Since I was a teenager, I have always loved wearing makeup. And now, in my late forties, I rely on makeup (and non-toxic skincare) to enhance my youthful looks. However, after researching beauty product ingredients as my full-time occupation, I raised my safety criteria. When I started trying many newly emerged safe cosmetic brands (not all of them were truly safe, by the way), the question arose: is clean beauty worth it? I think it is better not to wear any makeup than to wear non-toxic makeup that runs, sheds, does not stay on or cover, or is the wrong shade. Today, I am super excited to share with you my favorite non-toxic vegan makeup – Crunchi makeup. Find out why I chose this toxin-free makeup out of numerous brands, and how it compares with Beautycounter makeup. Also, check out the list of my favorite Crunchi clean beauty products.
If I had my own cosmetic line, it would be exactly like Crunchi cosmetics.
To begin, I have examined several makeup brands claiming to be safe, such as Ilia Beauty, Honest Co., Osmia, and Vapour Organic Beauty. Plus, I have looked into Hynt Beauty, 100% Pure, Thrive Causemetics, Lily Lolo, W3ll People, Mineral Fusion, Rejuva, and Kosas. Unfortunately, they all either fell short of my standards or did not respond to my questions about heavy metals in their pigments. (Read on to find out why these questions are important.)
Crunchi non-toxic makeup and skincare company, on the other hand, is different. First of all, it advocates for more health-protective legislation. To clarify, the US FDA law that governs the safety of cosmetic products has not been updated since 1938. Hence, many cosmetic ingredients have not been tested for safety. So, Crunchi is a part of the Safe Cosmetics Leadership Circle that holds legislative briefings. They stay abreast of the substance, timing, and specifics of state and federal legislation and safe cosmetics advocacy opportunities.
If I made my own non-toxic skincare and safe makeup, they would not differ much from Crunchi makeup and skincare. Indeed, Crunchi makes pregnancy-safe makeup and pregnancy-safe skincare products. To clarify, safe cosmetics are also safe for pregnancy, with the exception of some essential oils and retinol. (Crunchi does not use these ingredients.) For a list of essential oils not recommended during pregnancy, refer to the Safe Shampoo for Pregnancy Step by Step Guide. (Consult with your medical doctor as to which products are right for you during your pregnancy.)
I applaud Crunchi for testing their safe and high-performing products for PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contaminants that are commonly found in makeup and even in so-called green and clean beauty products. In addition, Leah of Segedie of Mamavation conducted the PFAS study of 83 green beauty products and featured Crunchi in the best category because all Crunchi products had no detectable levels of organic fluorine, which is a strong indicator of PFAS associated with infertility, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, diabetes, impaired immunity, and cancers. You can read more about that in the Environmental Health News.
This non-toxic makeup and pregnancy safe skincare company’s mission aligns with my values.
There are several aspects I respect about the Crunchi safe cosmetic brand.
First, there are no claims on their website that Crunchi makeup and non-toxic skincare products are organic or natural. For example, mineral colorants are not agricultural products, so, by definition, they cannot be organic. Therefore, I appreciate the fact that Crunchi clean beauty brand is not engaging in false advertisement. In other words, it tells me that they are not trying to “greenwash” consumers.
Second, they list their safe ingredients per INCI naming conventions which are the agreed-upon industry standards. This tells me that Crunchi has integrity and respect for its customers.
Next, as a direct sales company, Crunchi provides opportunities for women to earn income in the comfort of their homes. Crunchi’s extensive training program can help you a lot, even if you think sales are not your cup of tea. To learn more about clean beauty advocate opportunities, do not hesitate to email me.
Above all, I received answers to all my questions from one of Crunchi’s co-founders Melanie Petschke. In fact, she took the time to call me personally. Her integrity, knowledge, and passion to create a well-performing non-toxic makeup brand impressed me a lot. Moreover, she values my opinion on the safety of ingredients for their new clean beauty products. Conversely, I wasted time with other makeup companies, especially when it came to heavy metal contaminants in makeup colorants. We will talk about heavy metals in Crunchi makeup next.
Generally, cosmetic colorants may have heavy metal contaminants.
The raw materials for colorants are either petroleum or minerals that come from the earth. Since the earth’s crust has naturally occurring heavy metals, they end up in dyes and pigments used in cosmetics.
