In recent years, natural makeup has become all the rage. People are caring more about what they put on their face and body. They’re studying labels, researching brands, and learning about potentially harmful substances found in traditional makeup.

Consequently, people are turning toward more natural makeup like lipstick colored with fruit pigment. It’s also known as clean, green, or nontoxic makeup.

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between natural and regular makeup along with recommendations for the best products.

Natural vs. regular
The main difference between natural and regular makeup is the ingredients.

Generally, makeup is called natural if it contains ingredients from natural sources. It usually has a minimal amount of altered or synthetic substances.

Here are some ingredients you probably won’t find in natural makeup:

Synthetic preservatives. Natural makeup doesn’t contain preservatives designed to increase shelf life.
Artificial colorants. The bright colors of regular makeup depends on synthetic dyes and pigments. Clean makeup uses natural sources instead.
Artificial fragrances. A synthetic fragrance is a cocktail of chemicals, but brands don’t have to list them. These fragrances aren’t used in natural makeup.
Heavy metals. While heavy metals like lead and arsenic are found in nature, they’re linked to health problems at high doses. Natural makeup should meet the safety limits for these ingredients.
Cost
Typically, natural makeup costs more than regular makeup from a drugstore. That’s because natural cosmetics are often made with high-quality ingredients and no cheap fillers. Plus, they’re usually manufactured in smaller batches rather than mass-produced.

Regulation
No makeup, including natural makeup, is strictly regulated. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source doesn’t require companies to include specific ingredients or meet detailed standards. It’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to make sure their products are safe.

The word “natural” also doesn’t have a legal definition, so a brand can call their products this based on their own definition. This means something marketed as “natural” or “clean” can have a small amount of synthetic or potentially harmful ingredients.

It’s super important to do your own research and read labels when buying makeup.

Pros and cons
Pros of natural makeup
contains ingredients from nature
has fewer harmful synthetic ingredients
safe to use on sensitive skin
usually eco-friendly
Cons of natural makeup
shorter shelf life from a lack of synthetic preservatives
natural pigments less vibrant than synthetic dyes
smaller shade selections
usually more expensive
Pros of regular makeup
longer shelf-life
brighter due to synthetic pigments
larger shade selection
less expensive and widely available
Cons of regular makeup
linked to unfavorable health effects
contains more potentially harmful synthetic ingredients
higher risk of allergic reactions
may be harsh on sensitive skin
Benefits to natural makeup
While all clean makeup isn’t created equal, there are some general benefits to using them.

1. Reduced exposure to harmful ingredients
Many people like natural makeup because it has fewer potentially harmful synthetic ingredients.

For example, parabens are synthetic preservatives often found in regular cosmetics. The body absorbs parabens from the skin and excretes them in the urine. High paraben exposure leads to high levels in urine.

A 2016 study in Environmental ResearchTrusted Source compared the urinary paraben levels of 106 pregnant women to their blood levels of reproductive and thyroid hormones.

After analyzing the data, the researchers found a link between parabens and hormone disruption during pregnancy, which may increase the risk for adverse birth effects.

While more research is necessary, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests avoiding parabens.

The EWG also recommends skipping cosmetics with potentially toxic ingredients, including:

formaldehyde
phthalates
ingredients listed as “fragrance”
toluene
By using natural makeup, you can minimize your exposure to these ingredients.

2. Fewer odor-induced headaches
Some companies scent their makeup with artificial fragrances. Usually, this is done to mask other ingredients or enhance the branding of the product.

But according to a 2014 articleTrusted Source, odors can trigger headaches in people who are prone to migraine. For some, this may include fragrances used in scented makeup.

Since natural makeup is usually fragrance-free, it might be an ideal alternative if you’re sensitive to strong odors.

3. Lower risk of skin irritation
The preservatives, dyes, and fragrances in regular makeup can cause contact dermatitis. This involves an itchy red rash due to skin sensitivity or an allergic reaction.

In fact, cosmetics are the most common cause of fragrance-related contact dermatitis, according to a 2018 articleTrusted Source.

Another 2018 study in DermatitisTrusted Source examined the risk of skin sensitivity of various products with fragrances. Compared to rinse-off products like shampoo and cleanser, items like lipstick and eye shadow are more likely to cause skin issues because they’re worn for a long period.

