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I'm a 25-Year-Old Cancer Survivor: Here's the Toxic Makeup I'll Never Use Again

Racheli Alkobey

When I began the switch to a nontoxic lifestyle in regard to my household products, skincare, and food, I knew that switching my makeup over would be a must. As I’ve been making my other transitions, I learned what ingredients to look out for in the products I use, like how I should absolutely avoid parabens, sulfates, leads, and synthetic fragrances (which are hormone disruptors and possible carcinogens). It’s important to know the specific ingredients because some brands perceive themselves as nontoxic or clean but actually aren’t.

Makeup I Don't Use Anymore

For instance, I thought that Burt’s Bees was a totally nontoxic company, but its lipstick has tested positive for traces of lead and its soaps and lotions contain synthetic fragrances, which cause disruptions within our hormones. This just goes to show how overwhelming this process can be, and I hope to make it a little easier by sharing my everyday nontoxic makeup routine with you! Scroll through for a few of the makeup products I used to use, which contain some of those risky ingredients I mentioned. Then find my nontoxic swaps.

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation ($47)

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($24)

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($21)

Burt's Bees Lip Gloss ($9)

ColourPop Liquid Lipsticks ($7)

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes ($7)

Nontoxic Products I Use Now

Skin prep:

Osea Malibu Ocean Cleanser ($48)

This cleanser is filled with minerals from the ocean and is extremely effective at removing oils and impurities on my skin. I use this every day when I wake up and before I go to bed, actually. The first step in my makeup routine is to cleanse my face to create a fresh palette for the product. The organic seaweed used in Osea’s cleanser leaves my skin deeply hydrated and ready to take on the day!

True Botanicals Clear Nutrient Toner ($48)

True Botanicals has some of the most effective nontoxic products I’ve ever used, which is why I use its products every single day. Post-cancer, my skin is extremely sensitive and red, so finding an effective toner that will also hydrate and refresh my skin was a challenge. Finding this toner was truly a blessing, and that’s why it’s my everyday go-to. It is, quite frankly, life-changing.

Versed Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream ($15)

This brand-new product, now available at Target for a super-affordable price, is my new favorite tube of moisture. Clean, paraben-free, sulfate-free, vegan, dye-free, and all the good stuff in between, this moisturizer takes away the dewy feel of other moisturizers and leaves your face soft like a baby’s bottom. It immediately absorbs and disappears from my skin, making it a great pre-makeup moisturizer to start your day!

Makeup:

Thrive Causemetics Buildable Blur CC Cream ($38)

I have never met a CC cream that was as nourishing and long-lasting as Thrive Causemetics’ Buildable Blur. Every time I wear this, I feel like I am wearing a permanent Instagram filter. Not only does it have great coverage, but it also has SPF 35 and vitamin C, which leaves my skin protected and nourished with antioxidant benefits. My other favorite things about this company are its dedication to nontoxic beauty and the fact that it gives back to the community. With every product purchased, a product is donated to a woman in need.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer ($30)

I've been using this bronzer for three years now, after receiving it in one of my Ipsy bags, and have never looked back. It’s vegan, it’s nontoxic, and it is gorgeous. It gives me the perfect contour on my cheekbones. The Amazonian clay in this bronzer provides a long-lasting, flake-free application, which I feel makes my skin glow and look dimensional.

Milk Gel Brow ($18)

Having trichotillomania and going through chemo, I’ve had the opportunity to perfect my eyebrow routine. Drawing in my eyebrows since middle school has given me the chance to find my favorite and least favorite products. Switching to nontoxic was easy because of the amazing products Milk and Glossier have come out with. First, I outline and create shape with Milk’s Gel Brow pencil…

Glossier Boy Brow ($16)

…and then follow up to create texture with Glossier’s Boy Brow. Without fail, these are my two favorite nontoxic eyebrow products on the market, and they should be yours too!

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara ($24)

Nontoxic mascara has been hard for me to fall in love with. Some don’t last, some are too clumpy, and some just don’t create the length I’m looking for! That all changed when I tried Thrive’s Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara. It’s my everyday touch of length, and I feel good about using it. It’s good for my body, and it’s good for women in need.

Thrive Causemetics Glossy Lip Hydrating Serum ($26)

This is the lip serum I’ve been looking for! It lasts all day long and hydrates my lips. It’s this beautiful in-between of ChapStick and lipstick/stain that I don’t know how I lived without. Without being sticky, it provides shine and nourishment all day long. My personal favorite shade is Pamela, a brown mauve.

Primarily Pure Lavender Complexion Mist ($40)

Spray, set, repeat. I love me a good setting spray, even on the days I’m not wearing makeup. Just three to five sprays of this delicious and soothing mist will leave you in a relaxed mood all day long. Your skin is going to thank you for using this mist, I swear! This product is filled with rich antioxidants, aloe vera, and witch hazel and will leave your face glowing all day long!

True Botanicals Pre Cleanse Oil ($48)

The most effective way to remove my makeup, next to pure coconut oil, has been this Pre Cleanse Oil from True Botanicals. I just use around two pumps into my reusable cotton pad and apply it all over my face at the end of the day and begin my night skincare routine.

Do you have any favorite nontoxic makeup products I didn't mention here? Feel free to DM me your recommendations at @radiantracheli!

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