Admittedly, trace amounts of heavy metals are present in both types of cosmetic colorants: petroleum-based and mineral. In addition to heavy metals, petroleum-based pigments may contain trace amounts of contaminants specific to petroleum. They may include carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting benzo[a]pyrene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
FDA test results of 400 lipsticks in 2010 raised consumers’ awareness of heavy metal contamination in cosmetics. According to the test, most lipsticks contained lead, and the highest amount was 7.19 parts per million (ppm). In my post about lead in lipstick you can learn more about other test results.
For this reason, I recommend safe cosmetic brands that use only mineral pigments, such as Crunchi non-toxic makeup.
Per third-party lab reports, the levels of heavy metals in Crunchi makeup are way below any strictest guidliness.
In my experience, most makeup companies rely solely on information that their suppliers provide. Therefore, it is reassuring that Crunchi tested their toxin-free makeup for heavy metals using an independent lab. Crunchi knows about trace amounts of heavy metals in their products because the lab can detect such low levels.
As of today, heavy metal levels in all Crunchi clean beauty products are well below limits considered to be safe. For lead and arsenic, the minimum detectable levels are 0.003 ppm, and for mercury and cadmium, they are 0.001 ppm. The following table shows the upper limits for heavy metals in cosmetics established by the European Union, Canada, and United States.
|EU||Canada||The United States*|
|Lead||10 ppm||10 ppm||10 ppm|
|Arsenic||3 ppm||3 ppm||no finished product limit|
|Cadmium||1 ppm||3 ppm||no guidance|
|Mercury||1 ppm||1 ppm||1 ppm**|
Crunchi strives to achieve the lowest possible heavy metal levels for its non-toxic makeup. Consequently, the Crunchi cosmetics company invests in the highest purity grade colorants available (e.g., iron oxides) from reputable US suppliers. None of their mineral pigments come from China, which is important because of pollution and lenient regulations in China. Additionally, Crunchi suppliers ensure that the mica they get does not involve child labor.
This clean beauty line uses mineral pigments certified by EcoCert.
Furthermore, Crunchi makeup uses mineral pigments (iron oxides) that are certified by EcoCert, a European Union certification. Specifically, this certification guarantees that their pigments are truly natural and free of any synthetic and potentially harmful additives.
There is another reason I appreciate the fact that Crunchi’s pigments meet EcoCert standards. Namely, EcoCert pigments must adhere to the European Union limits for heavy metals. Thus, I believe EcoCert is a great standard for safe makeup pigments.
Please know that any makeup may still contain residues of heavy metals, so avoid inhaling or ingesting it. Also, do not let your kids play with makeup. In my post Heavy Metals in Makeup, you will find out how you can reduce your exposure to heavy metals.
Other ingredients in Crunchi non-toxic makeup and skincare raise no concerns.
Along with Crunchi makeup ingredients, I researched all the other ingredients of every Crunchi clean beauty product. To understand whether an ingredient is acceptable, I go beyond the opinions of ThinkDirty or the EWG Skin Deep database. In fact, I read scientific studies in the US National Library of Medicine, the US Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel reports, and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) database. If you use the EWG database regularly, learn how to use the Skin Deep database the right way.
Good news – I saw no ingredients known to increase the risk of cancer or endocrine disruption, or any established allergens. (Frankly speaking, anything can cause an allergy, even chamomile, coconut, and avocado.)
Crunchi has an extensive list of ingredients (which I advised on) that they banned from the use in their products. Actually, the list could be longer if it contained harmful ingredients irrelevant to the non-toxic makeup and skincare products. For example, some companies boast their glass containers are “BPA free” whereas glass cannot contain BPA in the first place.
Additionally, I like the fact that Crunchi’s plant extracts and oils are almost always organic, which is rare to find. Besides, if they cannot guarantee that the source was organic, they do not mark the ingredient as organic.
Also, it is impossible to create well-performing toxin-free makeup with only plant oils and extracts. Therefore, the safe synthetic ingredients that Crunchi uses allows them to produce high-performing products.
Dimethicone belongs in Crunchi makeup.
The ingredient Crunchi uses in their non-toxic makeup that has generated some controversy is dimethicone. Known as silicone oil, it helps spread the Crunchi foundation well and even mask wrinkles. At first, I tried to avoid using products containing dimethicone, but then I looked into its safety closely. While there is a lot of negativity on the Internet about this ingredient, the information I have found lacks references.
