Empowering Every Woman to be Beautiful

The Natural Cosmetics Debate Continues

I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I believe there's still some life in the subject of whether natural/organic cosmetics and skincare are better than, let's say, "traditional" ones.

Last week, I interviewed Kelley Maddison, founder of Priia Cosmetics. During that interview she gave the reasons why she's passionate about only using the most natural ingredients in her products.

I've used traditional makeup for most of the years that I've been a makeup artist, but recently I started to question that decision as newly developed, "healthy" alternatives are popping up on the market.

During my interview with Priia's founder, I mentioned a brand I really like called Becca. Becca, like most of my fave lines, was created by a real, live makeup artist (not old men in lab coats). The range of colors and the silky textures make Becca a makeup artist's dream line. And the packaging is tres chic (Blogger won't let me put the little mark over the "e", sorry).

I used their foundation for years.

Imagine my surprise when the CEO of Becca called me last week (from London) to thank me for mentioning their product in a good light on my blog! I took the opportunity to ask him where Becca stands on including natural ingredients in their products.

Well, we had a nice chat about product performance, allergy tests and carcinogens. Near the end of our conversation, he assured me that Becca's founder, Rebecca Morrice Williams (shown above) would be contacting me herself to give me an answer on the matter.

Here's Rebecca's answer to my question: Where does Becca stand on using natural ingredients versus synthetic ones in their products?

Hello Todra

BECCA is definitely concerned with make-up becoming healthier and we are tying to find better preservatives or possibly use none (depends on the formulation). Many of our products are already paraben and fragrance free. I am launching a Mineral Powder foundation mid year that is free of parabens and phenoxyethanol, oil, fragrance, alcohol, chemical dyes, talc and other fillers.

Most importantly though, it has a really beautiful finish on the skin, not at all like some of the very cakey, drying and unnatural–looking mineral powder foundations on the market. I wear it to the gym everyday and I walk out looking respectable which is another big plus.

I do believe that although make-up should use the healthiest ingredients possible, it needs to be about performance first and foremost and for this reason I still think silicones play an important role in make-up.

Skin care is a different thing altogether and anything that is not 100% nutrition for the skin has no real place in the formulation. Many cosmetic companies have conned us on this and formulate skin care products that really have nothing beneficial in them to improve the skin long term but simply have an immediate effect on the skin - I think of these products more as make-up primer type products not skin care.

I use an incredible skin care line called BAKEL.
This line uses only 100% active ingredients and no useless substances; it really does alter the skin’s texture, clarity, hydration, firmness.

I am not of the belief that natural or organic is always better, in some cases natural can be extremely irritating or allergenic. I believe we should be finding the best ingredients whether natural or synthetic to care and protect the skin whilst at the same time creating the finish and performance we require from our make-up.

As you can imagine changing existing formulations is a long process but it is my aim to improve all BECCA products so that we have even healthy ingredients in the formulations.

Warm Regards

Well, I think that was a balanced answer. Some people are allergic to natural ingredients. But what about the talk of certain cosmetic chemicals being linked to cancer? Are there natural ingredients (other than tobacco) that are linked to cancer? I have no idea. I'm just throwing the questions out there. I'd love to hear from you ladies.

What do you think of natural versus synthetic cosmetic ingredients? And is performance more important in makeup than health concerns?

Later this week a natural cosmetics formulator will answer some of these questions from her point of view. Makes you go, "hmmmmm."

On a side note, I want to say "Thank you" to Rebecca for taking the time from her travels and preparation for Cosmoprof to answer my questions.

And for my readers, stay tuned for a Becca Give Away in the next few weeks.