Cosmetics Direct: A Direct Link to Disease

cosmetics direct

Do you know the true price you’re paying when you buy cosmetics direct?

Are you one of those ladies who like to buy cosmetics direct? You know what I mean…your eyes peep the little booklet or catalog full of colorful cosmetics, skin care, perfumes, and the like. You then get in touch with your rep or order online, and it’s usually at pretty good prices. I’m wondering if you know the true price you’re paying for buying cosmetics directly from a representative or a catalog? I’ve been on both sides of the fence so I can tell you the truth behind this highly lucrative industry.

A few years ago, I was at a teacher workshop and decided to wear my shirt which read, “Green is the new pink!” I am a proud “greenie” and not afraid to show it! A fellow teacher saw my shirt and approached me.

We started talking and I found out she was a representative for a natural cosmetics company, the kind where you could only buy through her. We eventually set up a lunch date where she introduced me to the company and its line of products. I thought this would be a great opportunity to earn extra money while promoting safe and healthy products at the same time.

I was so excited! My excitement quickly turned to skepticism as I noticed in the catalog (and online) there were no ingredients listed. This immediately brought up a red flag and my excitement turned into disbelief. When ingredients in most beauty products are not readily disclosed, there’s usually something shady going on. Wouldn’t you agree?

Just to make absolutely sure my judgment was correct, I attended a product expo where she gave me a printout (available only to reps) of the ingredients. When I saw the ingredients, I immediately told her I couldn’t continue working with her. I’m normally not a quitter on anything I’ve started but I do have standards!

One of my standards is to not promote anything I wouldn’t use myself.

Believe me, this has closed more than a few doors for me, business wise, but it’s something I WILL NOT compromise.

I have a big issue with companies which market themselves as “natural” and claim they use safe, botanical ingredients but forget to list the other man made petrochemicals in their products. I have found this to be the case for many natural cosmetics products. Is this an innocent oversight on their part? I’ll let you call it. When I noticed this at the product expo, I confronted the rep about it and she continued to insist the ingredients were safe. What it comes down to is you really need to be informed so YOU can judge for yourself and make a more informed decision. So my question to you is, “When you buy cosmetics direct, do you really know the risks you’re exposing you and your family to?”


Cosmetics Direct- What’s the Big Deal Anyway?


Many women want part time jobs or other streams of income to supplement their earnings. One of the easiest ways to do this is to being a cosmetics rep. It’s an awesome way for many stay-at-home moms or ladies who have their own businesses to supplement what they already do. But do these women really know about the cosmetics they promote? When is the line drawn between profits and responsibility?

I think the main problem lies somewhere in ignorance.

What do I mean by that? Well, many of these women use the same products they sell, naively unaware of the dangers they’re exposing themselves and their customers to. For example, the rep who was trying to recruit me had no idea her supposedly natural cosmetics contained toxic chemicals. Most of the women pushing products don’t know they contain cancer causing ingredients such as parabens, sodium laurel sulfate, and lead. If some of them do know then they’re in denial about it. They figure, if it’s being sold, it’s safe for use. That’s not necessarily the case. When I see people selling this stuff, I just shake my head and politely decline their catalog or offer. I then think to myself, “If they only knew.”

Reduce Skin Age by 30% Revive – DNA Rejuvenation Cream Special Promotion


Cosmetics Direct- Why oh Why?


It has to make you wonder…why do cosmetic companies sell products with ingredients proven to cause disease?

They even sell products stamped with a “pink ribbon.” We all know what it means…breast cancer awareness. Isn’t it ironic that the lipstick or lotion stamped with the pink ribbon caused the cancer in the first place? They’re marketing to the women who need safe makeup with an unsafe product …and people eat it up out of ignorance. This is why I boycott all products with a pink ribbon. It’s not that I don’t support women with breast cancer, I just don’t support the marketing of breast cancer from greedy corporations whose products cause disease.

The big question is why do the companies use ingredients they know will make you sick? I have a theory…It comes down to one word: profits. Of course, using lower quality ingredients will keep their costs down, allowing them to earn more revenue. Its always profits before people for most corporations. I don’t think ignorance is a factor at all here. I believe they know exactly what they’re doing. They choose the toxic ingredients because they’re cheaper and most consumers don’t know the risks, so they figure, we have nothing to lose. Well, that’s about to change with groups like the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Teens Turning Green, and folks like me bringing more attention to the toxic ingredients in cosmetics. Are you someone who’s ready to be open to the truth?

cosmetics direct

Is the wool over your eyes when it comes to unsafe cosmetics?

