We are exposed to over one hundred chemicals in our skin and haircare products every day. You may not think about the five or six unpronounceable chemicals in your shower gel when you lather up in the morning. You may not know which ones are linked to hormone imbalances and even cancer. Have you seen these statistics before?
The average woman will ingest 4-6 pounds of lipstick over her lifetime. Lipstick contains mineral oil which is a known carcinogen.
20% of personal care products contain at least one chemical linked to cancer.
The more you investigate, the scarier it seems. However, you can make changes to your daily beauty routine, reduce the chemicals your skin absorbs and maybe even save a little money along the way.
Here are five easy steps to start your green beauty journey:
Learn to read labels
First, you need to know which chemicals you should avoid in your products. For example, in your conditioner, stay away from ingredients with “-eth”, like sodium laureth sulfate. Often, a good rule of thumb is, if the ingredient is very hard to pronounce and sounds like a chemical, look for an alternative. Many brands claim a product is natural when it only has one or two natural ingredients. In time, you will learn the difference between natural, organic and cruelty-free cosmetics. Apps like Think Dirty make it very easy for you to educate yourself and choose the safest products. Just scan the barcode and learn about all the potentially toxic ingredients in the product and find safer options.
Simplify your routine
Strip your beauty products down to the essentials for your lifestyle. For your face, start with a simple cleanser, like organic handmade soap and include a toner and moisturiser.
For your makeup bag, try products that multitask like a colour stick that can be used on the eyes, lips and cheeks. Seek out brands that use recyclable packaging. Remember, the green journey is not only about using chemical free products but also being environmentally responsible.
Try your own treatments
The best way to know exactly what is in your beauty treatments is to make your own.
You can start slow and make your own two or three ingredient sugar face scrubs. Then create simple face masks and moisturisers. When you’re more confident, whip up your own deodorant and even toothpaste! There are a large number of DIY recipes for everything from foot cream to eyeliner. Just perform a search on Pinterest.
Beauty from the inside out
What you put into your body is as important as what you put on. Great skin and hair begins with a nutritious diet and exercise. Limit the quantity of processed food you consume and increase the nutrient dense vegetables. Walking when you can instead of using transportation, not only benefits your waistline, but also makes a positive impact on the environment.
Don’t feel overwhelmed by the number of new brands, products and terms you will learn when you start your green beauty journey. You can detoxify at your own pace. Try using the 80/20 rule where 80 percent of the products you use are clean and 20 percent are more conventional. Just like a food diet, it is hard to be perfect 100 percent of the time! As your knowledge grows, you will rely more on your intuition.
This post has been contributed by Michelle Brown.