Sometimes someone writes something bad about an ingredient but does not state a source. Others amplify the concern without citing their sources either. Consequently, the ingredient develops a bad reputation on the Internet, even if it does not deserve this reputation. For this reason, I always do my own research and rely on scientific sources.
In this case, I searched high and low but found no scientific evidence linking dimethicone to any health concerns. Actually, I found comprehensive evidence to the contrary, instead. That is why I believe that dimethicone belongs in Crunchi makeup. Please read my post to find out why dimethicone belongs in toxin-free makeup.
This clean beauty cosmetic line has safe and effective preservatives.
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably know that I always emphasize the importance of preservatives. Even clean beauty products, if they contain water, must have preservatives to protect them from mold and bad bacteria growth. Bacteria can seriously undermine your health if you have a compromised immune system. Read more about scientific studies on the ill effects of bacteria in my WaterWipes Baby Wipes post.
However, some companies seem to either conceal their preservatives or not use them altogether, which is dangerous. Therefore, I appreciate the fact that Crunchi non-toxic makeup and skincare contain safe and effective preservatives.
For instance, Crunchi does not use Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) in their clean beauty products. Contrary to the claims about its antimicrobial properties, studies show that natural GSE does not have antimicrobial properties whatsoever. Moreover, its antimicrobial properties come from additional ingredients that are not that harmless. To learn what these ingredients are, please read my post about WaterWipes Baby Wipes.
Crunchi non-toxic makeup and skincare ingredients are non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free.
First, all Crunchi makeup and skincare ingredients are non-GMO, which is another great accomplishment. Sometimes manufacturers use raw materials that can be GMO, which is not easy to detect. However, Crunchi goes the extra mile to ensure that their safe cosmetics are non-GMO, which I highly appreciate.
Second, Crunchi is a non-toxic vegan makeup and skincare brand. I am happy to report that all Crunchi cosmetics are now vegan. When Crunchi started, some of their clean beauty products were vegetarian because they contained organic beeswax. However, they have removed beeswax from all their safe makeup and skincare products. Thus, they can proudly claim that they are a vegan makeup brand.
Third, for off-gluten people like me, I am glad to say that Crunchi non-toxic makeup and skincare contain no gluten. Also, those products that are not manufactured in a gluten-free facility have a stringent protocol to prevent cross-contamination. In addition, Crunchi tested their Everluxe™ Lipstick & Hydrogloss™ Lipgloss to confirm that gluten is non-detectable (< 20 ppm).
Last, Crunchi is a cruelty-free makeup brand. Crunchi tests their clean beauty products on humans only; no animals are involved. By the way, all products I use and recommend are cruelty-free.
This clean beauty company uses environmentally friendly packaging.
Ever since my son was born, I have taken environmental pollution personally. It is painful to realize that we leave so much garbage behind for our kids to deal with. What I love about the Crunchi makeup and skincare company is their sincere concern for the environment. Hence, the packaging materials are mostly made of easily recycled materials such as glass, paper, and aluminum.
For instance, Crunchi eyeliner comes in an aluminum container. Further, they use glass to package their foundation, primer, sunscreen, daylight and nightlight creams, brow gel, and even lip glosses. Moreover, their non-toxic eyeshadows and blush come in paperboard packaging. In fact, each product page has a tab where you can read about the product packaging.
Although it is not feasible to avoid plastic completely, 100% of their plastic is free of phthalates and BPA (and other bisphenols).
Also, it makes me happy to see no plastic wrapping when I receive a new order of this safe makeup.
The EWG Skin Deep database gave the best rating to most Crunchi non-toxic makeup and skincare products.
All Crunchi toxin-free makeup and skincare products received the best rating of 1 or 2 from the EWG Skin Deep database. Only three products have a rating of 3 (with 10 as the most toxic). These three products are the Crunchi Beautifully Flawless Foundation, Shattered Mascara, and Smart Primer.
It is important to know that the safety rating of ingredients in the EWG Skin Deep database often varies. The ingredient rating depends on whether or not the reviewed product is a part of the paid EWG Verified Program. In other words, the EWG does not review the documentation of products added to the database at no charge. Consider the following example.