Cosmetics Direct- Guidelines for Safer Cosmetics


What’s the true price for a cheap tube of lipstick or giant bottle of artificially scented vanilla lotion? You’re trading a few dollars for skin problems, cancer, hormonal imbalances, and more. Is it really worth it? You might be saving a few dollars now, but you’ll be paying a bigger price later. There are ways to avoid the cosmetics direct problem.

Look for small, independent companies, many who are family owned but don’t necessarily have to be. You can also seek out indie brands which are started by people who have had enough of the mainstream. People who create indie products usually create safe mixtures they wouldn’t hesitate to use on themselves or their own families. The best way to avoid the cosmetics direct “film flam” is to be an educated consumer. You have to know your ingredients like the back of your hand and use sites likes mine and the Skindeep Database. Never forget this mantra: if you can’t pronounce it, don’t put it on your skin!


What are your thoughts on buying cosmetics direct? Are you for or against it? Are you or have you ever been a rep? Strong opinions are welcome. Feel free to leave your comment below and let’s start a dialogue!


Stay natural…stay beautiful…go green!


Robin started her career as an educator of children and has now become an educator for adults everywhere who want to know the truth about what they put into their bodies through the skin. She is passionate about educating people to make better health and beauty choices.
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  • Danika @ Your Organic Life

    Great story Robin. I had a similar issue with Arbonne. They sounded great until I read the ingredients. Like you, I told the Rep I couldn’t sell the products because I would never use them myself with the toxic ingredients they have. I still wanted a direct sales business to do from home since I had a little one at home, and that’s when I found Miessence. I was impressed with the fact that they are certified organic so I knew there were no nasty ingredients, the company’s ethics and commitment to environmental protection, nontoxic ingredients, and it’s standing in the industry. It’s one of the greenest and most ethical companies in the industry. It’s the company I would start if I was going to start a beauty company. I’ve never looked back, and I’ve learned so much since joining them.

    Here’s an article I wrote about Arbonne and their toxic ingredients, despite their Pure, Safe, Beneficial claim

  • Rachel Boyd

    This is why I changed from Mac to Motives cosmetics I have all the ingrediants lists no parabens, talc , harsh chemicals . I have met women my age that have had parebens in the breast cancer skin cancer from petroleum ect we arent getting sny younger and women cant live with out cosmetics right
    Rachel Boyd´s last blog post ..
    come see me Monday Wednesday and friday’s a…

  • Leanne

    I love this article! I do work for a DS cosmetics company that doesn’t use harmful chemicals – for real. We list all of our ingredients on our website AND on the actual container of each product. (And we don’t use that pesky word “Fragrance” that means trade secret and legally hides 600 toxic chemicals!)

    I appreciate that you didn’t bash direct sales as a whole – just the fact that they were hiding ingredients. You are right, it is SUCH a great way to earn an extra income – not to mention the parenting benefits! (My son was raised in the direct sales world and at 11 years old, he’s taken a lot of things I’ve learned in the business and applied them to his life – re: goal-setting, charting progress, etc).

    It warms my heart that you refused to sell products that you wouldn’t use yourself because of the ingredients. Thanks for sharing this in your blog :)

  • sonja

    I have been a rep in the past and I have also been involved in so called ‘natural’ MLM health companies. I became more aware of what was in some of those so called natural products and found a clash with my ethics and my values around the health and safety of myself and others and I quit. You can be beautiful and green. A great thought-provoking article Robin.

  • Lori

    Robin, thanks for opening the comments on something I am so passionate about. I used to sell MK and loved their products. But that was before I knew the dangers of chemical ingredients. Since learning what I now know, I severed all ties with the makeup and beauty products that I formerly promoted and used. I have a daughter, so it’s a whole new game now. I don’t want her using products that are heavily promoted by corporations who care more about profits than about her health. I could rant about this for days, and you pretty much said exactly how I feel in your post. I see advertisements on tv and in magazines now and I cringe at the claims they are making and the lies they are fostering to the unsuspecting public.

