Here’s the thing: aging happens. Time passes and we all (and our skin) gets older. But as it does, it means another day, another year, another moment on this earth, experiencing the genuine gift that life is. And the opposite of aging? Not being here! So maybe we can just #celebrateanotherday and stop worrying so much about the natural passage of time.
What we don’t need to celebrate though is unnecessary, totally avoidable premature aging of our skin. If we can have smooth, glowy, gorgeous skin longer, of course we will say 1000x yes! So, let’s chat about getting the glow by embracing the good and releasing the toxic. Keep reading for:
- The main cause of premature skin aging
- Why ingredients matter, especially in eye makeup
- The top 8 aging toxins to avoid in your eyeshadow (and all makeup)
- Skin-loving ingredients to look for instead
- Our other eye care tips
PREMATURE SKIN AGING: WHAT’S THE CAUSE?
The main cause of premature aging is free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage your cells, leading to disease, wrinkles, fine lines, and loss of skin elasticity.
Free radicals are produced naturally in the body, but increased exposure to pollutants, UV radiation, and toxic chemicals can ramp up their production. While you can’t do much about the pollution around you, you can limit the number of toxic chemicals you’re exposed to in your beauty products.
Dry skin and wrinkles: dry skin doesn’t cause wrinkles – that’s just a myth. What dryness does do, is make wrinkles appear more prominent. When our skin is moisturized it appears smoother, which is still something to love.
So, knowing all that, there are a few ways to slow down premature skin aging:
- Limit our exposure to toxic chemicals
- Infuse our skin with ingredients that combat free radical damage
- Nourish and moisturize our skin to make it appear smoother and more #litfromwithin
WHY INGREDIENTS ARE ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT IN EYE MAKEUP
The skin around our eyes is the most delicate skin on our face. It’s very thin, and as a result, it’s more prone to breaking down and developing wrinkles and fine lines.
Beyond just wrinkles, our eyes are very sensitive to chemicals. The eyes have many blood vessels, and toxins can penetrate the outer tissues, pass into the veins, and be transported to other parts of the body. Not a pretty picture, we know, but ultra-important when thinking about what we’re applying near our eyes. Even the FDA (whose recommendations are very minimal in general) puts the eye area in a category of its own, banning ingredients specifically for that area.
WHAT’S IN A TYPICAL EYESHADOW
Here are two common eyeshadow ingredient lists – we've put the most widely-used aging toxins in bold and you can find more about each ingredient below:
THE TOP 8 AGING, TOXIC INGREDIENTS TO AVOID IN YOUR EYESHADOW
On Ingredient labels: Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Methylparaben, and Propylparaben.
What they do: Parabens are a common preservative used in cosmetics, skincare, and hair products.
Why they’re toxic: Parabens are strongly linked to cancer, immune disorders, endocrine disorders, and neurological conditions.
How they can affect your eyes: Parabens decrease the amount of oil released from your eyelid glands. This can lead to dry eye or worsening symptoms for people who already have this condition. Also, harmful toxins like these can create free-radical damage, which leads to premature aging.
2. ETHYLOXYLATED INGREIDNETS (PEGs like POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL, LAURETH-7, POLYSORBATE-20, STEARETH-20)
What they do: They’re used as thickeners, solvents, surfactants, and moisture-carriers.
Why they're toxic: These ingredients are synthetically produced using Ethylene Oxide, a known carcinogen. They can also be contaminated with 1,4, Dioxane, another carcinogen.
On aging: PEGs function as penetration-enhancers, allowing greater absorption of other ingredients. This means any toxins are absorbed deeper into the skin thanks to this ingredient. PEGs also interfere with the skin’s moisture balance, making wrinkles and fine lines appear more prominent.
3. CARBON BLACK (C1 77266 or BLACK NO.2 D&C)
What it does: Carbon black gives black color to cosmetics.
Why it's toxic: The FDA has banned this possible human carcinogen from cosmetics, particularly for eye products. Despite the ban, you can still find this toxic colorant in many eyeshadows, mascaras, eyeliners, and other cosmetics.
On aging and health: Another toxin that not only contributes to free-radical damage but can affect your overall health.
4. PARAFFIN WAX, ISOPARAFFIN, LIQUID PARAFFIN (MINERAL OIL)
What they do: Derived from petroleum, mineral oils are used as conditioners or solvents in beauty products.
Why they’re toxic: Mineral oil derivatives act like a plastic wrap – they clog pores and disrupt normal skin functioning. They also help seal in other toxins, not allowing them to be excreted naturally. These ingredients can also be contaminated with the carcinogen, PAHS.
On aging: These ingredients can irritate and inflame the skin, which over time can slow the skin’s ability to heal. The plastic-wrap quality of this ingredient also seals in aging free-radicals and toxins.
What it does: Polyacrylamide creates a thin film over the skin. It helps hold ingredients together and limits the skin and hair from absorbing moisture.
Why it’s toxic: Polyacrylamide is made up of acrylamide – a suspected carcinogen. The EU has banned this ingredient from cosmetics altogether.
