When I started transitioning to clean beauty products it wasn’t easy. I had a weird sense of attachment to all of them!! Some products were gifted to me so it had sentimental value and some I have had for a while which should have been thrown out a long time ago. I hung out to them even after I had bought and completely started using “clean beauty” – I couldn’t let go.
BUT one day I threw them all out and it felt GREAT!
Did you know? Up to 60% of the chemicals applied topically on the skin can enter the bloodstream. Since the skin is the largest organ in the body, the toxins it absorbs can lead to sensitivities, allergies, cancer, birth defects and other serious health issues.
This is important to note when transitioning to a clean beauty routine because what we use is essentially food for our skin and bodies.
Also know that the U.S. only has 9 cosmetic ingredients banned while the E.U. has about 1,300 – that’s why doing your own research is super important.
Below are the steps that I will be sharing with you that helped me make the clean beauty switch.
- Why switch to clean beauty?
- Educate yourself
- Don’t panic!
- Research & read reviews
- Download these apps
I’ve also included the following resources:
- My favorite natural clean beauty stores
- How to save on clean beauty
1. Why Switch to Clean Beauty?
Ask yourself the reason. Perhaps your skin is super sensitive or you have eczema and you are tired of getting rashes from the products you have or you are scratching your eyes a lot when you apply your common brand mascara.
I used to scratch my eyes and I have had swollen eyelid on a few occasions every time I used my eyeliner and it was supposed to be “hypoallergenic” and from a well-known brand AND super expensive!
I want to note that hypoallergenic is NOT a legal term. It’s a marketing claim and basically means the product won’t cause an allergic response in MOST people.
FDA writes on its website: “There are no Federal standards or definitions that govern the use of the term ‘hypoallergenic.’ The term means whatever a particular company wants it to mean.”
If you suffer from any type of allergy, eczema or contact dermatitis, it’s important to read ingredient labels to be sure that there’s nothing in the product that could trigger an allergic reaction or rash.
2. Educate Yourself
When I began my journey, I read all the labels. Sometimes I would ask myself: “Holy crap! What are these?!” It can be overwhelming to know about ALL toxic ingredients but through this page, you will hopefully learn about them all. Also, grab your shampoo, lotion or liquid foundation just do a simple google search on the ingredients.
Below is the list I came up with and all of the ingredients I try to avoid in my makeup, lotion, shampoos, conditioner, deodorant and hand soap and EVEN laundry detergent!
I started slowly with a few ingredients and the easy ones that I could remember.
I asked myself, WHY do I need FORMALDEHYDE in my makeup and skincare?
Formaldehyde is a highly toxic systemic poison that is absorbed well by inhalation. The vapor is a severe respiratory tract and skin irritant and may cause dizziness or suffocation. The FDA, which oversees the cosmetics industry, does not prohibit nor regulate the use of formaldehyde in cosmetics (except for nail polishes). Perhaps they should for all the products!
It was found that Paraben is in over 22,000 cosmetic products which is alarming considering the health effects. They can be found in almost all skincare products; like face wash, creams, lotion, sunscreen, toothpaste, etc.
Here are the 3 adverse effects of Paraben that I personally did not know:
- Aging Skin | In a study done in 2007, after one month of daily applications of Methyl Paraben containing formulations, it remained unmetabolized and persisted slightly in the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) in the lab. See the whole study here
- Breast Cancer | A researcher Philippa Darbre of England in 2004, in her investigation of estrogen’s effects on breast cancer, identified parabens in 18 of 20 biopsies of breast cancer tumors. When parabens are absorbed into the skin, they mimic estrogens, disrupt our endocrine systems and can lead to breast cancer. She found that not only do parabens fuel the growth of existing cancer cells, but they are also carcinogenic. She looked at 20 women with breast cancer and measured the tumor tissue for presence of 6 different parabens. One hundred percent of samples contained at least ONE paraben, with methylparaben being the highest. Check out her study
3. Don’t Panic!
You do not have cancer just because you are using the $1 shampoo you bought at the dollar store!
(I used to buy my favorite VO5 shampoo and conditioner from there! ughhhhh!) But remember that these toxic ingredients are cumulative and add up in your body over time. Swap out the easy items first and the ones you are almost out of.
Switching to non-toxic clean beauty products will do wonders for your health, but it won’t necessarily lead to glowing skin because all products are NOT created equal even in the green beauty industry.
Each brand and formula will work differently from one person to the next, so be patient.
So if you have any allergies to certain ingredients you wouldn’t know by just looking at the word FRAGRANCE on the label. Some health issues that I found out was quite shocking!
