I’ve been using activated charcoal as a natural teeth-whitener (inspired by Mommypotamus’ guest post at The Healthy Home Economist Blog) and it got me thinking about what else I could use the charcoal for. Thus, my homemade charcoal eyeliner was invented.
I love homemade beauty and body care products. I enjoy making them and I also enjoy the savings that entail. So I thought, why not try to make a natural eyeliner? I had never really worried much about the ingredients that were in the store bought liquid eyeliner I usually use but so I did some research. It’s amazing all the crap they squeeze into an eyeliner formula:
Water(Aqua), Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Xathan Gum, Sodium Laureth-12 Sulfate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben
May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Yellow No. 5 Lake (CI 19140), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Blue No.1 Lake (CI 42090
At first glance I see three huge offenders: two types of Parabens and Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
In a study done by the Department of Opthamology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, researchers found that even in small amounts, eye drops containing Methylparabens are likely to damage eye tissue and/or cause ocular surface disease. Granted, you do not put eyeliner on your eyeball but I still feel that such a toxic substance is not a good idea to apply to the delicate skin surrounding your eye. Not to mention, if any gets in your eye is it likely to be quickly absorbed by surrounding mucous membranes.
Regarding the Sodium Laureth Sulfate, I am actually shocked to see it in eyeliner. Normally it is used in shampoos, soaps, toothpastes, and detergents as a surfactant. For cryin’ out loud, why would you need it in your eyeliner? According to the Environmental Working Group:
“[SLS is a] harsh skin irritant that may also result in the formation of potentially carcinogenic nitrates and dioxins. Animals exposed to SLS experience eye-damage, central nervous system depression, laboured breathing, diarrhoea, severe skin irritation and even death.”
In numerous studies SLS has also been linked to
- Irritation of the skin and eyes
- Organ toxicity
- Developmental/reproductive toxicity
- Neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes
- Possible mutations and cancer
Of course if an animal has a forcible large intake of toxic chemicals the results will be sudden disease. However, in humans, it’s the gradual intake that we must be worried about. Dr. Mercola pointed out, we do not have evidence or studies done to see the long term effects:
“But high levels of SLS intake, either orally or through the skin, are not ordinarily experienced in normal cosmetics use—it’s the gradual, cumulative effects of long-term, repeated exposures that are the real concern. And there is a serious lack of long-term studies on ALL of the chemicals in these products—so we don’t really know what the long-term effects are.”
After knowing this, and knowing how easy it is to make this two-ingredient eyeliner, I’ll be sticking with homemade hippie eyeliner, thank you very much!
Here are the supplies you will need:
1 empty eyeshadow or gel eyeliner pot. (I just emptied an old cream eyeshadow and used the pot)
1 teaspoon of melted coconut oil
1 280 mg. capsule of activated charcoal (sold in the supplement aisle of your co-op or health food store or sometimes in the bulk section)
toothpick for stirring
angled eyeliner brush for application. (see above picture for what that looks like. you can also use a thin paintbrush)
Empty the capsule of activated charcoal into the pot.
Melt your coconut oil and pour into pot.
Mix it up evenly with your toothpick.
Note: You can adjust the measurements to how desired blackness. This is a very workable combination.
Before you use your eyeliner, run it under some hot water if the coconut oil has solidified. You can still use it in the solidified form but it will be more like a black eyeshadow.
Here is what mine looks like painted on: