I care a lot about what I put into my body when it comes to food and drink, so it was only natural for me to start really caring about what I put onto my body in terms of skincare.
My passion and interest for more natural skincare products started almost 10 years ago when I started exploring veganism. I was concerned about the testing of products on animals and was very careful and diligent about finding products that were not tested on animals. Which led me down a path towards safer skincare products.
In 2013, a friend introduced me to a woman named Tara Foley who had just opened a beautiful skincare store in Boston - Follain. And I was immediately hooked. My skin had never felt so good and so nourished by the products I was using.
Not only was I using wonderful skincare products, I was also learning about all the harmful toxic chemicals in the everyday skincare products sitting on the shelf that we are all using.
Did you know?*
- The average number of beauty products used by an American woman every day is 12.
- Many of those beauty products have questionable or harmful ingredients.
- Decades of studies indicate that serious health issues are on the rise and are due in some part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals - including those in our skincare products.
- There is a lack of regulation in the industry - the US has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938.
- The European Union has banned more than 1300 chemicals in the product formulas of personal care products; the US has only partially banned 30 to date.
This blog post isn’t meant to scare you...but rather to help bring awareness to a really important issue we as consumers are facing. Many of the skincare products on the shelves now are affecting our health and affecting our environment. And the cool thing is - we can do something about it! We have the power to spend our dollars on better quality and safer products.
Interested in what’s in your current skincare products? Check out EWG’s Skin Deep tool to see how your products stack up.
It can be overwhelming to transition to a safer and less toxic skincare routine, so my advice is to take it slow. You don’t have to overhaul your whole bathroom. Rather, you can change out one product at a time. As you run out of something, try replacing it with a safer option. And try several different brands and products until you find what you love.
So where should I start?
Deodorant. This is where many people start when switching over to natural products. And there are a TON of options out there. I’ve tried many natural deos over the years and never found one that worked for me. They left me smelling stinky after a walk around the neighborhood. And we won’t even talk about a hard sweaty workout. But then! I found Primally Pure. (I use the sensitive kind). I LOVE the lemongrass and lavender scents. It keeps me smelling fresh and clean all day long. Make sure to read their post about switching over to natural deo. You can have a reaction at first as your armpits detox from the aluminum from your regular antiperspirant. I did when trying other deos (which is why I use the sensitive version), but Primally Pure never upset my armpits. It’s worth saying...natural deo does not contain aluminum, so you will still sweat. Which can seem unsavory, but honestly sweating is a normal and healthy function of the body. It’s one of the ways your body detoxes, and clogging up your armpits with aluminum to keep yourself from sweating is scary to me. So I’ve embraced the sweat. And I sweat a lot. I mean A LOT. If I can do it, you can do it! For a more in depth look at all the different natural deo options available on the market, check out Twist of Lemons’s blog post.
Down with the deo? Awesome! What’s next?
Here is a list of my favorite safer skincare products:
- Any Osmia bar soap
- Charcoal Bar
- Charcoal Mask - this was my gateway drug into Beautycounter products. I use it a couple of times a week, and you can actually see the toxins coming out of your skin! There is also a brightening and skin plumping (for fine lines) mask.
- Nourishing Cream Exfoliator
- Cleansing Balm - this stuff is amazing and so moisturizing...it feels like butter on your skin!
- Toner Pads
- Rejuvenating Day Cream - this is part of Beautycounter's anti aging line. I use it every morning.
- Nourishing Night Cream
- Balancing Oil - this is one of my absolute favorites. I add two drops to my moisturizer to help balance my acne prone skin. Check out the brightening and plumping oils as well. (Allure named the brightening oil best in beauty this year.)
- Volumizing Shampoo - I love this shampoo. I've had a hard time finding a safer shampoo that still sudsed up and left my hair feeling clean. This one's a winner! Check out the smoothing and repair shampoos as well.
- Volumizing Conditioner - Check out the smoothing and repair conditioners as well.
- Dry Shampoo for light locks -(this one is for dark locks) it's not a spray, so it might take some getting used to. But it works just as well as your spray if not better.
- Jane Iredale Powder - I've been using this for years and get great compliments on my skin, even when it's breaking out.
- Hydrating Foundation
- Jane Iredale Eyebrow Kit
- Volumizing Mascara - this stuff is amazing.
- RMS Luminizer - this is my new favorite product.
But this stuff is more expensive than my drugstore brand face wash!
It’s true. Safer skincare does tend to cost a bit more. This is how I think of it - I think of spending money on my safer skincare products as an investment in my health. By paying more now, I will pay less later on any health issues that could arise from toxic skincare products. It’s a worthy investment in my opinion. Also, the formulas of these products are much more concentrated with high quality ingredients than your basic drugstore products, so you actually use less making them last so much longer. One woman told me her cleansing balm lasted her a whole year!
So give it a try. Next time you run out of something, try swapping it out for one of these safer products. Your skin will thank me.
Let me know your experience in the comments below!
I am a Beautycounter consultant. I so dig their mission of getting safer skincare products into the hands of everyone. And they are actively working in DC to change the laws around skincare product regulation. Not to mention - the products are luxurious and high performing. Need help deciding what are the best products for you? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org