Why I quit SeneGence and tossed my makeup bag.

For the last year or so I started to cut gluten out of my diet because I saw that it started to make me sick. From there I took a food sensitivity test and found out which foods were actually affecting me. Then I cut out everything that I couldn’t tolerate.

I watched What’s with Wheat and learned that wheat is not only in the foods we eat but the products we put onto our bodies. Such as shampoo, makeup, skin care, etc. I started to become more aware of wheat and cut it out of everything. It also made me think about what else was in our daily products but I didn’t look into it any further.

Earlier this month I dyed my hair purple. Within two days it faded to gray so I had it trimmed and changed back to blonde. The hair stylist told me that my shampoo most likely had sulfates in them and to stay away. So I began the search for sulfate and gluten-free shampoo. When I was looking through the store shelf, I noticed a few bottles said “sulfate and paraben free” but I had no idea what that meant and didn’t want to read into it because it just seemed like so much work. Laziness vs. health? Lazy has almost always won.

So, what does this have to do with SeneGence? Well, all of these toxins are tied together. I had been a distributor for 9 months. I absolutely loved their products but after some research, I’m not a fan of their ingredients. It began with LipSense. As I was scrolling thru Instagram, I saw a post by 100% Pure about what is hiding in conventional lipsticks. So it got me thinking about LipSense and I started looking into ingredients. LipSense made my lips burn the moment I started using it. When I would wash it off at the end of the day it felt like my lips went through a punching match and were so sore. But I brushed it off and told everyone else (who had the same problem) that it was just a part of LipSense and that it was totally fine. So many distributors told me it was just our reaction to the alcohol in the product. Which is probably true, but….WHY do we want to go through that just so our lip color can last all day? Eventually my lips didn’t have the same soreness they did at the beginning but it still burned during application. Then I tried the Lip Volumizer. This stuff worked wonders on my lips! My lips were fuller and no longer dry or chapped. The LipSense adhered better after using it and overall I was pleased with the product. But, from the very beginning I had a weird feeling about it and finally told my husband. I said “I feel like this stuff is going to give me cancer” and he told me to stop using it. I was sad but I just could not go against my gut feeling about that product. Now, I’m not saying this product will cause cancer but it definitely got me thinking more about what I was putting on and in my body.  After all, for many women, we wear certain products all day long. Every single day. Some of us don’t even wash our face before falling asleep and can go out wearing day old makeup without thinking twice.  Or some of us put product on before we go to sleep in hopes of anti-aging properties and so on.

I was sixteen when I started wearing makeup. I mainly stuck to mascara and it caused me so many problems. I remember being in class and my eyes would be so incredibly irritated. Sometimes eyelashes would fall into my eye and wreak havoc. My eyelashes would also never stay curled for more than a few seconds but I loved mascara, even if my eyelashes went back to being straight. I have light brown/red lashes and they’re fairly long. I liked having them curled so they wouldn’t hit my glasses and dark because, well, self-conscious teenager.

A couple of years ago I learned about lash primer and I haven’t gone without it since. My lashes stayed curled and didn’t fall out. But it made the irritation worse and yet I still continued to use it. (I used the Stila Lash Stunner Extreme Primer)

Then, I decided to try ShadowSense because it doesn’t smudge or wipe off! I have oily eyelids so nothing would stay put without a primer first. (I used Urban Decay’s Primer Potion in Original). Immediately after applying this product, my eyes were extremely itchy. So itchy I could barely make it through the day with it on. As my diet changed even more, my body was telling me to stop using this product. These products. God too, I’m sure. Almost every product I’ve ever put on my face gave me the same reaction but just this week it seems like it’s gotten worse and I can’t tolerate my makeup anymore. My body wash and lotion’s weren’t helping either. (Bath and Body Works)

Then somehow I came across a list of top 5 harmful ingredients in makeup and Bismuth Oxychloride immediately caught my eye. Itching and irritation were some of the effects! So I searched the SeneGence site and what do ya know, ShadowSense contains Bismuth Oxychloride. This is probably what I have been reacting to the whole time! Same with the Primer Potion I was using before.

When I would wipe my makeup off, I would use Alba Botanica cleanser wipes and my face would be on FIRE. By the time I wiped all my make up off, my skin would be red, irritated, and in just so much pain. I looked at the ingredient list of the cleanser wipes and (even the front of the package) it said Pineapple. Well, I have a sensitivity to pineapple. I also used 100% Pure’s Mascara and it just did not help me. Then I looked at the ingredients. Coffee bean and wheat protein. Coffee is high on my list of things I can’t tolerate. If you have an allergy or sensitivity to a certain food, this also means you cannot use it on your body. If you cannot tolerate something, avoid that item altogether. This also means reading further into names. Let’s say you are avoiding wheat. Most products won’t just say wheat. You have to look for Einkorn, Emmer, Kamut, Semolina, etc. That’s where it gets tricky.

If you read about Hank and my Rash, you know I have problems going on in my blood. Did you know that nanoparticles, found in mineral makeup, penetrate directly and immediately pass through cell membranes into blood streams and organs?  L’Oréal, Revlon and Avon, among other big name companies all use nanoparticles in their cosmetics.  You are absorbing heavy metals when you use products that are made with nanotechnology!  Also keep in mind that your pores absorb what’s on your skin. You eat what is on your mouth.

I began looking into the ingredients listed in all of my products and every single one had something that I was not happy with. So, I am in the process of ridding myself and my family of as many harmful toxins as I can.

All of the ingredients listed below say that the hazards are only a problem depending on usage. BUT they are all in skin care and makeup which means we are most likely using these chemicals on our body all day, every day. So, doesn’t that increase the hazard?

