Whew, can I just say, reality after vacation hits hard? It’s been a while, so I guess I just forgot. Last week wasn’t glamorous (unless you count my photo shoot on the dunes orchestrated by my dad and brother). But it was comfortable, relaxing, fun, and just what we needed. And I’m not entirely ready to be back.
Anyway, now to make a blog post happen! I write and Instagram often about my journey to choosing a safer lifestyle by cutting out products with questionable ingredients.
Let’s face it, the facts are grim. You have to take into consideration things like: the beauty industry has little to no regulation. That 80% of ingredients in beauty products have zero safety testing. And that many ingredients have links to health issues like cancer, allergies, and endocrine disruption.
But knowing the facts and making the switches are two very different things. I am a deal-hunter, so going from the cheapest products to investing in quality ones was a leap for me. (Although read here if you’re curious about the cost involved!) Plus there are just SO MANY products and so little time – how do you even know where to start?
Let me help you out. Here are six beauty products to switch out right now in favor of safer ones. Then add in new ones as possible in the future:
Why: Lipsticks can contain lots of nasty ingredients: lead, which can affect fertility and create hormonal changes (two FDA tests found 100% of lipsticks tested to contain lead); as well as aluminum, cadmium, chromium, and manganese. It can also contain artificial fragrance – a nasty word in the beauty industry, because companies do not have to disclose ingredients under the label of “fragrance”. And while you may not be ingesting 6 pounds of it over your lifetime, it isn’t rocket science that you would be taking in at least some of what you put on your lips.
Instead: Try lipsticks that contain natural fragrances, and look up ingredients if you’re not sure of safety.
Recommendation: Sheer Lipstick in Twig – a neutral, looks-good-on-everyone color that is scented with vanilla and softens with jojoba oil
Why: Our skin is our bodies’ largest organ, and what we put on our skin can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Lotion is meant to stay on your skin long-term (unlike soap or shampoo which you wash off), which can mean the most exposure to whatever toxic ingredients may be lurking inside. Watch out for ones that contain ingredients like parabens, pthalates, fragrance, and mineral oil, which can contain toxins and can clog pores.
Instead: Use products with vegetable oils and, again, natural fragrances.
Recommendation: Hydrating Body Lotion in Citrus Mimosa – lightly (and naturally) scented, and contains antioxidants, amino and fatty acids
Eye and Face Cream
Why: See above. Also your face tends to be where allergic reactions, sensitivity, and aging appear the most – just the right reason to avoid dangerous products there. Plus the skin around the eyes is particularly delicate and prone to absorbing product. Steer clear of petroleum, mineral oil, parabens (did I mention they’ve been found in tumors?), and formaldehyde, a known carcinogen and allergen.
Instead: Look for products with natural preservatives, not ones with formaldehyde or preservatives that release formaldehyde.
Recommendation: Countermatch Eye Rescue Cream and Adaptive Moisture Lotion – the moisturizer is my absolute favorite, adapting to your skin’s changing needs throughout the day, and it has none of that greasy after-effect
Why: Again, these are meant to stay on your skin longer – and can reveal the worst of allergic reactions. Plus, face masks are getting trendier and can be cheaply made, with ingredients like fragrance (there it is again!), acrylates (also found in nail polish), glycerin (which if not natural can be highly processed and bad for skin) and cancer-linked PEGs (which are banned in Canada).
Instead: Try masks with naturally-derived glycerin.
Recommendation: No. 3 Balancing Facial Mask – with charcoal, which safely pulls out toxins and oils from skin
Why: Remember how the skin around the eyes is the most delicate? Also YOUR VISION, which is probably important to you. It’s why you also should make sure you remove it at night, no matter how safe it is. Avoid mascaras with parabens, pthalates, dioxane, and carbon black, which is basically heavy petroleum products like coal tar, plus a little bit of vegetable oil.
Instead: Find mascaras with naturally-occurring iron oxides. And make sure to consistently throw out old mascara, which can grow bacteria. It has the shortest shelf life – about two to three months.
Recommendation: Volumizing Mascara – with plant-derived ingredients and no flaking or smudging
Why: Many shampoos contain sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, which make shampoo foamy. But they also are skin, eye, and lung irritants and can combine with other chemicals to form carcinogens. Also watch out for fragrance – it seems to be in every bottle of shampoo. Shampoo is also something that goes directly on sensitive scalp tissue, and tends to wash over your whole body.
Instead: Avoid SLS and SLES – use products that are naturally derived, like beetroot sugars, which are foamy as well.
Recommendation: Volume & Shape Shampoo – I’m personally using it, and love the smell, plus my hair really does feel thicker and look fuller
A bonus? Through March 7, by purchasing any of these products, get a free deluxe sample of another clean switch. And if that’s not enough for you, get in touch with me to learn how to get a free full-sized charcoal face mask, a free lipstick, and/or a free year-long savings membership!
What safer product switches have you made?