hair dye I’ve seen is Colora, it’s henna, though… I’ve heard henna does not come out unless you cut it or it grows out… and there are only limited colours. I’m sure there are ways to get different colours from fruit, flowers and teas if you can’t find the one you want, though.

The safest nail polish I’ve heard of is SunCoat.

Apr 24, 2011
7:03 AM

I can’t live without almond oil and shea butter. I use the oil to help take m make up off, and to moisturize my legs. The shea butter is more heavy duty moisturizer, for my hands.

Apr 23, 2011
9:43 AM

Last summer I began looking around for safe skin care products. I purchased several different brands from health food stores, but was most dismayed to discover that they were far from “clean”. I happened upon a product line called “Awaken My Senses”. Hand blended and created in Toronto ON, I can’t rave enough about this company.

The owner, Colleen Hague, is a walking encyclopedia of botanical knowledge. I have attended several of her seminars and am amazed at how much information she has to share. Her motto is “if you’re not prepared to eat it, don’t put it on your skin”. To prove her point, she will put a large dollop of product on her skin and then lick it off.

All products have an expiry date, about one year from manufacture, which proved to me that these are very clean, natural products. Please investigate this product. www.awakenmysenses.com

Thanks, Sylvia

Apr 06, 2011
4:57 AM

These type of programs should be introduce to our High school students

Apr 05, 2011
9:20 PM

Check out Affera Cosmetics, made in Burnaby, BC. Pure mineral makeup without any chemicals.

The David Suzuki Foundation does not necessarily endorse the comments or views posted within this forum. All contributors acknowledge DSF's right to refuse publication of comments deemed to be offensive or that contravene our operating principles as a charitable organization. Please note that all comments are pre-moderated. Privacy Policy »