One of the reasons the EWG downgraded the rating of Smart Primer and Flawless Foundation to 3 is dimethicone. Nevertheless, while the EWG rated dimethicone in Crunchi makeup at 3, it rated dimethicone in Mineral Fusion foundation at 1. Similarly, sodium benzoate is rated more favorably in the paid EWG Verified Program.
Another interesting thing is that the Crunchi mascara has a rating of 3 only because of one ingredient – sodium hydroxide. Yes, as an alkaline ingredient it can be corrosive in big amounts, so be careful when you make bar soap. However, its amounts in Crunchi non-toxic makeup are so small that they do not concern me at all.
The EWG does not take into account the amount or the kind of essential oils in clean beauty product formulations.
To begin, Crunchi Daylight Cream contains organic sweet orange oil that the EWG rated at 5. Although essential oils can be allergenic, their amount in a product makes a difference. (When it comes to baby products, I prefer those that are free of essential oils altogether.) However, the EWG does not take into consideration the amounts of essential oils in clean beauty products.
In addition, the EWG voices a concern that orange oil in Crunchi makeup has a link to phototoxicity. But again, it does not seem to differentiate between the sweet orange (Citrus Sinensis) and bitter orange (Citrus Aurantium) oil. While Crunchi daylight cream contains organic Citrus Sinensis oil, the EWG rates it as Citrus Aurantium Dulcis peel oil. Why is this so important?
Well, Robert Tisserand, a renowned expert in aromatherapy, explains in his book Essential Oil Safety what causes phototoxicity. Namely, furanocoumarins are responsible for phototoxicity. When essential oil researchers identified and quantified furanocoumarins, they found them in bitter orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit. That is to say, they did not find them in sweet orange oil. Hence, it is not phototoxic.
If I had my own cosmetic line, I would also use sweet orange oil for its delicate and delicious scent. And I am sorry that this essential oil confusion causes some misunderstanding regarding Crunchi non-toxic makeup and skincare ingredients.
My rating of safe cosmetic brands does not always coincide with the EWG rating.
There are several reasons my ratings and the EWG Skin Deep database ratings do not always coincide. Some of them we discussed above, and you can see others in my post about the Skin Deep database. Ultimately, in my opinion, the EWG is not transparent enough. For instance, they did not answer my questions regarding why they rated some ingredients the way they did. Additionally, when I asked them to help me locate the sources of information they listed, they refused to do so.
In sum, I believe there is a reason the EWG rated some Crunchi makeup ingredients unfavorably. Basically, it is because Crunchi is not a part of the paid EWG Verified Program. This is just my opinion, though.
Crunchi vs. Beautycounter non-toxic makeup
To begin with, I contacted Beautycounter shortly after they had started their clean beauty brand. At that time, some of their products contained phenoxyethanol as a preservative and non-mineral pigments. However, I was excited about their claims of unique purity of their toxin-free makeup colorants. Unfortunately, they did not back up their claims with documentation, and I initially wrote a critical review.
The good news is that recently Beautycounter started disclosing their third-party test reports, and I updated my review accordingly. In fact, I even signed up with them as a safe makeup and non-toxic skincare consultant.
Unlike Crunchi makeup, though, Beautycounter is not talc-free makeup. Lately, talc has been in the news for two reasons. First, some talc used in cosmetics was found to be contaminated with carcinogenic asbestos (source). And second, there are multiple lawsuits alleging that talc used in personal hygiene caused ovarian cancer (source). The good news is that Crunchi uses no talc in its non-toxic makeup, even if it has no asbestos.
To learn more about pros and cons of Beautycounter vs. Crunchi, read my honest Beautycounter review here.
My favorite Crunchi makeup and skincare products
For starters, to give you a point of reference, my skin is on the drier side. Yet, it is prone to breakouts if I do not use the right products. Plus, I am in my late forties, so I have some wrinkles.
I was afraid that dimethicone would cause my skin to break out as some have claimed on the Internet. But it did not. Moreover, I have been using Crunchi cosmetics almost exclusively since 2018 and have not experienced any skin issues.
Therefore, quite a few clean beauty products from the Crunchi makeup and non-toxic skincare line have become my favorites.
My favorite non-toxic skincare products
Definitely, my top favorite is Crunchi Daylight Cream, a hydrating face moisturizer that is the most hydrating cream among affordable ones I have found. It passed a tough exam on hydration in the high desert in Colorado, where the climate is obviously very dry. However, this facial moisturizer saved my skin from drying; it remained normal and felt great. For a detailed ingredient review, please refer to my post about this hydrating face moisturizer.