On aging: Besides the potential free-radical damage from this toxin, the loss of moisture can enhance the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
What it does: Used to absorb moisture, create a smooth texture, and make powder products more opaque.
Why it could be toxic: Talc and asbestos form together as minerals, which means talc can often be contaminated with asbestos. Since cosmetic brands are not required to test for asbestos or other heavy metals, some talc-based products have been found to contain this known carcinogen.
On aging: Because it absorbs moisture, talc can dry out the skin, making wrinkles/fine lines look more noticeable. Not to mention the damaging effects of asbestos entering your skin’s barrier.
7. POLYBUTENE AND OCTYLDODECYL STEAROYL STEARATE
What they do: Polybutene helps thicken liquid ingredients. Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate has the same function but also works as a skin conditioner.
On aging: Both ingredients are strong irritants, especially when used near the eyes. Chronically inflamed, irritated skin can’t repair itself effectively, leading to increased signs of aging.
8. PTFE (TEFLON)
What it does: helps create a smooth finish.
Why it’s toxic: Yes, the same ingredient that coats non-stick frying pans! Teflon can be contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), an endocrine disruptor and possible carcinogen.
On aging: In addition to the potential free radical damage from this toxin, PTFE can cause inflammation in the skin. Chronic inflammation can slow the skin’s ability to heal itself, speeding the formation of wrinkles.
SKIN-LOVING INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR INSTEAD
None of the ingredients we just listed are necessary – the same vibrant colors, smooth application, long-lasting, blendable formulas can be achieved with only organic, non-toxic, sustainable ingredients.
And what’s more: makeup should enhance the health of your skin! All ĀTHR Beauty eyeshadows are filled with skin-loving ingredients that help protect skin from UV rays, repel aging free-radicals, and soothe and moisturize the skin. Shadows that can nourish the skin all over your face (hello, eyeshadow as highlighter or blush!)
Organic Lavender Oil
Organic lavender oil is ultra-restorative. It helps soothe the skin, reducing the appearance of redness and discoloration. Lavender oil also helps heal acne and combat aging free radicals with its high antioxidant content and antibacterial qualities.
Organic, Fair-Trade Coconut Oil & Organic, Fair-Trade Shea Butter
This moisturizing, skin-softening duo helps seal in moisture, reduce inflammation, and calm redness.
Organic Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil (Sea Buckthorn Oil)
Sea buckthorn oil's rich concentration of omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids help protect the skin from sun damage by reducing UV-related inflammation.
Organic Rosa Canina Seed Oil (Rosehip seed oil)
This moisture-rich oil is full of nourishing fatty acids that help your skin stay hydrated and youthful. Antioxidant-rich vitamins A and C boost radiance, combat discoloration and sun damage, and work to encourage healthy collagen production.
Organic Moringa Oil
Moringa oil contains vitamin A to help build collagen, vitamin C to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and vitamin E to help heal and prevent inflammation.
Organic Prickly Pear Oil
Prickly pear is high in omega 6 and 9, vitamin E, and amino acids which stimulate collagen production in the skin. Vitamin K which helps brighten the skin and promote elasticity.
CRYSTAL INFUSIONS FOR #LITERALGLOW
Besides adding gorgeous luminosity, crystal infusions help reflect light away from the skin, camouflaging fine lines and wrinkles. Every crystal also has its own unique skin-soothing benefits to energize, calm, and add that lustrous glow to your skin:
Amethyst: A truly skin-soothing stone, amethyst emits infrared rays which boost circulation in the skin, calming inflammation and redness. Its negative ion-charge helps detoxify the skin by drawing out toxins and free radicals.
Diamond: This high-vibe stone helps stimulate collagen production, reduces the appearance of sun damage, and helps brighten the skin.
Blue and Yellow Topaz: Topaz releases tension from the face which can cause premature aging.
Sapphire: Sapphire helps soothe, hydrate, and calm the skin, creating that smooth, even glow.
Amber: The succinic acid found in Amber is a powerful antioxidant. It helps fight the damaging effects of free radicals on your skin.
Tourmaline: Helps energize the skin for that radiant, youthful glow.
Ruby: Helps hydrate, nourish, and protect the skin from aging free radicals.
Rose Quartz: Helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, redness, and fine lines by calming inflammation, releasing tension, and encouraging skin healing.
Read our blog, ‘Crystals: the science behind the spiritual’ for more on how crystals uplift your spirit and illuminate your skin!
OTHER EYE CARE TIPS
- Apply your eyeshadows gently using your finger or a very soft brush. Avoid pressing too hard and try not to pull the skin when blending your shadow.
- Remove makeup every night, even when you so don’t want to – we hear you! Use a non-toxic, moisturizing remover and allow it to soak in before dabbing gently to remove makeup.
- Apply eye creams with your pinky finger and dab the product in gently.
- Sleep with a puffier pillow if it’s comfortable for you – this stops fluid from pooling underneath your eyes, creating that puffy under eye look.
- Drink lots of water for hydrated, radiant-looking skin.
Thanks as always for tuning into our blog beauties! May you manifest all the magic of the cosmo into your life.
-ĀTHR Beauty xo