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The importance of a Plant Based Pout
We work hard to create healthy, chemical-free cosmetics which still look and feel amazing! We set up PHB in response to the shock we felt when researching the main ingredients of modern mainstream beauty products. To spread awareness of what lurks within makeup, we thought we would take you on a little journey through the history of the lipstick from way back when, to modern-day times.
Lipstick’s Colorful History
Lipstick is the cornerstone of modern makeup, with a shade for every style, occasion and season. Over 5,000 years ago, people began using raw materials to augment and highlight their natural features, and it is believed that the people of Mesopotamia were the first to create their own lip-enhancing concoctions! Their use of henna, clay, red rock and crushed gemstones credits them as the pioneers of Lipstick.
Lipstick culture later spread to Ancient Egypt, where Cleopatra VII was renowned for her crimson lips. The Queen of the Nile would apply a rouge created from red ochre and carmine (crushed bugs) set in resin for a lasting finish. The Ancient Egyptians followed the trend setting Queen but at the expense of their health, as many of their homemade lipsticks contained Lead and Iodine! The phrase kiss of death comes to mind!
In Ancient Greece, they would apply a deadly mixture of crushed berries, lead and vermillion. Vermillion is also very toxic, and again this resulted in serious illness and disease - all in the name of red lips! Those who couldn’t afford these ingredients luckily missed out on their life-threatening effects. They may have not had the most striking lips at the time, but this could have saved their lives!
Around 9AD, the first solid lipstick is said to have been invented. From then on these deadly home-brews were less common, but this didn’t stop dangerous elements still being used for their complexion-enhancing properties!
Here are just some of the Lipstick ingredients used along the way…
For thousands of years, we have used anything we can to perfect our pouts! Adding a splash of color to your lips works like a charm – bringing your face to life, just like magic. So it's not hard to believe that lipsticks have been associated with witchcraft as far back as the Middle Ages, where women frequently had to confess their lipstick use during Witch Trials.
For a while, lipstick was reserved for prostitutes and concubines only. Lipstick then became acceptable again under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, with her porcelain skin and dazzling scarlet lips. Elizabeth wore lipstick created with cochineal, egg whites, lead and fig milk. During this time, people actually believed that lipsticks could ward off death – yet their toxic ingredients suggested otherwise!
For a long time afterwards, wearing lipstick was still seen as outrageous! It wasn’t until the invention of the first swivel lipstick in the 1920’s that it became socially acceptable! These manufactured formulas combined animal fat with coal-tar (a harmful petroleum product) and lead (a highly toxic heavy metal). Just as they had no idea that smoking was bad, they also knew nothing about the dangers hiding within their lipsticks!
Lipstick has such a provocative past! From Cleopatra to Witchcraft – striking red lips have always symbolized sensuality and power. Yet looking back, the most scandalous thing about them wasn’t who was wearing them, it was what they were made from! Red lips were feared back then and still resonate powerfully today as one of the strongest makeup looks around – but could our pouts still be as deadly as they used to be?
The answer, to put it bluntly, is yes.
Modern-Day Lipsticks – Devilish or Divine?
We have revealed some of the dangerous ingredients involved in their ancient development– but how much do we know about today’s mainstream lipsticks?
Nowadays, poisonous substances like vermilion, mercury and arsenic are no longer used but plenty of the original ingredients are actually still present! It is hard to believe that the perception of lipstick has come such a long way, yet thousands of years later we’re making many of the same mistakes.
Here is a list of undesirable ingredients commonly found in modern-day lipsticks:
Carmine: Also known as Cochineal, (or Crimson Lake, Natural Red #4, C.I. 75470 or E120) this is used for pigment and comes from the ground remains of cochineal insects. It takes roughly seventy thousand insects to make just one pound of dye and a huge amount of water!
Lead: Yes, it is hard to believe but lead is still commonly found in lipsticks! It is present as a contaminant from the pigments, rather than an actual free-standing ingredient. This means that it does not have to be declared on the label! Lead is a neurotoxin which builds up in the body over time. It is especially dangerous if ingested, and for pregnant women as it can cause harm to their unborn babies. Lead is not safe for anyone, of any age, in any amount!
