Is Your Eyeshadow Really Safe? - Ellana Cosmetics

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Is Your Eyeshadow Really Safe?

Is Your Eyeshadow Really Safe?

We want to know: How many steps does your everyday beauty look have?

With how everything is so fast-paced nowadays, sometimes, time doesn’t permit a multi-step beauty routine. From makeup artists to beauty vloggers, we've seen makeup hacks that take your everyday basics and do more with them – lipstick as an eyeshadow, brow pencils as eyeliner, and more! These hacks not only save you time; they also save you money.

But, as convenient as these hacks are, we have to ask: Is a product made for your lips safe to use on your eyes? Here are some factors to consider:


Formulas for eyelids

It’s important to know if the makeup formula is designed specifically for the eye area, particularly the eyelids. Dermatologists say that the skin on your eyelids is one of the thinnest skin areas of the body. Because of this, makeup and skincare ingredients are able to penetrate it more easily, making eyelid skin sensitive to irritants and allergens.

In fact, it’s not just your eyelids that are at risk. When you use your eyeshadow, you also put them on other areas around your eyes. Columbia University Medical Center’s Lora Glass, M.D. shares that applying makeup on the rims of your eyelids (the ones around your eyeballs) can also be harmful because that area is “made up of both epithelial skin, which is protected by a hardened layer of dead skin cells, and mucosal skin, which has no barrier at all.”

Any makeup that touches that area (intentionally or not), especially the mucosal skin, has a chance to be absorbed by the skin and potentially cause irritation.


Pigments and chemicals to avoid

The pigments and color additives used in your eyeshadows are some of the important ingredients that you have to look at. The rule of thumb is that the brighter the pigments, the less safe they are to use around the eyes, so you might want to steer clear of neon colors.

In fact, the FDA in the Philippines has a list of both approved and prohibitedcolor additives andcoloring agents. You can check out these references, look up the ingredients of your makeup, and discover where they’re safe to use on. 

Take red pigment colorants and synthetic reds, for example. While commonly used in lipsticks to get that rich, bold color, research says that they are actually toxic for you, which is why you shouldn’t use your lipstick as eyeshadow. These harmful ingredients can permeate skin easily, making them dangerous for your eyes. They also contain high levels of lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and antimony, which are all considered carcinogenic. Over time, these metals build up in the body and do serious health damage.

Here are other common chemicals that you should avoid in your eyeshadows:

  • Carbon black: It’s a powder used in some eyeliners, mascaras, and eyeshadows. But, studies show that it can contribute to cancer and toxicity in the organs.
  • Ethanolamine compounds: They can be contaminated with nitrosamines, which are chemicals that cause cancer. You can see them listed as DEA, TEA and MEA in the ingredients.
  • Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives: Formaldehyde and the preservatives that release it are strongly known to cause cancer and allergic skin reactions. They’re also known as quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, and urea in the list of ingredients.
  • Parabens: While they are used to prevent the growth of bacteria in makeup, parabens are preservatives that disrupt the endocrine system and harm the reproductive system. They also contribute to dryness in the eyes because they prevent the oil glands along your eyelids from producing oil.
  • Aluminum powder: This powder is used to give eye makeup its color appearance, but it’s actually a neurotoxin that prevents your body from expelling mercury. Having mercury and other toxins is normal because our body can naturally remove them. However, aluminum powder counters that, making it dangerous. You can find it listed as aluminum, LB Pigment 5, or pigment metal in the ingredients.
  • Retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate: These two forms of Vitamin A largely contribute to endocrine disruption, eye irritation, and organ system toxicity. They also eventually kill oil glands around the eyes with no chance of rebuilding them. When this happens, your eyes will always feel dry.
  • Heavy metals: Nickel, chrome, and bismuth oxychloride are some of the most commonly used metals in eyeshadows, especially the metallic ones. However, these neurotoxins show links to brain damage, lung cancer and respiratory concerns, and skin irritation. You may not see them listed in the ingredients, though; so, take extra time to research if they’re present in your eyeshadows.
  • Thimerosal: This compound that’s sourced from mercury, can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, and even damaged brain functions.
  • Talc: Found in most eyeshadows, this ingredient can cause cancer, particularly ovarian cancer.


Pro-tips for you

Here at Ellana, we’re all about multipurposeanything, but in the healthy and #BetterForYou way. That’s why we’re very particular and conscious of theingredients that we use to formulate our products; we know that they can make or break your skin. We use only ethically-sourced and FDA-approved ingredients and skip the parabens, talc, and other toxic chemicals. In fact, here are some of the healthy, #BetterForYou ingredients that you can find in our eye makeup:

  • Mica:It’s a mineral that gives a natural color and shimmer. You can also see it listed as sericite, which is its finer version, and present in our Loose Multipurpose Pigments. While it’s not toxic, make sure to just dust it lightly and not buff it to prevent irritation, especially if you have hyper-sensitive skin.
  • Iron oxides: Used as colorants in our Multipurpose Color Cream, these naturally-occurring minerals are safe and gentle on the skin. Plus, these colorants aren’t absorbed by the skin, making them safe to use on the eye area.
  • Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides: This ingredient is derived from coconut oil and used for its emollient properties in our Multipurpose Color Cream to help keep skin moisturized and add a light, non-greasy sheen.

It also helps to check the makeup’s guidelines for usage. If a product is recommended forlips and cheeks only, then don’t risk it by using it as an eyeshadow. But, if it claims to be safe forlips, cheeks,andeyes, then go ahead and create beauty looks out of it. (Friendly reminder: In case you’re wondering, our Lip Drunk Blush isnotrecommended as eye makeup, but ourMultipurpose Color Cream andLoose Multipurpose Pigments are!)

Now that you know which eyeshadow ingredients are safe for your body and what you should be watching out for, you can make better decisions when it comes to everyday makeup and how you use them. Remember: Beauty shouldn’t come at the risk of harming your skin and body. Always #ChooseBetter for yourself, your skin, and your life!

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