  • Kim Bridges

    Thanks for the posting. I was watching your daily blog closely because it seems you were just a front for advertisers for awhile. I was starting to get disappointed with the continued hype of specific products instead of informative style discussions. Thanks for coming back to this = this cause needs to be in front of people on a regular basis…

    I have created an (almost all good ingredients) body butter that is awesome. I may send you a sample…I’m one of the indie branders that use only my products on myself. :) have a great day!

  • Natural Organics

    Thanks for your honesty, Kim! I felt like I was doing a lot of product reviews, so I decided to put them on hold for a bit and return to my roots- the advocacy for safe cosmetics. But I also want you to know, I don’t get paid for any of the reviews I do and they are always my honest thoughts. Thank you for reading my blog!

  • Natural Organics

    Hi Lori,
    Thanks for commenting! If only more people would open their eyes like you have, they’d be much better off! I am so glad I could be a voice for people who otherwise would not have an outlet to express themselves.

  • Natural Organics

    Sonja, thanks so much for commenting! When more people come to the realization that you can use safe products and still have the same results, the world can change!

  • Natural Organics

    Hey Leanne,
    I am really in support of Ava and other DS brands who sell safe products responsibly and with a conscience. You guys prove that it actually can be done! Thanks so much for commenting.

  • Natural Organics

    I also used to use Mac, and trust me, it hurt to let them go, but I realized the dangers far outweighed the benefits. But now I realize, as Sonja stated earlier, You can be green and beautiful at the same time!

  • Natural Organics

    Hi Danika,
    Thanks for sharing your post! I know where you’re coming from….it really burns me up when companies make claims they can’t back up. I applaud you for being one of the crusaders against greenwashers.

  • Erin Ely

    Thanks for pointing these issues out Robin, it’s so true there is so much deception going on out there with many companies, not just cosmetics direct. The only way to know what is in your product is to READ the ingredients list, NOT the label. The label can say anything but the truth of the product is in the ingredients list. I would never buy a product without seeing the ingredients lists first.

    It’s not just direct cosmetic sales that are misrepresenting their products, deceit is rampant throughout the cosmetics industry.

    Read your ingredients lists that’s the key.

  • Mary

    Great report Robin! I feel such a connection with what it says because like many others, someone very close tried to get me involved with this “botanical” ingredients company. I was very excited at first, but then I tried the products, they gave me severe allergic reactions (rash and headaches) and the smells were too overwhelming. I have chemical sensitivities, but I tolerate some herbal and citrus smells, but not those. Then, after having to washed them off my face, I spent at least an hour going through the list of ingredients on Cosmetics Database, more than half were very high on toxicity and have been banned from several countries, then I look up the countries and surprise! this company is not selling their products there. So, a red flag went up and I call my friend to let her know I wasn’t interested in selling that to other people…I wouldn’t use them on myself I could NEVER EVER recommend them to anyone. Then I start researching online and found Havvn products, a new exciting company from the U.S which products are based on the science of Epigenetics and has a partnership with the Center of Excellence for Nutritional Genomics at the University of California, Davis. The research behind the products was mind blowing so I had to call my brother, who is a biologist, and he told me, yes, the science of Epigenetics is the next big science breakthrough. It has been research for the past 30 years. After I contacted a very nice couple, they send me some samples and I was hook up! I said to myself, “how could I’ve lived without this products before, my skin needs them” End of the story: I had never tried a natural, 100% toxin free skin care system like Havvn DNA and I will recommend it to anyone looking to feed their skin for a youthful healthy look and if the stay-at-home mompreneur would like to start a business, they have an awesome compensation plan and great support system.

  • Natural Organics

    I totally agree, Erin. Thanks for chiming in!

  • Arina at PureNaturalMakeup

    Couldn’t agree more with the post here. Most women are believing the ads with words like “natural”, “organic”, “minerals” and thinking – “hey this is great, cheap natural, organic products, and what’s more – it’s got minerals in it”. Little do they know the danger that they could be doing to their skin. I’ve found lots of great info at where there are lists of nasty ingredients to avoid and also good information on what to do, and where to get natural products. Thanks again for the article.
    Arina at PureNaturalMakeup´s last blog post ..Do You Know Your Labels?

  • Adam

    Thanks for pointing these complaints out Robin, it’s so true there is a lot deception going on available with a lot of companies, not only cosmetics direct. The only way to know very well what is within your product is always to See the ingredients list,not the label. The label know not the truth with the method is within the ingredients list. I might never purchase a product without seeing the ingredients lists first. It’s not just direct cosmetic sales that are misrepresenting many, deceit is rampant through the entire cosmetics industry.
    Adam´s last blog post ..Skinny with Man Boobs Info and Training Suggestion

  • Lisa D Liguori

    Robin, this is a wonderful, thought provoking post, helping to bring awareness to to the public, which is badly needed.
    However, I am glad many chimed in for the new direct sales companies that are springing up that truly do care and are making good ingredient choices, as they do exist. We don’t want to ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’ so to speak. (What a wierd cliche, that one is).
    It is also important to note that there may be an ingredient listed that you may not be able to pronounce, yet may still be healthy. For example, not all would know that Butyrospermum Parkii is, in actuality, Shea Butter. Now with the new INCI standards for labeling cosmetics, using the scientific names of ingredients, if we only choose ingredients that we recognize, we may miss out on something great. It all comes down to educating ourselves.

  • Michael McIntyre

    Have to say your site wasn’t what I expected when I clicked over from the mastermind group we are in but great blog. I am against putting chemicals in and over my skin aswell, and I strongly support your sites ideals.
    Michael McIntyre´s last blog post ..Ab Twister- Try Abs Blueprint 1.0 Instead

  • Natural Organics

    Hey Michael,
    I know it wasn’t what you were expecting…glad you clicked over! :-) I really appreciate your comment. I usually have a lot of women visitors, but it’s great for guys to know about this stuff too. You don’t use as many products as we do, but you still use personal care products and should know about the risks. Thanks again for the visit.

  • Poonam

    Your blog is just great and the tips about hair care is terrific.But would you give us more information about how can we thicken our thinner hair.The tips not the products suggestion as you have in your site.Hope to know about the tips which I am eagerly waiting.

  • Natural Organics

    Hello Poonam,

    I’ve read a lot about how apple cider vinegar slows hair loss and helps you hair become thicker. You can use it as a rinse in the shower either before or after you shampoo. Use it regularly and you should see some improvement in your hair.

    I’m planning a blog post on this soon, so check back.

    Until then, check out this article:

    10 Ways to Naturally Thicken Hair

  • Amber_Charleston Naturally

    You really do have to be careful about the cosmetics you choose. I’m glad that this message is getting out. Not only can it be bad for your health, but the health of the environment as well. There are great organic skin care brands out there that are working toward a more pure beauty. Check out brands like Dr. Hauschka, Suki, ilike and Pevonia if you’re interested in learning more!

  • Los Angeles SEO

    I definitely don’t want to use any makeup with any harmful ingredients or chemicals in them…but I usually just grab whatever is on sale at Target…can I not find anything ‘safe’ in stores? It’s disgusting how many companies market products that are harmful but they lie or focus on one not so bad component and act like their product is environmentally healthy or safe for users. It’s just like food companies marketing ‘healthy’ products or ‘organic’ products that aren’t really healthy or organic!

  • Anita

    I couldn’t agree more about not compromising your beliefs. I have my own small business in Australia and I am so fed up with big marketing budgets conning people into believing their products are good for you, whether it be food or cosmetics. My aim now is to stock chemical free products for humans and animals that I am happy to use myself and believe me I am very fussy when it comes to these things. It is hard to compete with the big pharma’s but slowly I hope to help educate people about what they are putting on their skin should be just as carefully considering as if they were eating or drinking it. Most products are just as carcinogenic as smoking a cigarette. It is infuriating that they can get away with it. Cancer is going to go through the roof even more so with all this genetically modified food etc. Big companies greed has no respect for the health of other living beings.

  • Natural Organics

    Thanks for your words, Anita. Educating people about the toxins in products they supposedly trust is my mission as well. I admire what you’re doing and hope more people join the toxin-free initiative!

  • Dawn Gallagher

    Love the article! I write about skincare and bodycare products you can make at home called “Nature’s Beauty Secrets”. Please visit and like us on facebook. Dawn xo