Using natural makeup without preservatives, dyes, and fragrances can limit your risk of skin irritation.

4. Safer for sensitive skin
Natural products are generally well tolerated by people with sensitive skin. Regular cosmetics, on the other hand, often trigger flare-ups and increase irritation.

For instance, people with eczema are encouraged to use products without synthetic dyes. Makeup with plant-based ingredients are also recommended.

Unlike traditional makeup, natural products are more likely to check these boxes.

5. Contains skin-healthy ingredients
In addition to enhancing your features, natural makeup can give your skin a healthy boost. Clean beauty products contain plant ingredients that could benefit your skin. Examples include:

avocado oil
shea butter
rosehip oil
jojoba oil
These oils have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and skin-repairing properties, according to a 2017 article in the International Journal of Molecular SciencesTrusted Source.

Natural makeup is also colored with plant pigments like fruit extracts. While there isn’t hard evidence on the skin benefits of plant pigments, it’s thought these ingredients nourish the skin with vitamins and antioxidants.

In recent years, natural makeup has become all the rage. People are caring more about what they put on their face and body. They’re studying labels, researching brands, and learning about potentially harmful substances found in traditional makeup.

Consequently, people are turning toward more natural makeup like lipstick colored with fruit pigment. It’s also known as clean, green, or nontoxic makeup.

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between natural and regular makeup along with recommendations for the best products.

Natural vs. regular

The main difference between natural and regular makeup is the ingredients.

Generally, makeup is called natural if it contains ingredients from natural sources. It usually has a minimal amount of altered or synthetic substances.

Here are some ingredients you probably won’t find in natural makeup:

  • Synthetic preservatives. Natural makeup doesn’t contain preservatives designed to increase shelf life.
  • Artificial colorants. The bright colors of regular makeup depends on synthetic dyes and pigments. Clean makeup uses natural sources instead.
  • Artificial fragrances. A synthetic fragrance is a cocktail of chemicals, but brands don’t have to list them. These fragrances aren’t used in natural makeup.
  • Heavy metals. While heavy metals like lead and arsenic are found in nature, they’re linked to health problems at high doses. Natural makeup should meet the safety limits for these ingredients.

Cost

Typically, natural makeup costs more than regular makeup from a drugstore. That’s because natural cosmetics are often made with high-quality ingredients and no cheap fillers. Plus, they’re usually manufactured in smaller batches rather than mass-produced.

Regulation

No makeup, including natural makeup, is strictly regulated. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source doesn’t require companies to include specific ingredients or meet detailed standards. It’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to make sure their products are safe.

The word “natural” also doesn’t have a legal definition, so a brand can call their products this based on their own definition. This means something marketed as “natural” or “clean” can have a small amount of synthetic or potentially harmful ingredients.

It’s super important to do your own research and read labels when buying makeup.

Pros and cons

Pros of natural makeup

  • contains ingredients from nature
  • has fewer harmful synthetic ingredients
  • safe to use on sensitive skin
  • usually eco-friendly

Cons of natural makeup

  • shorter shelf life from a lack of synthetic preservatives
  • natural pigments less vibrant than synthetic dyes
  • smaller shade selections
  • usually more expensive

Pros of regular makeup

  • longer shelf-life
  • brighter due to synthetic pigments
  • larger shade selection
  • less expensive and widely available

Cons of regular makeup

  • linked to unfavorable health effects
  • contains more potentially harmful synthetic ingredients
  • higher risk of allergic reactions
  • may be harsh on sensitive skin

Benefits to natural makeup

While all clean makeup isn’t created equal, there are some general benefits to using them.

1. Reduced exposure to harmful ingredients

Many people like natural makeup because it has fewer potentially harmful synthetic ingredients.

For example, parabens are synthetic preservatives often found in regular cosmetics. The body absorbs parabens from the skin and excretes them in the urine. High paraben exposure leads to high levels in urine.

A 2016 study in Environmental ResearchTrusted Source compared the urinary paraben levels of 106 pregnant women to their blood levels of reproductive and thyroid hormones.

After analyzing the data, the researchers found a link between parabens and hormone disruption during pregnancy, which may increase the risk for adverse birth effects.

While more research is necessary, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests avoiding parabens.

