Do you like makeup? I do, so I set a goal to find a non-toxic makeup brand that would meet my strict standards. In addition, the company must be transparent enough to welcome my questions and make products that work well. If you have been a part of our community for some time now, you know that this is a tall order. Today I am excited to finally have a really good recommendation for you – Crunchi makeup.
What makes Crunchi different?
To begin with, I have examined several makeup brands that claim to be safe. They include Hynt Beauty, Beautycounter, Vapour Organic Beauty, 100 Percent Pure, Thrive Causemetics, Lily Lolo, W3ll People, Mineral Fusion, Rejuva, and Ilia Beauty, to name a few. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend them because they either fall short of my standards or have not responded to my emails.
Crunchi, on the other hand, is different.
First, there are no claims on their website that their products are organic or natural. Since neither shampoos nor cosmetics can be certified organic, I appreciate the fact that Crunchi is not using false advertisement.
Second, they list the ingredients per INCI naming conventions which are the agreed-upon industry standards. Hence, it is easy to see what is in their products. This tells me that Crunchi has integrity and respect for customers.
Third, I got answers to all my questions from one of the Crunchi makeup co-founders Melanie Petschke who took time to call me personally. Melanie’s integrity, knowledge, and passion to create a well-performing non-toxic makeup brand impressed me a lot. In fact, she values my opinion on the safety of ingredients for their new products.
In contrast, I felt like I had a time-wasting experience with many other makeup companies, especially when it came to heavy metal contaminants in makeup colorants. We will talk about what Crunchi does about heavy metals in makeup next, so keep reading.
Why is it important to know about colorants in makeup?
Well, the main answer to this question is that colorants may be contaminated with heavy metals. They are derived from either petroleum or minerals which come from the earth. And since heavy metals are a natural part of the Earth’s crust, they are found in dyes and pigments used in cosmetics.
Admittedly, trace amounts of heavy metals can be 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). For this reason, I recommend brands made only with mineral pigments, such as Crunchi makeup.
FDA test results of 400 lipsticks in 2010 raise 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). Please read my post about Heavy Metals in Makeup to learn more about other tests and how you can reduce your exposure to heavy metals.
Colorants in Crunchi non-toxic makeup
It is good to know that Crunchi uses 3rd party testing for heavy metals. In my experience, most makeup companies rely solely on the information that their ingredient suppliers provide. As of today, the levels of heavy metals (such as lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium) in all Crunchi products are well below the European Union, Canadian, and United States cosmetic heavy metal upper limits.
In most cases, Crunchi knows that their products contain trace amounts of heavy metals because the lab they use can test to very low limits. For lead and arsenic, the minimum detectable levels are 0.003 ppm, and for mercury and cadmium, they are 0.001 ppm. In the table below you can see the upper limits that EU, Canada, and the US established.
|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**|
To achieve the lowest possible heavy metal levels for their non-toxic makeup, Crunchi invests in the highest purity grade colorants available (e.g. iron oxides) from reputable suppliers. None of their mineral pigments come from China. This is important because of high background levels of pollution in China and lenient regulations.
Crunchi makeup and EcoCert
Furthermore, Crunchi makes cosmetics with mineral pigments (iron oxides) that are certified by EcoCert, a European Union certification. Specifically, this guarantees that their pigments are truly natural and free of any synthetic additives.
Another reason I appreciate the fact that Crunchi’s pigments meet the EcoCert standards is that they must adhere to the European Union limits for heavy metals.
Thus, I believe EcoCert is a good standard for makeup pigments to have.
Please know that any makeup may contain heavy metals, so do your best not to inhale or ingest it. Also, do not let your kids play with makeup.
Other ingredients in the Crunchi non-toxic makeup line
Among the ingredients of Crunchi products, I noticed no ingredients known to increase the risk of cancer or cause endocrine disruption. Moreover, Crunchi does everything possible to avoid common allergens and irritants. You can see their banned ingredient list on their website, which is quite extensive. (Anything can cause an allergy. Some people are even allergic to chamomile or coconut.)
