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Is Drugstore Makeup Bad for Your Skin?

by Lorraine Jones


Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels


We can all remember that middle school phase, roaming the aisles of CVS experimenting with makeup for the first time. As we age, we eventually graduate to higher-end products, but what if you could find products with the same quality and results in the aisles of your local drugstore. No one wants to break the bank on cosmetics if they don't have to. Expensive doesn't automatically mean good and cheap drugstore makeup doesn't always mean it's low quality or bad for your skin.

“I am someone who used to think that brands and price—when it came to makeup—meant everything. Then it got to a point where I couldn’t afford to do that anymore, and my journey began,” said David Gray, a beauty blogger for The hunt and trial and error come with the territory when going rogue in the drugstore beauty aisle without the guidance of the makeup attendants at the higher-end stores.

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If you let go of preconceived notions of brands and focus on finding products that fit your specific needs, department store makeup can be on par with the top companies and labels. Make sure you are thorough when selecting these items. Although the fancy label or pretty packaging doesn't reflect quality, ensure that you read the ingredients and are mindful of what you are using.

It’s important to find which brands and items are compatible with your specific skin. Gray doesn't look at brands anymore and focuses on the ingredients in the product themselves. “All that matters are the ingredients, as long as there aren't any harmful synthetic chemicals such as zinc oxide, BHA, and barium sulfate, then you're fine!” exclaimed the blogger. Although it can be a great alternative, cheap makeup can affect skin if the cosmetics contain certain ingredients or are mixed with other items of a different brand. New issues may pop up on your skin, so monitor your face after several uses. If you notice any side effects such as irritation, dry, itchy skin, breakouts, etc. your skin is rejecting the product and this is a sign to move onto an alternative brand.

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● 5-Bromo-5nitro-1,3-dioxane

● DMDM hydantoin

● Diazolidinyl urea

● Quaternium-15

● Methenamine

● Sodium hydroxymethyl glycinate

● Bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol)

● Imidazolidinyl urea

“Some makeup ingredients are best to avoid, no matter what skin type you have. But if you have sensitive skin you want to avoid preservatives like Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a known allergen, carcinogen, and skin sensitizer. But you won’t find it listed on a product’s label because companies don’t just pump a bunch of it into their formulas. Instead, there may be ingredients in the product that releases Formaldehyde as they break down over time,” said Eymel Daniel, Co-Founder of ForChics.

How can you tell the difference between a cosmetic item from the drugstore and a top-of-the-line luxury item? Without testing yourself or checking the reviews, there's no way of knowing. With proper application, you can create the most beautiful full glam look whether you use shades from Sephora or CVS.

There's nothing more convenient than a one-stop shop like a drugstore for those last-minute cosmetics or even just something affordable to maintain your beauty routine. Take the liberty to play around with the hundreds of cost-efficient products on the shelves of Target and run with it. This is your chance to mix and match colors and find the most YOU shade without breaking the bank.

Follow us on Instagram for even more affordable skin care tips and don't forget to take advantage of our sales!

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