Organic and Non-Organic Makeup Research Paper


Makeup includes any cosmetic product that is applied to enhance an individual’s natural beauty (Butler, 2013). Examples of makeup include foundation, lipstick, eyeliner, eye pencil, eye shadow, blush, bronzer, and concealers among many others. Makeup may be classified into two groups based on the type of ingredients used to manufacture it. These groups are organic and non-organic (mineral). Organic makeup uses plant compounds from organic sources in its production (Chattopadhyay, 2013). Its ingredients are not associated with genetically modified organisms. The plants whose extracts are used in organic makeup are cultivated without pesticides or insecticides, thus guaranteeing their purity. Toxic compounds such as parabens, talc, petrochemicals, preservatives, and dyes are not included in this makeup (Butler, 2013). Organic makeup is usually enriched with essential oils, vitamins, and minerals. Finally, in the testing of the efficacy of these cosmetics, human subjects are used instead of animals (Fonseca-Santos, Corrêa, & Chorilli, 2015). It is also tested to confirm its authenticity, which is then confirmed by the addition of organic certification marks on the labels.

On the other hand, non-organic (mineral) makeup is manufactured from naturally occurring minerals, which are finely micronized and pounded into a powder form. However, some non-organic cosmetics include extra ingredients that are not necessary such as preservatives to extend their shelf lives, fragrances, alcohol, synthetic waxes, mineral oil, polyethylene glycol, mercury, lead, nitrosamines, isopropyl, and dyes. These chemicals may interact with biological molecules such as DNA thereby leading to various health conditions including malignancies.

One of the benefits of organic makeup is its apparent safety. Organic makeup can be used immediately or a few days after various forms of skin treatment including plastic surgery as opposed to non-organic makeup. However, the lack of preservatives implies that they do not have very long shelf lives. Limited color options are available because organic makeup does not incorporate colorants and dyes.

This experiment aimed at comparing the effects of organic and non-organic foundation on the skin through foundation testing. Based on the apparent benefits of organic makeup, it was hypothesized that organic foundation would have better performance than non-organic makeup and improve the overall health of the skin.

Materials and Methods


  • Organic foundation
  • Non-organic foundation
  • Basic moisturizer
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Face towel

Experimental Design and Collection of Data

Data collection was done using two treatment groups and a negative control. Each group had three participants. The impact of the foundation on the subjects’ skin was determined by first washing the skin with soap and water and patting it dry with the face towel. The basic moisturizer was then applied to the faces of all the subjects. Thereafter, the non-organic and organic foundation groups applied the respective foundations to their faces.

The applications were done at approximately the same time. At the beginning of the experiment, the condition of each subject’s skin was observed and recorded. Each subject then went about their daily activities. Their faces were observed for signs of dryness, excessive oiliness, spot and wrinkle coverage, and longevity of the foundation. The subjects were expected to observe their skin for dryness, oiliness, and allergic reactions such as rashes. At the end of each day, the subjects were required to clean their faces using warm water and the same soap used to clean the faces in the morning. A similar routine was continued for seven days. At the end of the seven days, the participants’ skin were observed for signs of acne. The presence or absence of acne eruptions was observed and recorded for each treatment group.

Independent Variable, Dependent Variable, Fixed Variables, and Control Group

The independent or fixed variables were the organic and non-organic foundations. The dependent variables were the performance factors being tested, for example, oiliness, dryness, longevity, skin tone matching, and the effect of the foundation on the health of the skin such as rashes, and the eruption of acne. The negative control group comprised individuals using the basic moisturizer only.

Results & Discussion

Data Representation

Table 1. The performance of organic and non-organic foundation after seven days.

Parameter Organic foundation Non-organic foundation Negative control
Drying 0% 66.6% 0%
Oiliness 33% 0% 66%
Acne eruptions 33% 66% 0%
Allergic reactions (rashes) 0% 33% 0%
Skin tone matching 33.3% 100% 100%
Coverage of wrinkles 33% 100% 0%
Coverage of spots 33% 100% 0%
Longevity 0% 66% 0%

Figure 1: A graphical representation of the performance of organic and non-organic foundation versus the negative control.