  • Bismuth Oxychloride: CI 77163, skin irritant, causes itching, redness, rashes.
  • Mica: Have you ever picked up a rock and seen those shimmery flakes that can be peeled off? That’s mica. Not safe in mineral makeup (as a powder) but can be used safely in liquid form.
  • Silica: Crystalline Silica is carcinogenic, causes system toxicity and inflammation. Amorphous Silica is safe as a liquid but not as a powder.
  • Sodium Benzoate: Increases the risk of cancer and when mixed with ascorbic acid it becomes benzene.
  • Talc: Anti-Caking agent, absorbs moisture. Some talc may contain the carcinogen asbestos, therefore it should be avoided in powders and other care products (especially in the pelvic areas), unless it is known to be asbestos-free. When asbestos-free talc is used it should STILL be avoided in the pelvic areas. Increases risk for cancers. I believe corn starch is a safer alternative.
  • Phthalates: Disruptive to hormone production which leads to developmental, neurological, and reproductive damage. Click here to read more about Phthalates.
  • Formaldehyde: Is a colorless strong smelling gas. Can be absorbed through skin and has been linked to cancer. Commonly used in liquid baby soaps and nail polish. It can be added directly or released from preservatives. Look out for quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, bromopol and glyoxal.
  • PEGS or Polyethylene Glycol: Enhance penetration of other ingredients into our skin. They are used to soften or thicken cosmetics. Look for them in cream based products. You will always find numbers after PEGS, this indicates how many units of ethylene oxide they consist of. The lower the number, the easier it absorbs into your skin. Click here to read more about Ethylene oxide.
  • BHT BHA: Used as preservatives. They are linked to several health issues, especially hormonal function, and can promote the growth of tumors. These are also found in food. Stay far away!!
  • Parabens: Usually a suffix. Easily penetrate your skin and are used as a preservative. These also interfere with hormonal function and have been found in human breast cancer tissue. Parabens interfere with our immune system, nervous system and reproduction. Banned in Japan and Sweden. Because parabens have become widely known, companies have started to use phenoxyethanol. Which is just as bad! Click here to read more.
  • Octinoxate: OMC, is a UV filter and endocrine distruptor. It can be absorbed quickly through skin. Octinoxate has been found in human urine, blood and breast milk, which shows that humans are regularly exposed. Octinoxate mimics estrogen and can disrupt thyroid function. Look out for o methoxycinnamate (OMC), parsol, parsol MCX, parsol MOX, escalol, 2-ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnamate.
  • Lead: Lead is a heavy metal. It makes its way into our cosmetics mostly by contamination through color additives. Big name companies are more common for contaminating their products with lead. Try to stick with smaller companies when purchasing products, especially lipstick. Lead is SO bad for us. Click here for more information.
  • Carbon Black: Other names are Channel Black, Pigment Black 6, Pigment Black 7, Acetylene Black,D & C Black No.2, Black Pearls, Arogen, Arotone, and Arrow Atlantic. Linked to cancer and organ problems. Used in dark cosmetics (eyeliner, mascara, brow color, foundation, etc)
  • Fragrance/ Perfum/ Parfum: Harmful ingredients are usually masked as this. As consumers, we have no idea what chemical could be hidden in something listed as such. Avoid all products that don’t entirely list every ingredient.

There are so many toxic chemicals that we should stay away from and it’s up to us to do our research and find which ones to avoid. Did you know that under current law, the FDA doesn’t have to enforce tests on ingredients except color additives in cosmetics? They don’t require safety assessments in cosmetic products. The FDA has not regulated ingredients in cosmetics since 1938! That’s a year before my grandpa was born. My mouth literally dropped when I found this out. Companies can be putting harmful chemicals into our hands and very few of us are aware of it!

As far as companies that I have looked into, there are just a couple that I feel safe with. But don’t take my word for it. Do your own research and only use what you are comfortable with. But please, keep all of this information in mind.

I had several of these companies products and had to get rid of them. Bath and Body Works, Bumble and Bumble, Urban Decay, Too Faced, SeneGence, Neutrogena, Pravana Lush, and Sally Hansen.

As I continue to toss my products and find new companies to shop from I have come across Beauty Counter thanks to Against All Grain.

If you would like to support Against All Grain, use that name as your consultant when purchasing. First name, Against. Last name, All Grain. UPDATE- I am now a BC consultant. You can purchase under Kayla Penner

We try so hard to heal our body with the things we eat, the doctors we see and so on. Yet we continue to poison ourselves unknowingly with products we use everyday. Our body is a temple. (1 Corinthians 6:19) If we don’t take care of it, we’re not going to feel good. God gave us this body, and we are to respect it because it’s not our own. It doesn’t just belong to us. Respect your body and what you are putting on it and in it.

I recently read a page of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers and it was about carelessness. This fits perfectly! “Carelessness is an insult to the Holy Spirit. We should have no carelessness about us either in the way we worship God, or even in the way we eat and drink.” We need to care about these products we are using not only for ourselves and our children and families… but for God! He gifted this body to you and maybe gifted you with some children of your own. Take care of yourself and your family. Start somewhere. “Beware of becoming careless over the small details of life saying ‘Oh, that will have to do for now.’ Whatever it may be, God will point it out with persistence until we become entirely his”

Read Labels. Wash your face (and body if possible) before bedtime. Wear makeup occasionally. Our skin needs a break!

Also, If you’d like to read about why I joined SeneGence, Click Here

A few resources:

Safe Cosmetics

Cosmetics Database

Nanoparticles in Cosmetics

Cosmetic Colors and Dyes, What ones are Safe?

Beauty Counter Ingredient Glossary

Myths on Cosmetic Safety

10 Toxic Ingredients that Might Be in Your Makeup

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