What Is Bugging Your Cosmetics

Close up view of female cochineals (Dactylopius coccus), on a plant branch.

Beauty Buzz/Blog Biz | What Is Bugging Your Cosmetics

A Reason to go Natural & Cruelty-Free with Your Cosmetics

Closeup of a woman's face applying bright red matte lipstick.

Have you ever wondered what makes your lipstick that vibrant red or your shadows intense purple? Well, it could be derived from an ingredient called carmine or cochineal. This ingredient comes from the cochineal insect that lives in South America. 

The cochineal insects have been used for thousands of years for dye. It is not only found in some cosmetics but also in some food items such as Jello and strawberry yogurt. Carmine may be identified on food labels as cochineal or E120. It is an allergin and if you are vegan or vegetarian you should avoid products with this ingredient. So it is important to know what is in your products and how your body may react to the ingredients. Below this article, I’ve provided a few resources that I hope you find helpful.

Levels of Natural

Propylparaben preservative molecule. Used in food and cosmetics.

In order for a product to be labeled natural the ingredients only have to be twenty percent natural. The term organic does not determine the safety of a product.

Pesticides are not allowed in beauty products no matter the origin. I’ve stated in the past that the USDA certifies products as organic. The truth is if a company has the money they can get another company to certify their product as organic.

Organic products differ from store to store. The supermarket chain Whole Foods has its own standards when it comes to its personal care items. They hold the same standards as they have for their organic food. 

You still have to be mindful of labels. If a product says sulfate and paraben-free, watch out it could be under another name. Parabens are endocrine disrupters that can be linked to cancer. You have to know what you are getting. I’ve seen products claiming to be free of chemicals and they are not. I know that there are purists when it comes to natural products and I will always say do your homework for yourselves.

Helpful Resources

By Dana Hinnant, Beauty Editor

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Author Bio:

A headshot of Dana wearing a black scoop neck top under a black jacket. She has glowng caramel colored skin and short dark hair.
Dana Hinnant

Dana Hinnant, a Washingtonian native, whose journey into the beauty industry began 20 years ago after receiving her B.A. in Hearing and Speech Sciences from the University of Maryland in 2000. She received her aesthetics training at Von Lee International School of Esthetics in Baltimore, MD. She started as a local makeup artist and events coordinator with Alluring Looks, Inc. in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Her articles were featured in local publications such as Pose Magazine and Yndigo newsletter. In the mid-2000s, she was a volunteer instructor with the American Cancer Society’s Look Good…Feel Better program, which landed her an esthetician position at an area day spa. 

Over the past several years, Dana has worked with various non-profit organizations and small businesses. During her tenure as the President of the Health and Wellness division of the National Federation of the Blind DC affiliate, she utilized the platform to provide salon safety tips and skincare advice throughout the community. She was a consultant with the Ecumenical Health Council in Port Towns, MD doing beauty and wellness presentations at area churches and events.

In 2019, Dana received the Maryland Association of Community Service Award for Volunteer of the Year due to her community engagement work for The Arc of Prince George’s County. In addition, she also received the Volunteer of the Year award for 2020 from The Arc of Maryland. She is a member and an ambassador with the Professional Beauty Association. Dana is one of the co-owners of Capitol Collective Consulting LLC which launched in April 2021.

Image Descriptions:

  • Closeup view of female cochineals (Dactylopius coccus), on a plant branch.
  • Closeup of a woman’s face applying bright red matte lipstick.
  • Propylparaben preservative molecule. Used in food and cosmetics.
  • The author bio photo is a headshot of Dana wearing a black scoop neck top under a black jacket. She has glowing caramel- colored skin and short dark hair.
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