I am so excited to share my first ever Q+A beauty column with you. I love that it's happening on Serene Social - a women's wellness community that curates thoughtful workshops, retreats and other experiences for women who are passionate about living purposeful lives. Founders Erin Ralph and Millana Snow (pictured below) are amazing women whose mission is to connect and uplift all women across the globe. I was honored to speak at the launch of their "Beauty 360 Series" last year and I'm so happy to be a contributor to their gorgeous and inspiring online community.
We are thrilled to launch our Q&A beauty column with green beauty expert, make-up artist and wellness coach Rebecca Casciano. A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she has trained with mind-body medicine visionaries such as Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Marianne Nestle, and David Wolfe. Guided by her mother’s words “When you look good, you feel good” Rebecca has been a fashion/celebrity make-up artist for over 12 years. As a make-up artist, she only uses products that are safe, sustainable and effective. As a green beauty and wellness coach, she passionately educates women on the benefits of a nourishing, plant-based lifestyle and beauty routine. Got a burning beauty question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To kick-off the column, our first question is simply: Why Green Beauty?
Rebecca: In short, green beauty is better for your health, your appearance, and the planet. The foods you eat, your self-care practices and a healthy beauty routine are all important aspects of a conscious lifestyle. Read on to learn more about my top 3 reasons to ‘green your beauty routine’:
Our skin is our largest organ and its functions include protection, detoxification and absorption. It can absorb up to 70% of what we put on it. On a daily basis, the average woman applies about twelve products, containing over a hundred different ingredients.
Europe has banned over a thousand ingredients for use in cosmetics. The US has banned under a dozen. Almost shockingly, the Food and Drug Administration does not review or approve the majority of products or ingredients before they go on the market. Countless studies show many chemical ingredients used in our cosmetics, such as parabens and ethanolamines (ETA, DEA, TEA) are linked to health issues such as cancer, hormone disruption, developmental problems and unfortunately, much more.
Synthetic chemicals may seem to provide immediate benefits, but they are short-term and do not nourish the appearance of skin or hair over time. Harsh ingredients, such as sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS, deplete the natural pH balance of skin and hair, which would require you to continue using the product to maintain the benefits. They may also contribute to signs of aging, such as wrinkles, dryness and hyper-pigmentation, as well as skin issues like acne and rashes.
The more toxins we use in our cosmetics, the more we pollute the air, land and water. When we wash products down the drain and back into our water supply, this has a negative impact not only our own health, but that of the entire ecosystem. Petrolatum, a common ingredient used in various types of cosmetics, is a non-renewable resource. Animal derivatives such as lanolin (sheep sebum) and carmine (crushed beetles) are often used in cosmetics. Makeup brushes are made from goat, squirrel, sable and horse hair. The methods in which the hair is obtained is often unknown and may be inhumane.
I invite you to further educate yourself by visiting The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. There you can learn more about the studies behind the statistics and even look up your current cosmetics to see how safe (or toxic) they are. I would also love to work with you one-on-one in my signature “Green Your Beauty Routine” makeup lesson. You will learn all about my favorite natural makeup brands and how to apply them in a way that complements your unique beauty and style. For more information please email me at email@example.com