Is natural makeup safer? A dermatologist weighs in

Kristin Morris' switch to natural makeup began six years ago when the Smyrna cosmetologist and holistic salon owner says her skin started itching like crazy.

"Also, pretty much from working in the salon and having hair flying everywhere, my eyes were always irritated," Morris says. "I thought it was the hair. But when I started switching my makeup, I realized it had a lot to do with the makeup I was wearing."

Gradually Morris has switched to natural makeup, ammonia-free hair color, and organic skincare products.

And Dermatology Affiliates’ founder Dr. Rutledge Forney says many of her patients are doing the same thing.

"People are thinking, 'I would rather have things that are natural on my skin rather than things that I don't know what they are, where they're coming from,'" Dr. Forney says.  "Part of is definitely psychological: I feel better using something that I know what it is, whereas I don't know what a certain chemical name means."

But Forney cautions "natural" doesn't always mean "safer."

"I like to save poison ivy is natural, too," she says.  "So, just because it's natural doesn't mean it's not irritating, or that it doesn't have the potential to give you an allergic reaction. Everything has that potential."

She suggests researching and testing out new products.

"Knowing what you're sensitive to, helps."

Kristin Morris went online and researched the ingredients in the makeup she was using.

"So, then I started learning about parabens," she says. "Like, the makeup I wear now, Zoe Organics, they don't put parabens in (their products).  There are no petrochemicals. There is no talc, and talc has been a huge issue with a lot of makeup companies."

So, is natural makeup safer than the traditional makeup?

"I am not sure I would always say that," Dr. Forney says. "I think it depends on your skin, and it depends on what you're looking for.  I think being careful about what you put on your skin and being thoughtful about it matters."