The EWG also recommends skipping cosmetics with potentially toxic ingredients, including:

  • formaldehyde
  • phthalates
  • ingredients listed as “fragrance”
  • toluene

By using natural makeup, you can minimize your exposure to these ingredients.

2. Fewer odor-induced headaches

Some companies scent their makeup with artificial fragrances. Usually, this is done to mask other ingredients or enhance the branding of the product.

But according to a 2014 articleTrusted Source, odors can trigger headaches in people who are prone to migraine. For some, this may include fragrances used in scented makeup.

Since natural makeup is usually fragrance-free, it might be an ideal alternative if you’re sensitive to strong odors.

3. Lower risk of skin irritation

The preservatives, dyes, and fragrances in regular makeup can cause contact dermatitis. This involves an itchy red rash due to skin sensitivity or an allergic reaction.

In fact, cosmetics are the most common cause of fragrance-related contact dermatitis, according to a 2018 articleTrusted Source.

Another 2018 study in DermatitisTrusted Source examined the risk of skin sensitivity of various products with fragrances. Compared to rinse-off products like shampoo and cleanser, items like lipstick and eye shadow are more likely to cause skin issues because they’re worn for a long period.

Using natural makeup without preservatives, dyes, and fragrances can limit your risk of skin irritation.

4. Safer for sensitive skin

Natural products are generally well tolerated by people with sensitive skin. Regular cosmetics, on the other hand, often trigger flare-ups and increase irritation.

For instance, people with eczema are encouraged to use products without synthetic dyes. Makeup with plant-based ingredients are also recommended.

Unlike traditional makeup, natural products are more likely to check these boxes.

5. Contains skin-healthy ingredients

In addition to enhancing your features, natural makeup can give your skin a healthy boost. Clean beauty products contain plant ingredients that could benefit your skin. Examples include:

These oils have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and skin-repairing properties, according to a 2017 article in the International Journal of Molecular SciencesTrusted Source.

Natural makeup is also colored with plant pigments like fruit extracts. While there isn’t hard evidence on the skin benefits of plant pigments, it’s thought these ingredients nourish the skin with vitamins and antioxidants.

Top brands

With so many companies to choose from, shopping for the best natural makeup can be overwhelming. We asked Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, to share her recommendations for natural brands:

  • Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics. Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics uses minerals, natural preservatives, and plant extracts. You can find their paraben-free products online.
  • Jane Iredale. Cobb says this is an ideal choice for people with acne. Find Jane Iredale products online. They’re free of:
    • parabens
    • synthetic fragrance
    • phthalates
    • fillers
  • Bare Minerals. “They have a great variety of eyeshadows that are super-pigmented,” says Cobb. Find their products online. As a clean mineral makeup line, Bare Minerals is free of:
    • parabens
    • phthalates
    • formaldehyde
    • propylene glycol
  • Colorescience. Colorescience specializes in makeup with mineral sunscreen. Their formulas, available online, are free of:
    • parabens
    • phthalates
    • synthetic fragrances
    • dyes
    • drying alcohol
  • Glo Skin Beauty. Glo Skin Beauty makes paraben-free mineral makeup. The brand uses ingredients like mango oil, shea butter, and green tea extract. Find their products online.

Specific skin types

It’s also a good idea to buy products based on your specific skin needs. Here are tips for buying makeup for different skin types and needs.

Best for fair skin

While everyone should prioritize sun protection, it’s even more important if you have fair skin. Look for natural makeup with SPF. Products like lip gloss or eye shadow with SPF can protect parts of your face that normally aren’t covered with sunscreen.

Best for Asian skin

Asian skin is prone to hyperpigmentation, especially after injury or inflammation. Color-correcting concealers are designed to minimize these pigmented areas. Use purple concealer to reduce dullness, yellow concealer for purple spots, and green concealer for redness.

Best for skin with more pigment

Look for brands with a wide selection of color options to match your skin tone.

It’s also recommended to use makeup with moisturizing ingredients. Keeping your skin hydrated can minimize dryness.

Best for makeup removal

To safely remove your makeup, look for gentle makeup removers without alcohol and fragrance. Makeup removers with natural oils will also dissolve the oil in makeup. If you have sensitive skin, use a soothing cleansing milk or micellar water.

