We often get asked what the benefits are with Jane Iredale makeup. What makes this brand better than others? Then we start throwing words around like “non-comedogenic”, “paraben-free”, and “free of phthalates”!  This is usually greeted with looks of confusion and terror which is honestly completely warranted. Sometimes I forget that not everyone and their cat work in the skincare/spa/cosmetic industries. So I’m here to break it down for you. What are these ingredients, what do they mean, and why should you look for brands that do not use them.

Synthetic Fragrances

This one seems pretty self-explanatory but there is a difference between “free of synthetic fragrances” and labels that simply say “unscented”. Unscented does not mean fragrance free. This usually refers to another product that has been added in to mask whatever natural fragrances the ingredients produce. And it can actually do more harm to your skin as they are usually a nasty chemical called phthalates which we’ll talk about next. Synthetic or artificial fragrances are the number one skin irritant and can be extremely harmful.


Phtha-what? The first “ph” is silent, if this makes it any easier ;). So besides the spelling, what is so offensive about phthalates? They are, by definition “esters of phthalic anhydride”. A.K.A. a chemical agent added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity. These are often found in synthetic fragrance or in “unscented” products as a masking agent. Plasticizers in makeup? Yikes.

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This is one of my favourite aspects of Jane Iredale’s face makeup. Not only because it’s fun to say and makes me sound intelligent but because of what it actually means! Non-comedogenic = non pore-clogging. These products were specially formulated to not clog your pores or create any blockage, so your skin can still breathe even when you have full coverage foundation.


Parabens are a preservative added into many skincare products and cosmetics to prolong the shelf-life and prevent the ingredients from going bad. Just like organic fruit and vegetables eventually go bad, so do natural ingredients in cosmetics. Though extending a product’s longevity may sound like a good thing, parabens can enter into our bodies through the skin. Studies have shown that parabens can disrupt hormone function by mimicking estrogen. The most common parabens present in cosmetics and skincare are butylparabenmethylparaben and propylparaben – so make sure to watch out for these on the ingredient label.


Also known as Talcum powder and cosmetic Talc, this is a mineral substance used in a variety of cosmetic and personal care products from baby powders to eye shadows. It is added to absorb moisture, smooth or soften products, prevent caking, and make makeup opaque. The problem? In its natural form, some talc contains asbestos, a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled.

The best thing we can do as consumers is educate ourselves. Sometimes it feels like a chore, but the more you know and the more research you do on the brands, the safer it is for your body in the long run. I’ve found that most companies that pay attention to the ingredients that go inside the bottles are also concerned about the bottles themselves. One of the best ways we can help our endangered planet is to support brands that are environmentally friendly and cruelty free. Jane Iredale has always been centered on the idea of “clean makeup”. The best part is, the products are absolutely beautiful and work just as well if not better than any other makeup brand you may be using! It’s time to make the switch.