…and why you may want to take a closer look at your beauty product ingredients
During my studies of holistic health, I learned about the Dirty Dozen/Clean15, GMOs, the dangers of artificial sweeteners and refined foods. I learned over 100 different dietary theories and why every body is unique and should be treated as such. I have spent the last year working one-on-one with clients and holding workshops to teach the fundamentals of living a more vibrant life, release excess weight and reduce stress. While this information is the foundation of the information I teach my clients, I also think it’s equally important to talk about what you may be putting on your skin every day. Your skin is the largest organ in your body after all…..
When I stumbled across EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, I was alarmed at the harmful chemicals in my beauty products. Parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfates, and synthetic fragrances, just to make a few are some of the culprits. After a little bit of panic on my part, I realized that not only are there a lot of options out there that are actually GOOD for your skin and body, most of them are LESS MONEY than what I used to spend at that big beauty store in the mall. So, here’s a rundown of some of my favorite products. I get many of them online at Vitacost at a discount:
1. Facial cleanser: Alaffia African Black Soap. It is great for my sensitive skin and a BONUS – you can also use it to shave your legs, as a body wash and some even use it for shampoo! About $13.00. I also love making my own oil cleansing blend. There are lots of recipes online depending on your skin type. For my combination skin I use a blend of olive/almond and castor oils.
2. Toner: Thayers Witch Hazel with Aloe – Unscented. Forget those fancy $30+ bottles of toner from the mall store. This stuff works better! Price ranges from $9.95 to $7.95.
3. Eye cream: I ditched the $40+ eye creams about a year ago and now I just use Argan Oil to help with fine lines and wrinkles. So far so good! $8.99 on sale to around $14.99.
4. Moisturizer/Makeup Remover: I normally don’t make my own beauty products, but I swear by a homemade unrefined coconut oil/shea butter/olive oil blend. It leaves my skin soooo soft and when used with a cotton ball, it takes off my eye makeup with ease. Don’t want to make your own? Buy straight unrefined coconut oil in a glass jar! Scoop some out into your had and it will start melting from the heat of your skin. About $5.00 for 14 oz if homemade. Coconut oil is roughly $7.99-$9.99 in grocery stores for 14 oz.
5. Mascara: This is the one “big brand” product that I still use – Bear Minerals, camera, lashes is the best natural mascara that I have found that still gives you those full, long lashes. Worth every penny at $19.00.
6. Eyeshadow and Concealer: rmsbeauty.com is my biggest splurge. I love their creamy eye shadows ($28.00) and “un” cover-up ($36.00). While they are pricey, they do last a long time.
7. Lip Gloss: Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer. I love this stuff! I am more of a lip gloss girl than a lipstick girl and these are great! I usually have two or three in my bag at all times. $4.99
And a few other personal care products thrown in for good measure:
1. Toothpaste: We are Earthpaste toothpaste fans. Once you get past the earthy color, you’ll see how amazing it is! My daughter uses the Lemon, my husband I like the Wintergreen. We choose not to use fluoridated toothpaste and like that they have this option.
2. Deodorant: I have literally tried upwards of 30 deodorants over the years. My favorite brand right now is called Alvera Aloe and Almonds. Before I knew about the dangers of aluminum and other harmful chemicals in antiperspirant, I used Clinical Strength drugstore deodorant and I STILL didn’t feel like it worked great. I will admit that it was a little scary to switch to a natural deodorant because it didn’t control perspiration, but I will say that I am happy with this stuff so far. Others I know have great luck with roll on or solid crystal deodorants and my husband liked a brand called Pitt Paste.
3. Soap: I usually get my soap from the local farmer’s market. They have simple ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter and essential oils (no chemical preservatives or synthetic fragrances or animal products!). Check out Etsy and search for “organic handmade soap” for a wide selection that you can have mailed to you if you don’t have a local resource near you!
4. Nail Polish: Ella and Mila – Great colors for you and your kiddos! And best of all, it’s free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, Bisphenol A, ethyl acetate and acetone. It’s low odor and has a very durable finish!
I don’t want to come off as an alarmist, but I do believe that knowledge is power. If the idea of throwing away all of your beauty products all at once and starting from scratch isn’t something you want to do right now, that’s OK. Try replacing one or two things a week. I promise it will be worth it! Baby steps to good health (and your body will thank you for it)!