Data Analysis and Interpretation

Organic foundation performed better than non-organic foundation in certain aspects. There was no complaint of dryness among the subjects who used organic foundation. Conversely, two (66.6%) of the subjects who used non-organic foundation found it very drying. None of the negative controls complained of skin dryness. Therefore, the basic moisturizer could not be attributed to the drying effect of the foundation. One of the organic group and two of the control group subjects reported excessive oiliness during the study period. The non-organic group did not report oiliness.

The control group did not report acne eruptions. One subject from the organic group complained of acne by the end of the trial. In contrast, two participants from the non-organic group reported acne. There was only one instance of allergic reactions in the form of rashes, which was observed in the non-organic foundation group.

Non-organic foundation performed better regarding skin tone matching, coverage of spots and wrinkles, and longevity. This observation was attributed to the presence of dyes and colorants in the non-organic foundation that facilitated the development of different pigments that matched varying skin tones. The low longevity of organic foundation was attributed to the lack of artificial chemicals that made non-organic cosmetics waterproof.

Some of the benefits of using organic makeup include the absence of harsh chemicals, high level of safety and richness in nutrients. The chemicals found in most mineral or non-organic makeup are usually harsh to the skin, which may prompt irritation or allergic reactions in people with sensitive skins. Some of the most commonly used chemicals include parabens and phthalates, which are associated with the development of cancer and type II diabetes (Crinnion, 2010). Another disadvantage of non-organic makeup is that it may contain endocrine disruptors, which are synthetic compounds that imitate, alter or hinder the secretion or transport of hormones, which leads to hormonal disproportions and in extreme cases fertility problems (Darbre, 2006). Hormonal imbalance is reported to play a substantial role in the development of acne (Ju et al., 2016) and is attributable to the acne instances observed in the experiment.

Even though organic foundation is relatively safe, it may not be the best option for every person. People with extremely sensitive skins have been reported to react badly to organic makeup. For example, in the experiment, it was expected that there would be no instance of acne in the organic foundation group. However, one participant had acne, which could be attributed to the sensitivity of their skin.

Conclusion/ Reflections

The non-organic foundation had more damaging effects on the skin than the organic foundation. These observations corroborated the hypothesis that organic makeup would perform better than non-organic makeup. The main goal of wearing makeup is to enhance one’s looks. From the experimental findings, going without makeup appeared beneficial to the skin as indicated by the absence of dryness, acne, and allergic reactions in the negative controls. However, for oily skins, having excessive shine during the day appeared to be a common problem that makeup use could alleviate.

Some of the strengths of the research included the use of replicates to ensure that the findings were not due to chance. The basic moisturizer was also used by all the participants thus rendering uniformity to the experiment. However, some of the shortcomings of the experiment included the inability to ascertain the impact of the basic moisturizer and soap on the treatments. The experiment also failed to consider the impact of various skin types on the foundations. Different skin types are known to react differently to various products and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another person. Dry skins tend to dry out very quickly and require products with additional moisturizing properties. Additionally, the prevailing weather conditions and the activities of the individuals are likely to contribute to the performance of the foundations. For example, on a dry, windy day the chances of skin dryness are higher than on a wet, humid day. Also, physically involving activities are likely to cause a lot of sweating and reduce the longevity of makeup. The chances of oiliness are also higher on a hot day than on a cool day.

Future research could compare the performance of organic and non-organic foundation by standardizing the activities of the participants and using products that match the skin types of the participants.


Butler, H. (2013). Poucher’s perfumes, cosmetics and soaps. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Science & Business Media.

Chattopadhyay, P. K. (2013). Herbal cosmetics & ayurvedic medicines (EOU) (3rd ed.). New Delhi, India: NIIR Project Consultancy Services.

Crinnion, W. J. (2010). Toxic effects of the easily avoidable phthalates and parabens. Alternative Medicine Review, 15(3), 190-197.

Darbre, P. D. (2006). Environmental estrogens, cosmetics and breast cancer. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 20(1), 121-143.

Fonseca-Santos, B., Corrêa, M. A., & Chorilli, M. (2015). Sustainability, natural and organic cosmetics: Consumer, products, efficacy, toxicological and regulatory considerations. Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 51(1), 17-26.

Ju, Q., Tao, T., Hu, T., Karadag, A. S., Al-Khuzaei, S., & Chen, W. (2016). Sex hormones and acne. Clinics in Dermatology. Web.

This research paper on Organic and Non-Organic Makeup

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