The Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is a product that helped drive me to cleaner, more natural cosmetics. Once I actually started reading the labels on the makeup products I was using, I switched to superior natural alternatives.
During the process of switching from mainstream to natural products, all of my old lipsticks, face creams, and eyeshadows were slowly separated into “keep” and “replace” piles. I read and researched the ingredient lists on every single bottle. During that weeding-out process, few products made me sit up and take notice like my Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. When I finally got around to researching its ingredient list, I was shocked.
The amount of nasty stuff in this foundation—which I had willfully slathered on my face—was upsetting. I immediately switched to healthier foundation alternatives.
Top Alternative: Ere Perez Oat Milk Foundation
The Oat Milk Foundation from Ere Perez ($37) has become my all-time favorite natural liquid foundation. It has buildable coverage (medium to full) and the finish is natural looking—never greasy! It’s also thankfully free of parabens, chemical sunscreens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances.
More Natural Foundation Alternatives
Here are four more incredible natural alternatives:
- Kjaer Weis | Cream Foundation, $40-68. Creamy, blendable, weightless texture with a semi-matte finish. Yes, it’s pricey, but it makes skin look ahhhhh-mazing. Purchase it here.
- Vapour Organic Beauty | Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation, $50. A medium coverage formula for all skin types, including combination and oily skin. Read a review or buy it here.
- Lily Lolo | Foundation SPF15, $22. A gorgeous mineral foundation that is a godsend for reactive or blemish-prone skin. Read a review or buy it here.
Saying goodbye isn’t always easy. But so often, when we blindly stick to what’s familiar, we miss out on something extraordinary that’s just waiting to be discovered.
The Problem with the Armani Foundation Ingredients
The reason I stopped using my Armani foundation was because of the ingredients. They weren’t up to the standard I had set for myself.
Ingredients for the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation: water, cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, isododecane, alcohol, polyglyceryl-4 isostearate, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, cetyl peg/ppg-10/1 dimethicone, hexyl laurate, disteardimonium hectorite, phenoxyethanol, acetylated glycol stearate, magnesium sulfate, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, tristearin, cellulose gum, nylon-12, limonene, benzyl salicylate, linalool, diphenyl dimethicone, acrylates copolymer, fragrance, disodium stearoyl glutamate, methylparaben, butylparaben, butylphenyl methylpropional, aluminum hydroxide, hexyl cinnamal. May contain: CI 77891/titanium dioxide, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 77491/iron oxides, CI 77007/ultramarines, mica.
|Extremely Safe||Reasonably Safe||Proceed with Caution||Insufficient Data|
When you see “fragrance” in an ingredient list, take note. Thanks to the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1966, fragrance is considered proprietary information and allowed to be hidden from consumers. So while you see that single word on the label, it may contain any number of secret ingredients.
In other words, by hiding behind fragrance, the maker of this product is choosing to not disclose all ingredients. They have, in effect, robbed you of the power to make a choice with your eyes wide open.
But thankfully more and more companies are choosing to disclose all ingredients in their cosmetics, thus empowering you to make informed choices. So when you find a beauty product that stands by all its ingredients, that’s a good thing.
This ingredient list contains parabens. Parabens are synthetic chemical preservatives which allow beauty products to have a longer shelf life. These are especially problematic in products marketed to women because they can alter your body’s hormonal balance by mimicking estrogen (which, if you’re a woman above age 14, you know how wonky hormones can spell a world of trouble). One of the many reasons parabens have gotten such a bad reputation is due to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Applied Technology which found parabens in 19 out of 20 breast cancer tumor samples.
Another potentially problematic ingredient, benzyl salicylate, is a floral-scented fragrance ingredient and UV light absorber. It is either synthetically produced or a naturally occurring component of essential oils, such as Ylang-Ylang. Benzyl salicylate can cause allergic reactions and irritation. If a reaction occurs, you should avoid salicylates and their derivatives (such as salicylic acid, homosalate, and octyl salicylate). Another good way to tell if benzyl salicylate isn’t for you is if you already have an allergy to aspirin.
Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, also known as octinoxate, is a sunscreen agent which the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption categorizes as a human endocrine disruptor, particularly affecting estrogen and thyroid hormones. It can also find its way into the milk of lactating women, making it an especially poor choice for breastfeeding moms. (If you’d like to know more about how to find safe, healthy sunscreens, check out The Truth About SPF Ratings and Broad Spectrum Protection.)
My Switch to Natural Makeup
With most of my “dirty” makeup, I continued to use it until it ran out. Then I’d replace it with a clean alternative. But the amount of questionable ingredients inside this foundation upset me. I had already researched a handful of mainstream foundations, and none of them contained so many controversial ingredients.
It’s not as if this Armani foundation performed so much better than other comparable foundations, as if its uniquely amazing qualities justified all those dangerous ingredients. It was just another foundation, but one that seemed to exist in defiance to the wellness of the women it was created for.
Since the day I read my first makeup ingredient label, my vanity has been undergoing a transformation. I’ve been gradually and methodically replacing old cosmetics with new, safer ones.
Natural foundation alternatives have shattered my assumptions. I previously assumed that I had to lower my standards by switching to a natural foundation. These foundations match my skin tone, wear beautifully, and have visibly improved the look of my skin.
Interested in finding the best natural makeup? Check out Natural & Nontoxic Makeup: The 75 Best Products to Up Your Beauty Game.