What a person does with their own body is, of course, a personal decision. However, if you find yourself grudgingly applying make-up every morning, and wondering why you’re doing it, read on. Below are 6 reasons why wearing a bit less make-up, or going a few days without, is probably in your best interest. Or, at least questioning why it is that you use make-up. Is it because you feel you need to?
Cosmetic industries are self-regulating, so there are a lot of ambiguous and scary ingredients in conventional cosmetics. Some chemicals are identifiable when ingredients are listed, but the problem is not a simple one. Of course, there are lots of natural chemical-free cosmetics and make-ups out there, but, generally, you’ll be paying the price to keep harmful chemicals off of your face. If this is an issue of importance to you, keeping make-up off for a bit will be a good break for your body.
2. Animal testing (and animal ingredients)
Animal testing still exists in the U.S., despite Europe’s recent decision to ban it. However, it isn’t just animal testing that is an issue. Ingredient lists (if they’re there) tend to be confusing, and sometimes, the names on the labels don’t really explain what those ingredients are. In a lot of different cosmetics, a variety of ingredients are derived from animals. If you’re a vegan, or even if animal rights are of interest, cutting back on make-up use can help cut back on animal testing and use. When you put on make-up, there are many options available in vegan cosmetics, but, as in the case of chemicals, you might need to pay a bit more for them. Just remember to do your research, read ingredients lists, and look out for products that are known to be animal-friendly.
The challenge of chemical avoidance is much more than skin-deep, as many chemicals in cosmetic products are related to other health issues. Cosmetics applied to the lips and hands are frequently ingested, and perfumes and sprays are inhaled. Some of the health risks associated cosmetics include cancer and developmental issues (source). In terms of acne, blemishes, and dry skin, applying make-up is not at all contributing to the overall cleansing and healing of those spots. While a pimple might make you feel self-conscious, spreading a chemical over it is not going to contribute to the overall and long-term health of your skin. It is no surprise that some make-up causes allergic reactions and other skin irritations.
This one is rather self-explanatory. If you wear less make-up, you buy less of it, and spend less money. Statistics on the amount spent on make-up every year by women in the U.S. ranges from $100 to $300 a year. This, to some, might not seem like an unreasonable figure, but in reality it’s two to three times the amount that they actually use or need. In the case of finances, even cutting back can have a huge effect. Spend tons on all natural, chemical-free, hypo-allergenic foundations over which you apply concealer and blush? Just adjusting one of these beauty steps will cut back on expenses, or coming to terms with which products you’re actually using, rather than collecting.
Just like how letting yourself be comfortable with your naked body can build self-esteem, learning to be proud of natural beauty can be self-empowering. Celebrate what natural beauty means to you, or even redefine it, by letting others see your natural skin. Again, applying make-up is a personal decision, but letting yourself be “au naturale,” even occasionally, can be a liberating and educational experience.
6. Save time
A UK study showed that women spent, over the course of their lives, a staggering one year and three months applying make-up, which breaks down to about three hours and nineteen minutes each week in front of their mirrors. The amount of time you spend “brushing up” is rather easy to calculate if you think about it. Spending a half hour before work Monday through Friday already adds up to two and a half hours a week. Spending more time, or re-applying make-up throughout the day and before going out on the weekends, makes the number grow rather quickly. If you’re looking for some more “you” time to do, try yoga, go for a run, or cook healthier meals (which might improve the natural look of your skin anyway!). Cutting back on time spent applying make-up can free up a bit of space for a more long-term investment in your image.
Image Source: Matt Trostle/Flickr