I have ASTHMA myself so this was essential to know for my health.
Exacerbation of asthma and COPD can be triggered by fragrance exposure. Neurological impacts such as migraines have been associated with fragrance. Skin allergies to fragrance are well documented in the scientific literature and between 2-11% of the general population experience skin allergies to fragrance.
In personal care products, formaldehyde can be added directly, or more often, it can be released from preservatives such as DMDM Hydantoin. A 2015 study determined that longer storage time and higher temperature increase the amount of formaldehyde released and could ultimately lead to more severe health concerns. It is banned from use in cosmetics and toiletries in Japan and Sweden and in the EU – labeling is required in products that do contain these chemicals.
4. Research & Read Reviews
I was hesitant at first to try any new cosmetic and skincare products that I had never heard of or seen the advertising of the product on TV or in magazines. The first time I started my research I came across the brand 100% Pure mainly because I searched for pure makeup. At that time my mascara was giving me scratchy and watery eyes so I found their Fruit Pigmented Dark Chocolate Mascara and started reading the ingredients and the discovery was amazing.
Ingredients: Organic Green Tea, Vitamin E, Honey Beeswax, Black Tea, Cocoa Powder, Oat Protein, Wheat Protein, Seaweed Powder Extract, Powdered Coffee Beans, Oregano Leaf Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Lavender Flower Extract.
It doesn’t contain any coal tar, Teflon, and other toxic petrochemicals.
Who knew you could use black tea in your mascara!?
Through reading reviews I found that a lot of these companies have generous return policy such as 100% Pure in case the product you purchased and used wasn’t to your liking. I have personally purchased the black tea and dark chocolate shades and I am absolutely in love with it!
No rashes or scratching or watery eyes!
5. Download These Apps
“Think Dirty” and “EWG” – These are the apps that you can download on your smartphone and scan the bar code of any beauty and personal care products, and it will give you toxicity rating and information on which ingredients to avoid and why.
I scanned every product that I owned and the discovery was shocking!
I just want to note that what these two apps aren’t able to calculate is how much of an ingredient is in each product. So it is really important that you use these apps as a guide along with getting educated about each toxic ingredients that you should avoid.
Also, not all products are listed, so it’s very important that you familiarize yourself with the ingredients that you should avoid.
Starting this clean beauty journey may take a while but it is certainly worth it.
You cannot put a price on health and it’s worth your time, research and resources.
Do you think you like to make the switch or at least try?
Here is a guide I put together that has affordable and nontoxic products and beauty boxes.
If you are interested to find the best non-toxic and natural face serum, here is my list of products under $50.
I shop on Amazon regularly and have found the best natural skincare products that are vegan, check out my nontoxic guide.
My Favorite Natural Clean Beauty Stores
Five clean beauty stores that carry many of the clean skincare and makeup brands at different price points.
They are a platform for connecting you with all the nontoxic beauty.
A place where people KNOW that EVERY product is nontoxic and clean.
- Citrine Natural Beauty Bar Here you can find skincare under $50. You can refine your search by skin concerns and skin type
- The Detox Market – Try the little sample bag they offer AND get 10% off your order when you sign up for emails
- Aillea – See products under $25
- The Choosy Chick – This family-run company was created out of a personal quest to find safe and effective health and beauty care products. They have nontoxic products for the whole family! Shop their sale here.
RELATED POST: Clean Green Beauty on a Budget
How to Save on Clean Beauty
Thrive Market, Amazon and Rakuten are among many platforms that you can save money.
Rakuten by far is my favorite app that I use to look for deals and cash backs before shopping at any online store.
Get up to $20 in shopping credit when you purchase a Thrive Market Membership.
- 50% Off Amazon Prime – Prime Student 6-Month Trial
- Use this code to get a $10 bonus when you sign up with my link and spend $25. It’s FREE! (you can spend the $25 on any merchant listed on their site and app)
- Rakuten is an app, browser extension, and website that offers cash back to consumers who click on its links before checking out at a physical store or online retailer. Rakuten also provides a list of stores that have special deals for customers, such as free shipping, buy one get one free, or free gifts with purchase.
- The first is to search on Rakuten.com for a product across all of the site’s participating retailers and find the best cashback deal. Once you do, click through to the retailer’s site and proceed with your purchase as you normally would – No additional cost to you!
This is a list of clean beauty companies on Rakuten.
- 100% Pure
- Babo Botanicals
- Pangea Organics
- Juice Beauty
- W3LL PEOPLE
See all participating Rakuten merchants here
Know your ingredients
AND stay safe!
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