Miss FQ - - Contents -

What’s re­ally in your makeup?

Your lunch breaks are ded­i­cated to trawl­ing health and well­ness blogs, bliss balls have re­placed choco­late bars as your daily, 3:30pm pick-me-up, and at night, you lie in bed stalk­ing #fit­spo In­sta­gram­mers un­til you fall asleep with your phone on your face. Have you ever won­dered though, whether your skin – and con­science – would be hap­pier if you opted for beauty prod­ucts that were as clean as the food you ate? With a new ‘break­through’ health study seem­ingly pub­lished every other day, you’d be for­given for think­ing that when it comes to cos­met­ics, it’s not easy be­ing green. But luck­ily for you, we’ve done the re­search and are here to tell you what’s re­ally up with be­ing down-to-earth, beauty-wise.


An­i­mal wel­fare or­gan­i­sa­tion SAFE es­ti­mates that more than 115 mil­lion an­i­mals are used in lab­o­ra­tory ex­per­i­ments every year – those poor bun­nies!

A cru­elty-free cos­met­ics break­through oc­curred when the New Zealand gov­ern­ment an­nounced a ban on cos­met­ics test­ing on an­i­mals as part of its 2015 re­forms to the An­i­mal Wel­fare Act.

The bad news is that 90% of cos­met­ics prod­ucts sold here are made over­seas, and there­fore don’t come un­der this leg­is­la­tion. Even worse, an­i­mal test­ing is com­pul­sory in China, so any com­pany that sells goods there can­not be cru­elty-free cer­ti­fied.

Cru­elty-free, ve­gan and nat­u­ral beauty prod­ucts are all the rage, but what’s in a la­bel? Skye Ross in­ves­ti­gates

One Aus­tralian-owned skin­care com­pany that won’t sell in China for this very rea­son is Ul­traceu­ti­cals, which be­came cru­elty-free cer­ti­fied in 2014. Ul­traceu­ti­cals Global Skin Ed­u­ca­tor Tracey Beeby ex­plains that the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process took about 18 months, “be­cause each in­di­vid­ual in­gre­di­ent that we use needs to be checked to en­sure it isn’t tested on an­i­mals. It’s not just the fi­nal for­mu­la­tion it­self that we care about.”

An­other ex­pert who’s strongly against an­i­mal test­ing is Karen Mur­rell, founder of Karen Mur­rell Nat­u­ral Lip­stick. “I be­lieve cos­met­ics were cre­ated for hu­mans only,” she says, “so I test my lip­sticks on my­self, my staff and my friends. Test­ing on an­i­mals is an ar­chaic method and has no ben­e­fit at all. Prod­ucts need to be tested on end wear­ers. End of story.”

Cru­elty-free cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is vol­un­tary, so if you’re ever con­fused about who the cru­elty-free cos­met­ics com­pa­nies are, check out cru­el­ – a Miss Fq-ap­proved “no-bull­shit re­source for an­i­mal-lovers”.


From faux-fur to to­furkey, ve­gan prod­ucts have long been preva­lent in fash­ion and food, but ve­g­an­ism is a grow­ing trend in beauty too. As well as not be­ing tested on an­i­mals, ve­gan-friendly cos­met­ics mustn’t con­tain any an­i­mal prod­ucts or an­i­mal by-prod­ucts. These are the in­gre­di­ents you’ll want to look out for and avoid: Gela­tine: An an­i­mal pro­tein sourced from col­la­gen in an­i­mal bones and lig­a­ments. Carmine: A red pig­ment used in makeup, de­rived from parasitic in­sects na­tive to Mex­ico and South Amer­ica. Beeswax: A nat­u­ral wax pro­duced by honey bees. It helps to keep the oil and liq­uid com­po­nents of a prod­uct from sep­a­rat­ing. Lano­lin: Oil that nat­u­rally oc­curs with sheep’s wool. Reg­u­larly used in skin­care prod­ucts, as it helps the skin to re­tain its nat­u­ral mois­ture.

“Cos­met­ics were cre­ated for hu­mans only so I test my lip­sticks on my­self”


If you’ve ever asked a makeup artist to make you look ‘nat­u­ral’, you’ll know that this doesn’t au­to­mat­i­cally mean spend­ing less time in the makeup chair.

If any­thing, a low-main­te­nance look can take longer to cre­ate than a to­tal cake-face – ‘no-makeup makeup’ is an il­lu­sion, af­ter all.

Un­for­tu­nately, the same can be said of many beauty prod­ucts claim­ing to be ‘nat­u­ral’. This is be­cause there are no strict reg­u­la­tions about us­ing this term.

Although this means that few com­pa­nies that list their goods as ‘nat­u­ral’ have of­fi­cial cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to do so, there are many in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised or­gan­i­sa­tions whose la­bels do let us know who’s le­git… Biogro: Their logo is a guar­an­tee that a prod­uct has been “made without an­i­mal test­ing, ge­netic mod­i­fi­ca­tion and the rou­tine use of syn­thetic pes­ti­cides”. Biogro state that 95% of nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents in a cos­metic prod­uct must come from cer­ti­fied or­ganic pro­duc­tion for the prod­uct to be cer­ti­fied or­ganic. Eco­cert: An in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised or­gan­i­sa­tion with ar­guably the strictest stan­dards for or­ganic la­belling. Leap­ing Bunny: An in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised or­gan­i­sa­tion that car­ries out reg­u­lar, in­de­pen­dent au­dits to ver­ify brands’ cru­elty-free claims. NATRUE: An in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion that cer­ti­fies cos­met­ics as nat­u­ral. In New Zealand, Biogro are ac­cred­ited to cer­tify on their be­half. PETA: Peo­ple for the Eth­i­cal Treat­ment of An­i­mals is an Amer­i­can an­i­mal rights or­gan­i­sa­tion.


It’s widely thought that the trick­ier an in­gre­di­ent is to say and spell, the worse it is for you, and ex­perts tend to agree that this is es­pe­cially true of the parabens in our cos­met­ics. But WTF are they, ac­tu­ally?

“Parabens are man-made preser­va­tive chem­i­cals that are widely used in the hair and cos­metic in­dus­tries,” says Greg Mur­rell, owner of Auck­land sa­lon Ry­der, and am­bas­sador for hair­care brand Davines, which strives to pro­vide paraben-free, cru­elty-free and sul­phate-free hair prod­ucts. “They are thought to in­ter­fere with the func­tion of the en­docrine sys­tem in our bod­ies, af­fect­ing glan­du­lar ac­tiv­ity and hor­mone pro­duc­tion.”

If you are scratch­ing your head as to what this means for you, con­sider the re­search of Dr Philippa Dar­bre, who leads a team spe­cial­is­ing in breast cancer re­search at the Univer­sity of Read­ing. In 2012, Dar­bre’s team pub­lished a game-chang­ing study that showed 99% of 40 breast tis­sue sam­ples tested were found to have the pres­ence of at least one paraben, and 60% of the sam­ples fea­tured five. "These re­sults are of con­cern be­cause parabens have been shown to mimic the ac­tion of the fe­male hor­mone oe­stro­gen, and oe­stro­gen can drive the growth of hu­man breast tu­mours,” she said.

Although it can­not be said con­clu­sively that parabens cause breast cancer, these find­ings have con­firmed the need for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion. In the mean­time, we’ll be erring on the side of cau­tion and jump­ing on board with brands like Good­ness which prom­ise to leave parabens and other al­leged nas­ties in the dust.


“Parabens have been shown to mimic the ac­tion of the fe­male hor­mone oe­stro­gen”

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