Recently I have been asked ‘why I don’t wear makeup’ quite a bit; especially since I shared on my wedding posts, I went 100% natural at a few events. Looking back at my childhood, there was one occasion that truly made me averse from makeup; my mum convinced me lipstick would make my lips black!
But overall, I just didn’t grow up around a very heavy makeup culture. In India, there is a big push for a natural look on a daily basis, and when I say natural, I mean going makeup free. But even more so, my mummy was never into it, so I guess I wasn’t into it. In fact, growing up she would always encourage me to not go to makeup, even when I had my breakouts and teenage acne. I remember as a young teen, I would feel embarrassed that I didn’t know how to use an eyeliner, or know what concealer or cover up was. I also didn’t have the money, so makeup played a very small role in my upbringing. When I started to go to university in the US, I truly saw the makeup culture.
I was fascinated by it. Whilst I only dabbled a little, I stuck to my natural roots. Even then, there was always something that would nag at me and I wouldn’t end up with a heavy makeup look. For whatever reason, I just didn’t like it. Now as a much more well-knowledged adult, I understand why I don’t wear makeup.
I narrowed it to three reasons:
Many of you know my story, how I had a very poor reaction to a store-bought face wash. After that incident, I was extremely particular about what went on my face. Because of that I used to struggle with makeup. I would see the ingredients, and just get freaked out; not only did I not know what these ingredients were, but I also had no clue if my face would react.
Years later I learned that lipstick has 33 chemicals, eyeshadow: 26, foundation:24, blush:16. This really scared me. I am much older now, and I still don’t completely understand these ingredients.
The other thing that really concerned me about wearing makeup was, unintended affects. I used to read how wearing makeup would clog my pores, or how eye-makeup could give you infections, or more allergic reactions! I had already had one bad allergic reaction, I was not about to give myself another one. Plus, I terrified of the doctor, and hearing that makeup could do these things totally convinced me I shouldn’t be wearing it.
I had already had one bad allergic reaction, I was not about to give myself another one. Plus, I terrified of the doctor, and hearing that makeup could do these things totally convinced me I shouldn’t be wearing it.
The next big question that haunted me with makeup was what happens if these chemicals get absorbed into my skin and bloodstream? Will it have a huge effect on my body?And this is reason number two why I don’t wear makeup.
2) The skin is an organ
I know I say this a lot, but it really is important. We forget it, and use our skin as a canvas.But really the skin is the first indicator of telling us if we are healthy. Our skin is a breathing living thing, just like any other organ.So, I realized that if I didn’t take care of it, it would also suffer and I wouldn’t be healthy. I realized taking care of my skin couldn’t just be about my vanity, but it had to be about my health. Hence, I wondered how using these products would affect my health.
The skin, like other organs has functions to perform; much as how the lunges are there to help us breathe. Whilst, the skin has many functions, its main function is to PROTECT. It needs to protect us from both the harm that you can see and the harm you can’t (like bacteria). I wondered, if we are putting on an average of 168 chemicals per day, how would this affect our body? Especially when there are ads that say, this product will make you look younger, or it has vitamin x, I question: how would all these ingredients affect my body?
I found out that, there is a difference between penetration versus absorption. Penetration: Is when an ingrediententers the skin but won’t get absorbed by the body and enter the blood stream. Absorption: When the chemical become part of the blood stream, so it has broken the skin barrier. Whether, this chemical will affect you depends on the chemical itself. The skin will defend itself, but sometimes, it can cause reactions.
Because of this, I did not want to take the risk of putting all these ingredients on my face. There was no way of knowing, which ingredient would get penetrated versus absorbed or what the reaction would be. Although I did understand that the FDA did some regulation on ingredients, it didn’t regulate all. Furthermore, if an ingredient is getting absorbed, then it is considered a drug, not cosmetic, and so would be better regulated,but I simply didn’t want to take the risk.
Also, have you ever seen those pictures of celebs, with makeup and without? It totally scared me. I did not want to age that way, and it seems they got pretty dependent on makeup. Brining me to my final reason: self-confidence.
I have found, that people who wear makeup regularly, it becomes sort of a crutch. That they don’t want to go anywhere without makeup or they don’t think they look nice. Personally, for me, I feel less like myself, less confident when I wear makeup versus when I don’t.
I know it is totally crazy to say but it is true. I love who I am. I want my body to be healthy, so reliance on makeup to me just doesn’t make sense. I rather maintain a healthy routine overall and be happy.
I find with makeup, it takes up so much time and it messes with your routine. For example, if you wear makeup to work everyday, you need to wake up earlier, hence killing you zzzz time. Plus, not removing makeup at night is super bad, it will clog your pores, make your skin oily, hence acne! And after a long day it is easy to get lazy – hence totally messing up my routine. Plus, makeup is expensive and it takes up so much space in my tiny NY bathroom and closet! I much rather spend my few dollars on fun times with friends and keep my wardrobe for my shoes!
For me the best accessory is smiling. So, will you go #makeupfree with me?