Wednesday, February 19, 2014



Let me just start by saying that I have always loved make up and have no intention to stop using it  :).  That being said I am a minimalist with makeup. I find that breaking a sweat during yoga gives you a clearer, brighter complexion naturally. It's always best to get your skin to look healthy through diet and lifestyle. Most of us would agree that a carefree, natural look beats a polished overdone look any day.

Unfortunately, even though most women have heard about the toxicity in cosmetic products, they are just not convinced or do not realize just how toxic these products truly are. Your Skin Absorbs up to 60% of the Products Used Topically ~ both Natural or Chemical and only 10% of the  VITAMINS that are  taken orally get absorbed into the system. (Rates of skin absorption of contaminants in public drinking water were studied by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. The study found that the skin absorbed an average of 64% of the total contaminant dosage.) The studies showed that absorption rate varies depending on the compound. Some examples include, caffeine, which is absorbed by the skin at 48% while DDT is absorbed at 10%.
Alarmingly fragrance ingredients, showed a 100% absorption rate (Robinson et al, 2000).

What's even more interesting is that the underarms and genitalia showed up to a 100% absorption estimate (Kasting, 2005). Breast cancer is so wide spread nowadays! Do you think there is any connection with the use of aluminum laden antiperspirants? I choose not to put carcinogens under my armpits! Further more I do not block my body's need to sweat! And I do not buy products that contain parabens. 
(A study done on accumulation OF PARABENS in the body from long-term, low-dose levels to which humans are exposed. Detailed studies enabled identification and measurement of mean concentrations of individual parabens in samples of 20 human breast tumours by high-pressure liquid chromatography followed by tandem mass spectrometry. The mean concentration of parabens in these 20 human breast tumours was found to be 20.6 +/- 4.2 ng x g(-1) tissue. Significance of the detection of esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (parabens) in human breast tumours. [J Appl Toxicol. 2004]). Aluminum (an antiperspirant ingredient) and parabens do not belong in a beauty repertoire, end of story.
Sweating is one of the contributing factors for breast health.  Allowing your body to detox and your lymph to move is essential for good health.  

Speaking of not sweating or sweating in public, Yoga comes in handy here. Instead of having to strive for a photoshopped, perfect, non-sweat look, Yoga can teach us to accept our own perfection and "own" our imperfection(s). Yoga teaches us to find beauty in athleticism, movement, simplicity and health rather than in a magazine inspired, over-done, "covered up" look. 

OK back to makeup.

Statistically the average woman absorbs into her tissues up to 5 lbs of toxic substances a year from beauty products. I don't know about you but to me that does not sound very beautiful. Rather than trying all the latest products how about we just go back to basics.  Lets use more oils like coconut, avocado, rose hip oil for example, essential oils, organic products, things that are already in our kitchen. Lets use skin actives (that's a whole article on its own). Basically you can get the active ingredients themselves from online pharmacies and add them to your serums and creams to make your own custom serums and creams (an example of an active ingredient is l-ascorbic acid which is very unstable in products and practically inactive at the date of purchase so using your own powder is both more concentrated and more effective). That way you know their potency and freshness while avoiding fillers and preservatives. Lets use less trendy, popular products, less synthetic ingredients, less toxic cosmetics. For example instead of using a fragrance and paraben laden brand name face toner buy orange blossom, lavender or rose water hydrosol from an ethnic store; put it in a spray bottle and use it on your skin to awaken it, freshen it and make it radiant naturally. Hydrosols are also therapeutic and can have the same effect that aromatherapy can have on our emotions. 

Lets be kind to ourselves and treat beauty as an aspect and reflection of health!

It's my true belief that our relationships with our own selves is what people see in us first before they actually see the shell.
Self acceptance and self respect are the true measure of beauty. 

Our skin absorbs everything we put on it, so much so that some substances are more dangerous placed on the skin than consumed. Think about the hormone patch! And so many of the toxic substances are xeno-estrogenes that can disrupt our hormonal system, affect our reproductive and endocrine system and have a damaging effect on our moods and mind. Not to mention the possible carcinogenic risk.
So .... is it really a question of should we use the most popular brands of cosmetic products?????? You tell me!

For me the answer is: ummmmmm ... how to put this politely?! No way in hell am I putting that crap on my precious, divine body! No way I am supporting a sick industry that recycles poison and toxic waste. Then sells it to me in a  glossy pink plastic ...but very, very cute.... wrap.  (excuse the sarcasm)!  Then the million dollar advertisements make it seem so great for you that you really must have it. Forget that some of the ingredients include lead, parabens, phthalates, triclosan, mercury (in mascara), endocrine disruptors (in lip products). But worry not! It was tested on animals and it's perfectly safe for you and your kids! Why? Because the animal got cancer and suffered a nasty painful death at doses so high that it cannot possibly have any effect on you in a lower doses...