What to look for

Since natural makeup varies from brand to brand, it’s important to check the packaging. Look for these labels to find the best natural product for your needs.

  • USDA Organic. A USDA seal means that the product is USDA-certified and 100 percent organic. “Organic” means that it contains at least 95 percent organic ingredients, while “made with organic ingredients” means that it has at least 70 percent organic ingredients.
  • Fragrance-free. Look for makeup without synthetic fragrance. Avoid “unscented” products, which often have chemicals that mask another fragrance.
  • Synthetic ingredients. Most natural products should be free of parabens, formaldehyde, and phthalates.
  • Possible allergens. Even natural ingredients can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Check the packaging to ensure that you’re not sensitive to the ingredients.
  • Cruelty-free. If you prefer cruelty-free makeup, look for the bunny logo on the packaging.

If you need help finding natural cosmetics, the following resources rate products based on their ingredients and safety:

Where to buy

With clean beauty on the rise, it’s becoming easier to buy natural makeup. Here are several stores that specialize in clean products:

Some retailers, like Nordstrom and Sephora, have sections dedicated to natural makeup. Sephora displays a green leaf logo next to these products.

The bottom line

If you’d like to “clean up” your beauty routine, consider using natural makeup. Clean beauty products are typically free of harmful ingredients like parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrance. They’re also safer for sensitive skin.

Remember, makeup isn’t strictly regulated. Brands can call their cosmetics “natural” or “clean” based on their own definitions. To find the best products, always research brands and read labels before purchasing.

 A Natural Makeup Routine That’s Actually Simple

Are you ready for a win-win makeup routine? The natural, “no makeup makeup” look is the way to go!The natural makeup look is a gift from the universe for all women. A “no makeup makeup” look means that you wear makeup in a way that isn’t obvious to others. It’s all about definition rather than drama.It’s an easy way to boost the look and feel of your skin. And enhance the beautiful details of your face without looking like you’ve covered yourself in cake flour. 

And the win-win comes from using all natural products to achieve this natural look. When you use natural products, it helps your skin, your body, and the environment. Combine these two ideas to create a lovely makeup routine that will make you happy to put on your face every day.

In this article, we’ll give you a great natural makeup routine to follow in 5 simple steps.

Step 1: Skincare

If you want to achieve the best natural-looking makeup, you must work on perfecting your skincare routine. After all, your skin is the highlight of the show when you choose to focus on natural makeup. You want your skin to glow!

Let’s take a look at the main areas of skincare.

Skin Cleanser

Your basic skin routine should be a non-negotiable part of your day. When you wake and when you go to sleep every night, wash your face. The kind of facewash you choose should be a good fit for your skin.

You always want a natural facewash to keep excess chemicals out of your pores. We recommend the Aloe Vera and Grapefruit Gel Cleanser made by the Green Beaver Company. Their ingredients list is simple and natural.

This gel cleanser is great for sensitive skin and those with acne. But there are literally hundreds of facial cleansers on the market to choose from. Keep in mind the moisture levels of your environment and your skin when you choose a cleanser.

Another thing you might consider when choosing a moisturizer is getting one that exfoliates too. Exfoliation is essential to keep the dead skin at bay. Dead skin causes your skin to look dull.

Toner

You may wonder, what does a toner do? Many of us remember the toners of the past that were drying, harsh, and irritating. The idea that a toner should dry out acne prone skin to the point of discomfort is long gone.

Today’s toners are hydrating and gentle. Their main ingredient is water. But they have other great ingredients like botanicals and anti-inflammatory agents in them.

The purpose of using a tone is to add a quick burst of hydration and vitamins to your skin. They make skin softer, plumper, and add a glow that you can’t get without a toner.

Moisturizer

You should have a few different moisturizers in your skincare arsenal. Apply your daily moisturizer in the morning after you clean and tone. It should contain sunscreen – SPF 30 at least.

Your night moisturizer should have repairing effects that help your skin recover from daily damage. Our top pick is Restorative Beauty Balm by Carter Street Natural Skincare in Toronto.

This beauty balm sports an ingredients list with a few, natural ingredients. It’s stocked with essential oils that help repair damage to your face. And is plumps up your skin overnight.

