Posted by: Emily
Some recent discoveries left me a little undone. I hate to even go here and be negative, because it’s springtime in New York and this beautiful weather makes me happy and makes everything seem better, but still I must share with you some unnerving findings.
The other day, while applying my Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil, I made a startling discovery. Two, actually.
One, I was using old make up– years old; and Two, Bare Escentuals hasn’t always been so healthy!
While applying with the patented “Swirl, Tap, Buff,” somewhere between the Swirl and the Tap, I flipped the container over to eek out a little more of the dwindling powder, and noticed that the ingredients were printed on the bottom of the container. I’d read the ingredients online recently, of course, in my never-ending quest to educate myself about what goes in my products, but I had forgotten that I’d bought this Mineral Veil (okay, this is embarrassing) a few years ago, and then not really used it. That, in itself, is a problem of which we should all be aware. Old make-up is bad make-up. (Here’s a helpful article about when you should toss cosmetics, natural or not, but be especially aware that since Natural and Green cosmetics don’t have preservatives in them, they “go bad” a lot faster than chemical-laden ones!)
I am sad to admit that I did not follow this rule, and was holding on to some really old Mineral Veil. So there I was, reading the ingredients list on the bottom, horrified to see the words “methylparaben” and “propylparaben” listed.
I know first hand that it’s hard to throw things away– and when you can avoid waste, I’m all for that. (I recently did a little closet clean out and gave some nice, full bags of clothing to Goodwill and a bag of clothing to Jordan! Finding friends with whom you swap the stuff you’re not wearing is good for both of you! But I digress… ) The point is, it’s spring, and a good Spring Cleaning is an important ritual. We all have those things we didn’t use or didn’t wear, and the temptation is to hold on to them, to “make good” on our investment, so to speak. However, I encourage you to make good on your investment in yourself and in your health by letting go of any old cosmetics you have been keeping just because you spent money on them! They could be hurting you. And then who knows how much money we’re spending on skin-clearing products to get rid of the pimples we have that might be caused by the old products?! It’s a vicious cycle! Best would be to only buy things you really need and will use quickly, and buy one or two products at a time, so as not to waste money or create clutter, but there’s a reason we named this blog “Product JUNKIES…” so I am not one to talk!
I stood there, parabens in hand (and on skin!) and was reminded of an important phrase: Trust No One. It’s sad, but in this time of greenwashing and hype, you have to be your own advocate. Only you can make sure that every product you use meets your personal standard of health and safety. I’m not saying Bare Escentuals is a greenwasher– on the contrary, rather. I think they do an overall excellent job keeping their Natural products Natural, but clearly this has not always been the case, and only I am to blame for having put parabens on my skin unknowingly for the past few weeks.
The good news is that Bare Escentuals has obviously changed their formulas– no more parabens in their Mineral Veil. (And, in addition to getting rid of the parabens, they also have a new formula that has an SPF of 25!! Bonus!) The bad news is that, for the time before I noticed this old formula and old make up, I was unknowingly putting chemicals on my skin. And for what, a few dollars? Not worth it!