I am very conscious about voting with my money. In some ways shopping and boycotting is a more powerful statement than protesting. I am definitely not perfect at all and still participate indirectly in supporting industries whose views, approach and agenda I am absolutely against; but this is a journey and we all have to wake up and realize our mission here on earth while respecting and loving our Mother Earth and get better and better at it with every passing day.

I am a crazy label-reader and I check most of my cosmetics on the

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database | Environmental Working Group


Physicians formula eye palette (not your best choice)

They offer a rating and ingredient break down for a lot of the cosmetic products on the market. 
Sometimes you can get a popular brand lipstick that is toxin free based on their rating. For example some of the Revlon Lip Balms are rated a 2. A very low toxicity rating. Not perfect as we don't know all their environmental practices but if it can make your life less complicated go for it! 

Now dropping toxic makeup out of your beauty repertoire does not mean you are gonna sacrifice your beauty regime. On the contrary - there are plenty of great makeup and cosmetic brands that are non-toxic and vegan and they are actually good for you. So you can support smaller, more conscious companies while still using some great products.
I am gonna list some of the products I have personally used or that I like and if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments so we can build a longer list of alternative beauty items that are good for us.

Here are a few products and brands that I am currently using and that can give you an idea of how to get started on a healthier skin path :)
Larenim blush, highlighter and Mineral Silk Powder

Jane Iredale Highlighter and eye shadows 

Revolution Organics Cream Blush, BLOOM lipstick


A few other brands worth looking into are MyChelle,  Lavera, Juice Beauty, Mineral Fusion, Aubrey Organics, Alba Botanica, ECCO BELLA. Other more popular brands that are OK can be certain Tarte products and certain Boots #7 Botanics products. 

Let me know if you have any thoughts, suggestions, comments or questions on the subject.




  1. Thanks for these brand suggestions. Although I am aware of the toxic and all, I didnt really have a trusted brand because I always think they are all the same products and came from the same procedure. Now, I'm thinking I should start investing on these organics.

    1. oh no, not the same at all. some of the natural companies actually use ingredients that will nourish your skin and make it healthier :)

  2. I´ve heard of a Mexican brand named Ere Pérez. I would love to try some of these, because I´m a yoga instructor and also a make up lover

  3. Thanks Ali, I love how passionatly you speak about that topic. That was really useful to me and it's great you involved studies and explicit ingredients one has to pay attention to! Surely going to refer to this over and over again.

  4. Hi Ali!

    I really want to say that you are amazing! I love your blog, all the wisdom that you share here and I am obsessed by your classes! I try to do one every other day or more, (it usually ends up with me doing one every day, since they are sooo good!). You are so wise and incredibly good at yoga! A true inspiration!

    You seem to have a very good approach to life. To food, exercise, happiness, beauty, health, love, self respect, yoga, and every other part that comes with being alive. I am truly happy that I found your classes on YouTube and that I am able to take part of your wisdom on your blog. I will probably never stop doing your classes, and as long as you write here I will read it.

    Have a beautiful day and keep up the good work!

    LOVE and LIGHT


  5. Hi Ali, I'm loving your new website! I just wanted to share with you a deodorant which is VERY successful here in France because it works divine and it is natural, vegan and organic, the brand is Soap Walla:

    Not sure if you're interested but I find it very helpful especially for people working in the city with hot temperatures..

    Love, M

    1. ah thank you. looks amazing. there is one ore european brand i like - the alverde sprays and roll ons. very effective but you cant find them in the states. soap walla looks great :) love

  6. Thanks, this is good information!
    What do you use to dye your hair?

  7. wow ali, i use alba botanica facial wash and moisturizer. so light and gentle on the skin. and i plan to use jason vitamin e oil for the skin under my eyes.

    1. seems like vit e is great for the under the eye area. let me know if you are impressed with it :) i also like alba botanica. <3

  8. I am so glad you included the close photo (your beautiful BTW). You are absolutely right about how luminous the blush you are using is.It gives such a light and healthful glow. Also, it isn't an unnatural shade. I'm pretty pale so finding a good, healthy blush is really hard. I am so proud of you for taking a stand against dishonest, anything for a profit, cosmetic companies. They are indifferent to our health...and, don't even let me get started on the animal cruelty...beyond belief, that is! I have mostly been forgoing make-up for these reasons. I would like to wear more. I am going to follow your lead and research some safe products. I really appreciate the website you provided for checking these products out...Better living through Ali...Thanks Ali, for yet another assist toward better living...Oh, I have pretty light eyelashes...I sure hope there is a healthy mascara out there! Anyone???

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