Step 2: Foundation and Concealer

Now that your skin is prepped and ready, it’s time to add a hydrating makeup primer. Makeup primers come in a variety of creams, lotions, and sprays. The type you choose depends on your preferences.

But skipping primer is a bad idea. Especially if you want your bare-faced look to last throughout the day. Primer gives the makeup something to adhere to.

Plus, you can get primers that add light and depth to the look. Or that make the skin look dewy or matte, depending on what you like.

After you apply your primer, it’s time to add foundation. Do you prefer powder or liquid? Or do you like cream foundation instead?

No matter what type of foundation you use, the best idea is to get one that’s low to medium coverage when you’re going for a natural look. Remember, the idea is not to cover up everything. It’s to let some of your facial imperfections shine through in a natural way.

Our recommendation is to start with something light, like a tinted moisturizer. The Tinted Moisturizers by Pure Anada give your skin a light coverage and a dewy appearance.

Next, apply a light concealer to your undereye area and on blemishes. Illuminating Concealers by Da Lish offer medium coverage with a tiny bit of highlighter added for a natural finish. Dab the concealer out with a damp beauty sponge or with your ring finger.

Once you’ve got your base of tinted moisturizer and concealer down, use a fluffy brush to dust loose powder onto your entire face. Again, the powder can have as much or as little coverage as you like. But less is more when it comes to a natural makeup look.

The powder sets your foundation and helps it stay long after you’ve applied.

Step 3: Bronze and Highlight

Now that your skin is prepared with an even tone, it’s time to give it some life and depth. We do this by bronzing and highlighting.

To bronze, take a fluffy cheek brush, like the Bamboo Cheek / Contour Brush and tap it into your favorite bronzer. For a natural bronzed look, stick to bronzing only the high points of your face. The middle of the cheekbones and around your hairline.

The key to natural bronzing is a light application. You can always add more.

Use a powder highlighter with a fan brush to gently dust on the highlight. You want to apply this to the top of your cheekbones, the tip of your nose, and your browbones.

Step 4: Eyes and Brows

Don’t neglect your brows. Even when you’re going for a natural look, it’s important to fill in brows and brush them into place so they appear thick and full.

The Brow Balms by Elate are perfect for achieving the perfect, natural brow. Use a thin, angled brush to apply the balm through the brow hairs. It has enough color to fill in and keep the hairs in place without looking fake.

If you’re an eyeshadow kind of gal, feel free to add a metallic, nude shadow to the lids and around the lower lash line. Metallic makeup is on trend and gives you a hint of nude sparkle. But you can skip this step if you’re not into eyeshadows.

Mascara is important to top off your eye look. It makes you look more awake and brings life to your eyes. And finding a good natural mascara keeps your eyes safe from contaminants.

Apply mascara on the top and bottom lashes to make your eyes pop. If you like, you can add some black or brown eyeliner to the inner water lines of your top and bottom lashes. This little touch makes your lashes look thicker and defines the shape of your eyes.

Step 5: Lips and Cheeks

You can’t forget about your lips and cheeks. This gives you the opportunity to add some colour to your face.

Take a fluffy face brush and dust on some light pink blush. You’ll want to concentrate this to the apples of your cheeks to give your skin a rosy look.

Then use a small, fluffy brush and wet it with your face toner or some clean water. Dip it into your favourite lipstick and apply it to the center of your lips. Stick to the waterline, don’t apply too much around the outside of your lips.

Now press your lips together several times and work the lipstick around. It gives you a soft, natural looking lip stain that’s not overdone. Top with a sheer gloss.

Create a Natural Makeup Routine You Love

The key to your natural makeup routine is that you make it your own. If you love the products you’re using, you’ll love the process of applying makeup every day.

Start with skincare. It’s essential that you create a skincare routine that makes you feel comfortable in your skin. Your skin will thank you for it!

Then apply a light makeup primer and a light coverage foundation. Use concealer only on dark or blemished areas. You want your base makeup to look light and natural.

Bronze the outside of your face and your cheekbones. And add a bit of highlighter to the tops of your cheeks, your nose, and your browbones.

Create natural brows using a brow balm to add definition and colour. And top off your eyes with a beautiful, dark mascara.

Last but not least, add some colour to your face with a dash of blush on the apples of your cheeks. And apply lipstick with a wet brush to the center of your lips to keep it natural and beautiful.

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