Our 10 Favorite ‘Clean’ Makeup Products for Pregnancy & Beyond

Do you put makeup on your face day in and day out? Even if it’s just a touch-up with concealer, a light brush of a finishing powder, or a swipe of mascara, it’s important to know what these products are actually made of. A quick check of the ingredient list can reveal a long list of chemicals and additives that you’d actively avoid in other areas of your life. But makeup tends to be a sneaky source of potential toxin exposure.

Is ‘Clean’ Makeup Really Better For You?

Here’s why paying close attention to the makeup of your makeup is important: it comes in direct and likely daily contact with your skin, which is your largest organ and the first line of defense in protecting you from harmful pollutants.

Now, while your skin does do an amazing job of keeping these ‘nasties’ out of your body, the chemicals used in makeup can be absorbed through your pores and into your bloodstream. So, in many ways, what you put on your body can have the same effect as what you put into your body.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding you’ve probably been extra cautious when it comes to what you put in your body, so we want to help you know what’s safe to put on your skin as well.

The same goes for if you’re trying to conceive. If you’re planning for pregnancy, now is the perfect time to make the switch to more natural makeup products. Studies show that increased exposure to things like phthalates, formaldehyde and parabens – often present in personal care products – can significantly reduce fertility levels, and can pose risks to the early stages of fetal development.

How To Clean Up Your Current Makeup Routine

We’ve got some of our top recommendations for healthier, cleaner, and more natural alternatives for common makeup products. But before we share that we’ve got 3 quick steps to help you clean out your current makeup situation:

Step 1: Toss products with the following ingredients in the bin, as they have been shown to have developmental and reproductive toxicity.

  • Parabens, Octinoxate, Ethylene oxide, Hydroquinone, Nitrosamines, Acrylamide, Retinoids, Siloxanes and methicones, dibutyl phthalate (primarily in nail care products). 
  • Lead is another (surprising) thing that you want to look out for. It’s not purposefully incorporated into products, but it can be present in some cosmetics as a result of contamination from added pigments. To avoid this, look for naturally pigmented lipsticks or blushers.

Step 2: For an even deeper cleanse, you can toss any products that contain these chemicals as well: 

  • BHA, added fragrances, 1,4-dioxane, Sodium Laureth sulfates, Triclosan, Carbon black, Coal tar (look for “CL######”), and Formaldehyde releasers (look for methenamine, quaternium-15, and ureas)

Step 3: Clean your brushes! Even if you switch out your makeup, toxins can cling onto your makeup brushes. There’s no need to toss the brushes though, just wash them with an all-natural cleanser. Our go-to cleaning solution is to rub the brushes in a bit of olive oil to pull off existing makeup. Then, use equal parts water and castile soap and work the brush with your fingers to get deep into the bristles. Lastly, swirl the brushes in white vinegar for an anti-bacterial wash. Finish off with more castile soap and water to help cut back on the vinegar smell and let dry overnight. 

Our Favorite ‘Clean’ Makeup Products

We definitely recommend following Step 1 for an initial product cleanse, because we know that it can be disruptive (and expensive… and wasteful) to get rid of all of your makeup in one go. But you can start with some basics, like your foundation, concealer, and mascara.

While you have added incentive to shop for cleaner products during pregnancy, looking to cut chemicals out of your daily use products is a healthy choice no matter what stage of life you’re in.

Alright, let’s get to the goods: here are our top 10 picks for more natural makeup selections – with no compromise on quality!

  1. Primer: 100% Pure Luminous Primer
  2. Foundation: Beautycounter Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation
  3. Concealer: RMS Beauty Un Cover-Up Concealer
  4. Blusher: Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint
  5. Highlighter: ILIA Illuminator
  6. Bronzer: RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer
  7. Mascara: tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara
  8. Eyebrow Gel: Beautycounter Brilliant Brow Gel
  9. Lipstick: Jane Iredale Lip Fixation
  10. Finishing powder: BareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder

If you’re still unsure about the health and safety of some of your favorite makeup brands, head on over to this incredible resource: EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. It’s a comprehensive database that contains research findings on specific products and insight into specific ingredients – so you can take makeup matters into your own hands.

Want more tips and DIY ideas on clean beauty to suit your style? Check out our free iOS app!


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