Next, I really like Crunchi SPF 30 Sunlight Facial Sunscreen that has strong protection from both UVB and UVA rays. Its new formulation has a good concentration of non-nano zinc oxide, and yet, does not leave any white cast. How cool is that?! I apply it before the primer and the foundation I talk about next. Curious to learn how Crunchi safe sunscreen compares with other sunscreens? Feel free to use my Non-Toxic Face Sunscreen Guide.
My third favorite product in the Crunchi non-toxic makeup line is their Beautifully Flawless Foundation. What I like about it the most is that this best clean foundation spreads easily and is very economical. I need less than half of a pump. Before applying it, I like to use Crunchi Smart Primer to help mask my wrinkles. Also, for a dewy effect, I use a bit of Crunchi non-toxic highlighter. Please, read my detailed feedback about each ingredient of this non-toxic foundation.
Finally, I use a bit of Crunchi Cheekmate Blush in the Dragonfruit shade which compliments my skin tone the best.
The Crunchi makeup tool I like
I absolutely love the flat top brush I use to spread the best clean beauty foundation. In fact, I talked to a professional makeup artist and she told me that Crunchi brushes are truly professional. Because it is important to use the right tools for your makeup to attain the airbrushed look, I recommend these brushes.
My favorite eye and brow products
First, I use My Alibi™ Concealer + Eye Primer under my eyes to smooth out my complexion. It makes me look younger because it does not make my fine wrinkles more visible.
Second, this non-toxic makeup list would not be complete without eyeshadow. I love the fact that the eyeshadow bar contains all the colors that I need.
Next, I use Crunchi Shattered Mascara that provides excellent volume. It may shed if you do not wait for 10 seconds before applying the next layer and/or use heavy cream around your eyes. Also, it works better for me in the dry climate of Colorado than in the humid climate of California.
Lastly, I cannot express how much I like their Clear Brow Gel. Without the gel, my eyebrows get unruly, so the gel helps me to keep them neat. I have always wanted something that would keep them in place, and this Crunchi makeup product hits the bull’s eye.
My favorite non-toxic makeup for lips
Because lipstick goes onto our lips, we can ingest small amounts of it. Hence, I am very picky about the lip products I use. Before I found Crunchi, there was a time when I had to give up wearing any lipstick. Yet, I love Crunchi lipstick, especially its texture, because it stays on the lips well and does not smear. After investigating every ingredient of this cruelty-free lipstick, I created a color guide for you to pick your best color. You can get the information here in my Best Non-Toxic Lipstick post.
In addition, I love Crunchi lip gloss which is truly moisturizing and glossy. If you have very dry lips (remember to drink your filtered water!), you might want to choose it over lipstick. My current favorite color is Date Night. You can learn more about Crunchi lip glosses in my post What is in Your Organic Lip Gloss?.
Above all, I love the fact that there are quick and helpful videos on how to apply Crunchi makeup. Needless to say, I have watched them all. And with practice, now I can do my non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine from start to finish in 6 minutes.
Here is a picture of me wearing Crunchi 2.5 foundation and Namaste lip gloss.
Conclusion about the Crunchi makeup and skincare line
In conclusion, I can say that I use Crunchi cosmetics almost exclusively because I researched every ingredient of every product. Also, I interviewed Melanie, a co-founder, and compared Crunchi non-toxic makeup company with numerous other safe cosmetic brands. As a result, I feel comfortable with their clean beauty products and trust the company. I appreciate the absence of claims that their cruelty-free makeup and non-toxic skincare products are organic or natural. It is truly refreshing as I feel that they are not trying to greenwash me.
Plus, I believe that Crunchi is high performing makeup (well, maybe not the mascara) that anybody can learn to use. Nowadays, it does not take me more than 6 minutes to apply this safe makeup.
You can buy Crunchi toxin-free makeup and skincare products on the Crunchi website. And for more information on how to apply Crunchi products and learn a superpower 10-second method to estimate product safety, please join my Healthy Simple Beauty Facebook group.
Please, browse my shop for options of non-toxic skincare and other safe products. Additionally, book a consultation with me if you need any assistance understanding the products. Most importantly, you can join the Savvy Consumer Circle to go deeper with healthy living and have fun doing that.