Reader Questions With Ask BEAUTYCALYPSE #8

Welcome to the first ABC – for Ask BeautyCalypse – post of 2015, in which I’m answering your clean & green lifestyle questions.

Here are three questions from readers who try to green up their lifestyle (ladies, this applause is all yours!).
As you know, I don’t offer consultations and it’s immensely difficult to answer some of the Qs without any further knowledge, however, I’m more than happy to share my own experience and I hope that this round of Q&As is helpful for you as well.

Also, if you have even more tips for these ladies, please share in the comments!

Winter – and Hair Care

In your post on hair care in winter. The tips are very helpful, but have you any shampoo recommendations because I’m lost!? Whatever I use seems still too harsh and drying :/ I’d love to avoid palm oil but the amount of ingredients made of it confuse me. Thank you.winter-2014-berlin

Oh my, I don’t know if you’re going to like my answer. The thing is, I am not a medical institution or auhority, and I don’t offer consultations, nor can I tell you exactly WHY your hair feels (?) or looks (?) dry. However, here’s a roadmap of things you should investigate to find the answer yourself:

1) Are you washing your hair too often = daily?
2) Are you drying your hair with a hair-dryer?
Then you might be overdoing it in terms of temperature (cold is generally considered best) or duration (longer than 10-15 minutes is torture for your scalp).
3) Do you have food or contact allergies?
Sometimes what feels like dryness/itchiness is an allergic reaction or an other skin reaction/condition that decided to occur on your head.
4) Do you slap on shampoo onto your scalp directly?
This is not an old wive’s tale: foam up a small dollup in the palms of your hands, never rub the product directly into your hair.
5) If you say you’re “confused” about your ingredients, are you reading them properly?
Your shampoo can contain allergens that you react to (ideas what to look for: gluten; fragrance; some colouring agents), too many detergents, too much alcohol, etc.
To make your label-reading job easier, databases and apps exist. You didn’t reveal where you live, so check out EWG’s Skindeep for the US/Canada, and for European brands (mostly Germany, Austria, Switzerland).
6) What kind of brush/comb are you using?
Are you combing and scratching aggressively, causing mechanical damage and ultimately, dryness?
7) Are you using styling products?
8) Do you dye your hair regularly?
9) What about your diet (hydration!) and lifestyle (stress)?
10) What about the water quality?

I’m sure you can figure out by now where to look for answers.
Good luck!

And as for shampoo recommendations, the thing is, I am still on the quest to find The Perfect Shampoo myself. I’ve been testing products as well as washing & combing routines throughout 2014.
Right now a favourite is the Eco Cosmetics baby shampoo. Here’s a link to the brand’s product page. The shampoo has been awarded a “very good” by the German consumer magazine Ökotest (an institution somewhat comparable to the UK’s Ethical Consumer). At €9.90 per 200 ml bottle it’s rather reasonable price, certified with Ecocert, fully vegan, scented with a blend of essential oils (drily declared as ‘perfume’ on the English label).
I got mine from Amazingy.

Also I’m working on a post about common mistakes in hair care that can lead to hair loss.

Yes, hair loss! And I’m not scaremongering; it’s just the lack of common sense and the overly ad-driven understanding of beauty that is inflicted upon us these days.

Mascara, Foundation, Lip Liners:
Without Palm Oil

Looking for makeup lines (particularly mascara, foundation and lip liner) that are Palm Oil Free. Found 1 article that you did on it listing which Dr Hauschka items were POF but no mascara or foundation or lip liner on that list. Could you provide me any other company sources which don’t contain palm oil or palm oil derivatives?

Bad news! 😦
Mascara and lip liner (or khol for that matter) without palm oil is a thing I am yet to find.
My best find of 2014 was Zao Beauty who use RSPO for their mascaras, eye liners, lip liners – not perfect, but it’s a start. Odylique (formerly known as Essential Care) is the only brand I was able to find to offer mascaras, lip liners, eye liners that are completely free from palm oil. They don’t have foundation, only concealer.

And here’s a special THANK YOU to Ana of Ana goes green for telling me about Odylique – I was certain that the UK-based company Essential Care had stopped existing, and was super happy to hear that they just rebranded. Thank you, Ana!

As for foundation, mineral powder foundations can be blended with your favourite moisturiser to a rather fine effect (I use Pai Skincare moisturisers, available for dry, normal and oily skin, they help create a perfectly customised, top-free foundation), and you’ll be in control of coverage and colour.
Read more in my post on customising foundation.

Custom Foundation?
Speaking Of Which…

I have tried using mineral foundation, but I’ve come to hate it 😦 It clogs up my pores, it’s streaky, and it doesn’t stay put. Any ideas? Thank you!

To quote Mr Holmes: “Give me data!” A tremendous lack of information here.

But I’ve faced similar troubles in the beginning, so if I had to venture a guess, I’d say you use either a very rich, oily moisturiser or a silicone-based moisturiser or primer. Or your skin just isn’t hydrated enough.
Here are a few ideas for you about what to look into and why.

Mineral foundation can “melt” if your face is primed with a very oily or mineral oil based cream (however, pure oils are not an issue – I use oils as primers, mostly broccoli seed, raspberry seed, or jojoba – and it always works); and silicone-based moisturisers and primers somehow attract the product to the pores, so you end up with pores looking whiter and larger, a side effect nobody had asked for.

Another reason for mineral foundation betraying your expectations is very dry skin, or very dry skin and oily skin.
If your skin isn’t hydrated enough, the mineral powder, dry by definition and in texture, will make matters worse.
Your skin might also try to protect itself by producing more sebum, thus making the foundation “melt”, and your pores can end up clogged.

If none of those is the case, please ask the brand’s customer service.
One last tip: don’t let them talk you into more products, like primers or setting sprays – mineral foundations should (and do) work on their own.ABC-ask-beautycalypse-jan-2015

Well, I hope this helped; and you can find all ABC Series posts here.
If you have more questions (or answers, that would be just as brilliant), let me hear in the comments!



Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

6 Responses

  1. Thank you for the mention, given how much you research ingredients I am super happy to be able to help with the palm oil issue and I have personally tested the Odylique eyeliner, lipsticks, concealer and mascara and can tell you it’s a really solid brand performance wise too 🙂

  2. Heather in Arles

    Merci! Really, really, really looking forward to the hair loss post…unfortunately. I still haven’t found a good shampoo or conditioner that I like…and as I have curly yet really fine hair I definitely need styling products too (shea/coconut butters or oils are too heavy unless it is for a masque).

  3. BLYSS chocolate

    Great points, i was just lamenting at my ultra dull hair… however am thinking definitely xmas and NYE parties have MUCH more to do with the problem and the late nights, lots of tapas is coming out … now ;-). Viva la HOLIDAYS! hee hee. Now, back to grounded life building practices…. #watchthisspace

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