Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Soy-free Mascara and Eyeliner Find!

At the National Products Expo in Anaheim, California there were hundreds of vendors who came to pitch their products to retailers and the media.  I must say I have been educating myself for years, out of necessity (goal to stay alive).  Yes, chemicals, odors, fragrances, yes "even truly natural fragrances", i.e. a live jasmine or lavender plant, can stimulate adverse symptoms.  My body does not react well to chemicals, period.  So I must read the labels.  When a product has petroleum or a petroleum byproduct it is not natural (See post at Fragrance Free or Unscented? Natural or Organic? Not All Are Equal!). 

I can't emphasize the importance of reading the labels.  Learn what is in the products you purchase.  When you are literally knocked down by a product ingredient you quickly find out how important your knowledge is.  You have heard it before "knowledge is power".  



That being said I was disappointed to find products at the Expo that were not in my definition of "truly natural" and products I knew that I would have an adverse reaction.  However, I was excited to make some terrific finds. 

I had been searching for soy-free mascara and eyeliner for some time.  I found that many companies use soy lethicin as emulsifier in cosmetics.  In simplistic terms, an emulsifier is used to make certain ingredients merge together, i.e. water and oils.  I like to use the term "creamy".  However, for me, soy in any form is an allergen/intolerance.  Whether it is the soy ingredient or some other ingredient, I found that with many of the mascaras and eyeliners from mainstream cosmetic companies make my eyelids swell and itchy...no fun.  


Earthlab Cosmetics Raw Mascara and Vegan Eyeliner
Subsequently, among the hundreds of vendors at the Expo, I was very happy to find Earthlab Cosmetics.  I was given an sample from one of the owners.  She stated it was soy-free and I was estatic to try the product.  Happily I have not had a reaction.  I still find that my lashes are not as defined or as with other mainstream cosmetic companies.  However, that pales in comparison to having itchy eyelids.  

I also pinned the Raw Mascara and Vegan pencil at Pinterest under soy-free.  Before sampling, I emailed Jen MacDougall to determine the source of the lecithin and vitamin E, as at times, have found that with some products the source of lecithin and vitamin E can be soy.  Jen quickly returned my email and stated the following:  "The Raw Mascara and Vegan Pencil formulas are gluten free, soy-free, and non-gmo. The source of both those ingredients is sunflower.  The only product that would not be considered soy-free would be our Natural Lip Gloss formula. We do use soy-wax which is a bit different but it keeps the product from bleeding. Please note we will be coming out with a Vegan Lip Stick this summer –which will be soy free."  

I do detect an odor which dissipates quickly (for us scent-free savvy persons).  I also find that I have to make several applications to define my eyelashes.  In addition, I was concerned about the toxicity one of the ingredients, a preservative, phenoxyethanol.  Therefore, I again contacted the company.  I spoke to Jen who explained that a preservative is required by law on all mascara products.  However, their preservative is derived from sage and they use 1/10 of 1% in the product. This sage preservative is the least toxic that works with their mascara formula.  Overall, I must say, I'm pleased.  I can finally get some definition to my eyelashes without the itchy, swollen eyelid look.  

With Earthlab you get a product that is soy-free, gluten free, and non-gmo with great customer service. In addition, they are eager to share information about their products to assist persons like me to continue to live soy-free...way to go Earthlab!