Over the last couple of years I’ve made the gradual shift from conventional skincare products to all-natural ones. I’ve tried a few — some great, some not so great, so was intrigued to recently learn about a local brand of all natural makeup called Sappho New Paradigm. Sappho is a line of vegan, natural and organic makeup that’s free of synthetic preservatives and other toxins found in most conventional makeup. We sat down with the owner JoAnn Fowler to learn more about her products, and why it’s so important to start seriously considering what we put onto our skin.
There’s no question, the world of health and wellness can be a tough one to navigate. You try buying organic when you can, you’ve removed things from you diet you’ve been told are probably not serving you well, but then there’s the whole other world of personal care products. While your diet is a great place to start, skincare and cosmetics are two things that I think deserve a lot more attention. Makeup and lotions are items most of us use every single day. And what many people might not give too much thought to is that fact that these products don’t just sit on the surface of our skin, they’re designed to penetrate into our skin’s inner layers. Not surprisingly, according to the Environmental Working Group (a great resource if you want to read up more on this), “scientists have found many common cosmetic ingredients in human tissues, including phthalates in urine, preservatives called parabens in breast tumour tissue and persistent fragrance components in human fat”. JoAnn also brought up that while Europe has banned two to three thousand chemicals, the FDA has only banned 11 in the last 20 years. These chemicals, some of which are known or suspected carcinogens can have seriously negative effects on the reproductive system, and can disrupt the endocrine system. And these are not just trace ingredients we’re talking about, these are some of the main ingredients in the personal care products women are using every day.
For JoAnn, starting Sappho was about empowering women to take back control in terms of how they spend their money. As a successful makeup artist, she also wanted to offer her clients an alternative to conventional makeup, and let them make their own decision about what they were putting on (and in) their body. She soon realized that there was a market for products like these, and now more than ever, it seems like more and more people are starting to catch on. But with mass market interest, inevitably comes “green washing” where brands make health claims about their natural makeup products that are deceptive, and in many cases entirely untrue. We went in depth with JoAnn about her ingredient sourcing — everything she uses is well-researched, hand-picked and certified organic, and every ingredient, from rosemary and thyme to calendula and chamomile flowers serve a specific purpose. Being transparent and ethical are at the core of Sappho, and what I love is that they are unwilling to compromise. They would like to one day offer lipstick for example, but haven’t yet been able to find the right ingredients that stick to their guidelines, while allowing them to offer a high performance product. So if they can’t do it right, they won’t do it.
I’m sure a lot of you have tried all-natural products that just don’t stand up to conventional ones, which often gives you no choice but to stick with what you know. I’ve now tried most products in this line, including the foundation, mascara, blush, bronzer and concealer, and can genuinely say, this line of makeup is the real deal (as in, I’ve been using it every single day). So, if you’re looking to clean up your makeup bag and don’t know where to start, Sappho is a line I highly recommend trying out. Here’s a list of their retailers, you can also purchase directly from their website.
Photo Credit: Indie Beauty Expo
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