Petrochemicals: There are many types of petrochemicals, which are all derived from crude oil. The most well known petrochemical is petroleum jelly which is found in nearly all high-street lip balms and lipsticks. Once applied, your skin cells cannot breathe at all. You may as well wrap the area in cling film as either way no oxygen is getting in!
Tallow: This is rendered beef fat, also known as Stearic Acid, and is present in most lipsticks making them not vegan or cruelty-free. Tallow has been linked to black heads and eczema. PCB, a toxic chemical that accumulates in the food chain is also present in Tallow. The European Food Association deemed this chemical hazardous for health, yet it is still present in most lipsticks!
Parabens: These are found in almost all mainstream cosmetic products from shampoos, to moisturizers and makeup. They prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and extend the shelf life of the products – which is a big win for corporate cosmetic companies. Some parabens can mimic estrogenic activity which is associated with certain forms of breast cancer – but as long as they can be stored in a warehouse for years, who cares right?
Synthetic (FD&C) Dyes: These are present in nearly all non-organic, mainstream lipsticks as they provide the vast color range we are so used to seeing today. They are especially popular right now thanks to the trend for matte lipstick, which can only be achieved using these synthetic dyes. These dyes can cause itching, rashes, hives and other skin reactions. Many of these dyes have been classed as hazardous and banned, and nearly all of them have been shown to cause cancer in animals. Perhaps the most concerning thing is that many of them are contaminated with heavy metals, which are banned from food production but are still allowed in cosmetics! We may not be eating our lipsticks, but some of it will be ingested and bare in mind that we’re also absorbing these chemicals through our skin.
What we must remember, is that our skin can transport chemicals from the outer surface of our bodies, through the inner skin layers into the bloodstream. Just because something is on our lips, it doesn’t mean it will not end up inside our bodies. When we wear lipstick, we eat, we drink and we lick our lips – allowing these harmful ingredients to be ingested. This harms the digestive system, which plays a huge role in fighting toxins. So when we damage our gut – we are less able to ward off these harmful chemicals! It really is a lose: lose situation!
Why a Plant-based Lipstick should be your natural choice...
We challenge you to take a look through your makeup bag and see how many of these ingredients you can find. It’s all there on the packaging - it's just most people are not aware of the dangers. The safest option is to buy organic, 100% plant-based, chemical-free lipsticks. This does not stop at lipsticks – but extends out to every single thing you use on your skin. But, be forewarned – most cosmetics labels do not highlight the full list of chemicals present. Say Aloe Vera is present in your average high street moisturizer – the Aloe may have been sprayed with highly toxic chemicals, yet this will not be shared on the packaging. Why? Because it's not legally required!
Our bodies are precious, and our health is just as important as the shade of lipstick we’re wearing! We do not need to expose ourselves to dangerous toxins just to enhance our natural beauty. These days, not only can you avoid these dangerous toxins, but you can replace them with wholesome ingredients which heal and nourish the skin. Plant-based magic, in the forms of coconut oil and shea butter, when combined with pure mineral pigments can provide the perfect lip shades – so why put yourself at risk?
Here at PHB, we use healthy, natural ingredients which are healing for the lips. Our nourishing formulas do not cause any harm to people or animals and can safely be worn by pregnant women. Rather than using synthetic dyes, we chose to colour our lipsticks using pure mineral pigments from the earth. We work closely with our suppliers to ensure the minerals are ethically sourced, with fair working conditions for workers and no child labour, and they’re regularly tested to ensure no heavy metal contamination so you get the purest products possible.
All of our products are free from:
Alcohol (ethyl alcohol, ethanol)
Is your Pout Plant-based?
If yes, then hats off to you! If no – then it’s time to turn your pout around, with our latest offer: Buy one lipstick, Get one free! (Available 12.5.19 to 19.5.19) This is the perfect chance to replace your old toxic favorites with new healthy ones! Our best-selling Petal shade is perfect for the warmer months and for a sophisticated daytime vibe. If you are tempted by the classic red lipped look, then try out our stunning metallic Cranberry or brick red Sienna shades.
From bold, to nearly there – we have a shade to suit all styles!