Frequently Asked Questions:
Where are you from?: I was born and raised in The Berkshires but have lived in Australia, Maine and New York.
Where are you currently residing?: I am currently living in both Massachusetts and Long Island.
What is your education?: I attended college and studied Psychology and Fine Arts. I have worked along side Natalia Rose as an intern and gained a great deal of knowledge in my time working for her. I plan to attend Esthetics school as soon as I move to New York full time.
What is your ethnicity? I am American/Australian (with some British and Irish thrown in there)
Do you have a boyfriend? Yes. His name is Matthew and we have been together for almost four years now
What kind of camera/lenses do you use? I use a Canon Rebel T3i and I use a 18-55mm lens that came with the kit as well as a 55-250mm telephoto lens.
When and Why did you start blogging?: I have been blogging since as long as I can remember. I first started on livejournal when I was 16 years old and I would update daily there for years. It wasn’t until the past year that I decided to make a very public blog that was not just about my every day life but also a combination of beauty reviews, diy recipes, photography, fashion, etc.
Are you paid to review beauty products?: I am not ever paid to review beauty products or to mention brands. I am often sent products to review for my honest opinion and I am never forced to give a review. I will never promote something that I wouldn’t use myself.
Are you a Vegan? I am not. I was a raw vegan for a year of my life and although I learned so much from it and met some amazing people, I found over time that it was not right for my body. I am not a huge eater of animal protein. I do not eat red meat and when I do eat lean protein I make sure it is always organic. I am lactose intolerant and so I do not eat dairy but I do eat honey and eggs. I believe in eating a balanced diet.
Why do you only promote natural beauty products?: I have always had an interest in natural beauty products but it wasn’t until a year ago that I decided to really start to make a change in the products I was buying and to switch over to entirely natural and non-toxic products. I do not believe in putting anything on your body that is toxic. I wouldn’t eat toxic things so why would I put them on my body? 70% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstreams. I suggest reading this, this, and this to learn more about harmful ingredients in most beauty products and then make the decision for yourself if it’s something you want to be putting on your skin! For me personally I care too much about my health to be messing around with harmful and toxic ingredients. I believe in applying and ingesting the least amount of chemicals as possible which is what started my passion for non-toxic products.
What ingredients do you try to avoid the most in cosmetics and what are the most harmful?: I did a post here listing some of the most harmful ingredients to look for in most beauty products but I wanted to have an easier way for my readers to access the most common toxic ingredients to look out for when buying beauty products. I suggest writing these down or printing this out and carrying it around in your purse so that you can have it on hand when you are out shopping and trying to figure out which products are the safest!! Remember that your skin is your largest organ and up to 70% of what we put ON our skin is absorbed INTO our bloodstream! YUCK! I recommend checking out this site to see a more compiled list of chemicals to avoid. I also suggest checking out The Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to learn about specific products and what ingredients they contain and how harmful they are.
Most harmful ingredients to look out for (in no particular order):
- Parabens (Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben) – Parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen, which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers. Parabens can cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis and Rosacea in individuals with paraben allergies. Studies indicate that methylparaben applied on the skin reacts with UVB leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage. These chemicals are also endocrine disruptors and have been linked to fertility problems.
- Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate – A foaming agent used to break down water in grease. Found in shampoo, hand wash, facial cleanser, toothpaste, etc. It’s so powerful that it’s also used in concrete floor cleaners, engine degreasers, and car wash detergents. A well-known skin irritant, it is rapidly absorbed and retained in the eyes, brain, heart and liver, which may result in harmful long-term effects. It can slow healing, cause cataracts in adults, and prevent children’s eyes from developing properly, corrode hair follicles and impair ability to grow hair.
- Phthalates (DBP and DEP) – Endocrine disruptor, commonly found in synthetic fragrance.
- DEA (diethanolamine) MEA (monoethanolamine) TEA (triethanolamine) – Found in most personal care products that foam, including bubble baths, body washes, shampoos, soaps and facial cleansers. Ingredients which are linked with kidney, liver, and other organ damage according to several government-funded research studies. They can cause hormone disruption, irritation of the eyes, skin, respiratory tract, sore throat, asthma and allergic contact dermatitis.
- Triclosan – Found in antibacterial products such as soap, hand sanitizer, deodorants, toothpaste, and cosmetics. Studies have shown that triclosan is an endocrine disruptor and enables bacteria to become antibiotic-resistant. The CDC states that it is found in 75% of the population’s urine. The American Medical Association advises against the use of antibacterial soap at home to prevent the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibacterial soap has been found no more effective than regular soap.
- Talc – Found in large percentage of cosmetic powders, like eyeshadow, blush, etc. Talc has been linked to ovarian cancer. Its particles are similar to asbestos and data suggests that it can cause tumors in the lungs as probable respiratory toxin in larger amounts.
- BHA and BHT – Toxic to immune, nervous, and respiratory systems; endocrine disruptors; possible carcinogens
- Hydroquinone – Possible carcinogen, may cause irreversible blue discolorations on skin and in urine, may cause arthritis, commonly found in skin lighteners
- Toluene – Toxic to respiratory, nervous, and respiratory systems
- Petroleum/Mineral Oil – A petrochemical pollutant derived from crude oil, found in an overwhelming number of products including, baby oil, lip balm, lip stick, lip gloss, mascara, moisturizers, concealer, foundation, face powder, hair gel, body wash, eye shadow, paraffin treatments, petroleum jelly, and hair conditioner. It seals off the skin creating a barrier which feels slick, but doesn’t allow the skin to breath, which is essential for the proper functioning of this organ. Ultimately causes slowing down skin function and normal cell development, resulting in premature ageing of the skin and many other health and skin disorders.
- Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde may be found in nail polish, eyelash glue, and hair products (especially the Brazilian blowout straightening treatment). Recently recognized by the EPA as a carcinogen, it’s linked to lung cancers, Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia, and myeloid leukemia. It permeates through inhalation and can also cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; reproductive and developmental toxicity; asthma; neurologic and behavioral toxicity; and immunological toxicity. It’s banned for use in cosmetics in Sweden and Japan. Imidazolidinyl urea and Hydantoin (DMHM), Glyoxal and Oxaldehyde are ingredients found in some hair products that also release formaldehyde and should be avoided.
- PEG (polyethylene glycol) – It is to dissolve oil and grease. PEG’s contribute to strip the natural oils of the skin leaving the immune system vulnerable. They are also potentially carcinogenic.
- Propylene Glycol – Used in anti-freeze solutions, in brake and hydraulic fluids, as a de-icer, and as a solvent. It’s even found in some cosmetics, baby wipes, lotions, toothpastes, shampoos, and deodorants. There is no difference between the propylene glycol used in industry and that used in personal care products. It has been known to cause allergic reactions, hives and eczema. Propylene Glycol will cause serious health conditions, including liver and heart damage and damage to the central nervous system if sufficient is absorbed by the body.
- Diazolidinyl Urea and Imidazolidinyl Urea – Found in skin, body and hair products, antiperspirants and nail polish. These formaldehyde-forming preservatives can cause joint pain, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pain, chronic fatigue, dizziness, insomnia and asthma. They can also weaken the immune system and can even cause cancer.
I mainly look out for and try to avoid Parabens, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, Formaldehyde, Synthetic Fragrances, Phthalates, etc.
Beautybybritanie receives many products for review. If I feel a product meets my personal standards and the standards of my blog, it will be reviewed. By accepting products I do not guarantee a review. Beautybybritanie will never accept payment for a positive review.