We recently asked our Chemical Free Community advisor, Bill Statham, author of the Chemical Maze to test drive a few of Australia’s popular women’s cosmetic foundations.  We collated our listed based the CanStarBlue website, a website that rates hundreds of products and services available in Australia providing specific customer satisfaction ratings. Below are the top rating cosmetics foundations, it is interesting that toxicity is not one of their criteria.

ChemFreeCom canstarblue customer ratings

To establish how they compared in the toxicity stakes, Bill  conducted a quick ‘Chemical Maze Happy Faces’ assessment on three of the popular brands. We added an Australian organic natural foundation into the review mix.

First, we had to find ingredient lists, most can be found on the internet with a simple search on either the product or an ingredient-based website. Here are a few websites to get your started if you want to do your own research.

Note that ingredient lists do change over time. Some companies will replace toxic ingredient with less toxic and sometimes they will replace a non-toxic ingredient with a cheaper more toxic option so it important to get the most recent data and that you become a consistent label reader.

So how did they rate in Happy Faces?

Chemical Maze foundation review It may be difficult to see all the ingredient details above but you can quickly establish which products have a greater percentage of green (safe), yellow (caution) and red (avoid) faces. Below is a percentage summary. It is also important to consider the total number of ingredients used and how many of those are ‘beneficial’ and not just fillers.

Which make up foundations would you use out of these 4 options?

Chemical Maze summary of foundation review- product

Note : Assessment includes only the ingredients that are documented in the Chemical Maze.

One of the common ingredients found in cosmetics, that is best avoided, is Phenoxyethanol, a synthetic preservative. As some companies have removed parabens from their formulations, and display “paraben free” in their marketing, some have have replaced them with this synthetic preservative.

According to the Chemical Maze, Phenoxyethanol is:

  • Derived from: phenol and ethylene oxide.
  • Functions as : preservative and fixative.
  • Potential Effects: Suspected developmental and reproductive toxicity; eye irritation, mild skin irritation; toxic to the kidneys, nervous system and liver.
  • Possible Uses (cosmetics): foundation, cleanser, eye shadow, moisturizer.
  • RISK LEVEL: Best Avoided

Thanks to Bill Statham for completing the Chemical Maze Assessment above. It’s very easy to conduct your own assessment.

  1. Download the App or the pick up the book,
  2. Look up the individual ingredients.
  3. Work out what your benchmark is? What are you happy to accept 1,2 or 3 unhappy single faces? Any unhappy 2 faces?
  4. Make your purchasing decision based on factual information – it’s empowering!