Finding and sharing fabulous beauty products is a great joy in my life. But there’s a lot of care that goes into each and every review.
The Anatomy of a Great Product
I believe that, at a minimum, cosmetics should never undermine wellness. Ideally, they should support the health and vitality of the person using them.
My goal is to find beauty products which are both effective and clean.
I care less about what a product isn’t, and more about what it is.
Natural vs. Synthetic Ingredients
My first love are products made of organic and wild-harvested plant-based ingredients.
But not all of the beauty products I use are completely free of synthetics. Some synthetics, like iron oxides and polybutene, have well-established safety records and can be found in high-quality clean cosmetics.
For someone with a deep love of all things natural, this was a hard pill to swallow. But I’ve learned that not all natural ingredients are safe, and not all synthetics are bad.
The Ingredient Key
Ingredients are shown in four colors: green, yellow, red, or gray. The Ingredient Key will help you determine the overall safety and quality of the individual ingredients in any given product.
|Extremely Safe||Reasonably Safe||Proceed with Caution||Insufficient Data|
My assessment of individual ingredients is carefully done via reputable and thorough resources, such as the EWG. There is sometimes no consensus on the safety of a particular ingredient; in such cases I attempt to weigh the validity of all points of view, although I tend to err on the side of caution in my own personal determination of product worthiness.
One of the biggest problems I run into while researching a product are the ingredients listed in gray. These are ingredients for which there is not sufficient available data to verify safety. This happens surprisingly often. Beauty products which contain these gray ingredients are always used cautiously, if used at all. I’d hate for the first independent research on a mystery ingredient to raise concerns of carcinogenicity or endocrine disruption.
Latin or other lengthy technically-appropriate names aren’t generally included. I do this for brevity’s sake. Jojoba oil means so much more to me, as a consumer, than does simmondsia chinensis.
Testing the Products
I do not work for any beauty brand, and I’m not pushing any agenda other than my own awareness as a consumer.
Products are assessed according to two standards: effectiveness and safety.
A mascara, for instance, is first considered for its ability to do its job; it should make my lashes darker and longer, with minimal smudging throughout the day. Second, the safety and quality of the ingredients in that mascara are evaluated, one by one.
I generally test a product for 3-4 weeks before sharing it here on The Beauty Proof.
The Variability of Personal Standards
I realize that for some, my standards are too high. Paranoid, even. And for others, I’m haphazard with my own health.
But what I believe is that everyone should make their own informed decisions about which products to put on or in their body.
My own standards vary. If I’m pregnant or breastfeeding, I’ll be extremely selective about which beauty products I’ll use, but if I’m merely glamming it up for a big event, I’ll opt for the lipstick and foundation that give me the best results for the evening, organic or not. Some women may feel comfortable using “red” ingredients while pregnant. If their midwife or OB is on board with that, it’s fine.
I believe that everyone should be able to understand what’s in their favorite beauty products, and be able to use (or not use) accordingly.
The Product Reviews
If you’re concerned about scammy reviews for products that haven’t actually been tested, read this.
Learn more about affiliate links on this website here.