The fact that Crunchi does not claim that their toxin-free makeup and skincare products are organic or natural is refreshing. In other words, it tells me that they are not trying to “greenwash” consumers.
First of all, mineral colorants are not agricultural products, and, therefore, by definition cannot be organic.
Second, the Crunchi makeup company utilizes a handful of synthetic ingredients vital for the products to perform well. To clarify, I believe it is impossible to create a well-performing makeup line with only organic plant oils and botanical extracts. Therefore, in my opinion, Crunchi strikes the right balance between performance and safety. Also, almost all their plant extracts and oils are organic, which is rare to find.
A controversial ingredient in the Crunchi line
The ingredient Crunchi uses in their non-toxic makeup that has generated some controversy is dimethicone. Known as silicone oil, it helps mask wrinkles. At first, I tried to avoid using products containing dimethicone, but then I looked into the question of its safety closely. While there is a lot of negativity on the Internet about this ingredient, the information I have found lacks references.
Sometimes what happens is that 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 could not find any scientific evidence linking dimethicone to any health concerns. Instead, I found comprehensive evidence to the contrary. Please read my post to find out why dimethicone belongs in toxin-free makeup.
Preservation system in Crunchi makeup
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably know that I always emphasize the importance of preservatives. When products contain water, they must have preservatives to protect them from mold and bad bacteria growth. If you have a compromised immune system, bacteria can seriously undermine your health. You can read more about the scientific studies about the ill effect of bacteria on health in my WaterWipes Baby Wipes post.
However, I have noticed that some companies either conceal their preservatives or do not use them at all, which is dangerous. Therefore, I appreciate the fact that Crunchi non-toxic makeup and skincare contain some of the safest and most effective preservatives.
For example, Crunchi does not use Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE). Conversely 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.
To estimate a product’s safety in seconds and avoid harmful preservatives, get your Savvy Consumer Superpower.
Are Crunchi makeup ingredients non-GMO and vegan?
All Crunchi toxin-free cosmetic products 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 products are non-GMO, which I highly appreciate.
Due to the use of organic beeswax, Crunchi lip gloss is considered vegetarian. Other than that, all products are vegan. Technically, beeswax is an insect by-product and, therefore, cannot be declared vegan. However, Crunchi states that they are currently working on new and improved formulations that will no longer contain beeswax.
Is Crunchi non-toxic makeup gluten-free and cruelty-free?
For gluten-free people like me, I am glad to say that none of their products contain gluten. Those products that are not manufactured in a gluten-free facility have a stringent protocol to prevent cross-contamination.
As for their stance on animal testing, Crunchi tests their products on humans only; no animals are involved. By the way, all the products I use and recommend are cruelty-free.
Is Crunchi makeup packaging environmentally friendly?
Ever since my son was born, I take 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 this safe makeup company is their sincere concern about the environment. Hence, the packaging materials are mostly glass, paper, and aluminum. For instance, Crunchi eyeliner comes in an aluminum container. They use glass to package their foundation, primer, sunscreen, daylight and nightlight creams, brow gel, and even lip glosses. Moreover, their non-toxic eyeshadows 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 always makes me happy to see no plastic wrapping when I receive a new order of these safe makeup products.
How does Skin Deep database rate Crunchi non-toxic makeup?
The EWG Skin Deep Database rates all Crunchi toxin-free makeup and skincare products quite well. Except for two products that the EWG rates at 2, all their products received the best possible rating of 1. You can see their ratings here.
To clarify, the exceptions are Crunchi Daylight Facial Cream and Crunchi Beautifully Flawless Foundation. The culprit in the daylight cream is the orange peel oil that the EWG rates at 5. As for the foundation, the EWG downgraded the product rating because of the rosehip oil, which they rate at 3.
Yes, essential oils can be allergenic, and for that reason I prefer baby lotions and shampoos to be free of essential oils. But the concentration of essential oils a product contains makes a big difference. I believe that Crunchi makeup and skincare products contain safe oil concentrations. Also, they do their best to always source organic essential oils.
