Classic Cosmetics: Kinder to Your Skin, Your Wallet and the Earth

IMAGE SOURCE Spa / Beauty ROB LEWINE - Oatmeal mask
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Makeup can be dangerous.

Looking at the rows of toners and powders, lipsticks and rouges packing the corner drug store, cosmetics seem innocent enough. But under the bright colors and attractive packaging, the sex appeal and huge advertising budgets, dangers lurk -- industrial solvents and carcinogens, deadly metals and petroleum distillates. And even beyond the health dangers, there are environmental worries -- concerns about where these ingredients come from and what their extraction does to the Earth.

On the other hand, it wasn't always this way. Sure, the ancient Romans sometimes mixed lead with their cosmetics, and 19th century Americans occasionally killed whales to get the raw ingredients for their perfumes. But, on the whole, cosmetics and skincare have gotten a lot less friendly over the past few decades.

Luckily, many of the classic cosmetics and skincare products your grandmother used are still going strong today. Here are nine of our favorite brands that are gentle on your wallet and will leave your skin and hair feeling great.


Bruce Watson is DailyFinance's Savings editor. You can reach him by e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.