Actually, this is one of the reasons my ratings of ingredients and products sometimes do not coincide with those of the EWG Skin Deep database. In my opinion, the EWG is not transparent enough because they do not answer my questions regarding why they rate their product the way they do. If you want to learn how to use the Skin Deep database the right way, please read my post about it.
My top favorite Crunchi non-toxic makeup products
To begin with, let me give 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 forties, so I have some wrinkles.
I was afraid that dimethicone would cause my skin to break out as some say on the Internet. But it did not. I have been using Crunchi makeup almost exclusively since 2018 and have not experienced any skin issues.
Therefore, quite a few products from the Crunchi line have become my favorites.
My favorite skin products
Definitely, my top favorite is Crunchi Daylight Cream, a hydrating face moisturizer that makes my skin look and feel younger. It passed a tough exam on hydration in the high desert we went to last year, where the climate is obviously very dry. However, Crunchi daylight cream saved my face skin from drying; it remained normal and felt great. For the detailed ingredient review, please refer to my post about this hydrating face moisturizer.
Next, I really like Crunchi SPF 30 Sunlight Facial Sunscreen. It has a good concentration of non-nano zinc oxide, so yes, it does leave a slight white tint. However, this is a small price to pay for the UVB and UVA ray protection. Besides, once I apply the foundation, the whitening effect goes away. If you are curious to learn how Crunchi safe sunscreen compares with other facial sunscreens, please 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 it spreads easily and is very economical. I need less than one third of a pump. Before applying it, I like to use Crunchi Smart Primer to 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 tiny bit of Crunchi Make Me Blush. The Crave shade compliments my skin tone the best.
The Crunchi makeup tool I like
I absolutely love the flat top brush I use to spread the foundation. A professional makeup artist I talked to told me that Crunchi brushes are truly professional. I recommend them because it is important to use the right tools for your makeup to attain the best look.
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 list would not be complete without eyeshadow. I love the fact that the eyeshadow bar contains all the colors that I need.
Another masterpiece in this non-toxic makeup collection is Nutrient Brow Pomade. I used to think that I had pretty good eyebrows until I tried this pomade. This product not only colors your brows but also stimulates hair growth. Using it together with their brush will help you achieve natural-looking yet silky, shapely, and luxurious eyebrows. Feel free to read my detailed review of Crunchi Safe Brow Pomade for Beautiful Brows.
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 lip products
Because lipstick goes onto your lips, you can ingest small amounts of it. Hence, I am very picky about the lip products I use. I find Crunchi lipstick safe and non-toxic. Out of the eight shades they offer, I have tried three: pure, serendipity, and pomegranate. Please visit my review of the Crunchi non-toxic lipstick and the color guide I created there. Currently, Crunchi lipstick is undergoing reformulations to remove beeswax and make it completely vegan.
In addition, I love Crunchi lip gloss which is truly moisturizing and glossy. If you have dry lips, you might want to choose it over lipstick. I have 4 favorite shades. 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 watched them all.
Here is a picture of me wearing Crunchi 2.5 foundation and Namaste lip gloss.
Conclusion about Crunchi non-toxic makeup
In conclusion, I can say that I use Crunchi cosmetics almost exclusively because I feel comfortable with both the products and the company. Thus, the company is transparent and does not use colorants from China. The top favorites I chose are based on their performance, but I consider all Crunchi products safe.
I wish I could recommend other makeup brands, but I cannot do it with a light heart at the moment. To be clear, there are makeup products from other companies that I recommend but this is the only entire line I endorse.
You can buy Crunchi toxin-free makeup and skincare products on the Crunchi website.
Please, browse my shop for options of non-toxic 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.
Let's start creating a healthy home today!
When you join the I Read Labels For You community, you'll receive weekly emails with inspiration, exclusive content and coupons to gain clarity and confidence to create a healthy home. Plus, you'll get the FREE guide: "5 Powerful Steps to a Non-Toxic Home You Can Take Today!"
"I find your knowledge so helpful, to the point and like a gold mine. You have saved me so much time and have taught me so much.” Toni