Are you new to green beauty? You’ve heard that there are just as many reasons to be conscious of what you put on your body as what you put in it, but you’re not sure where to start? I faced a similar learning curve when I started my journey into clean beauty — we all do. The switchover can be as simple or elaborate as you please, but I’m betting you will feel far more connected to yourself and you’ll approach your routine with a stronger sense of ritual and delight when you make clean beauty a priority and a practice.
Here’s the deal — conventional cosmetics corporations exploit the largely unregulated industry by including cheap ingredients that are potentially harmful to our health in order to maximize profit. The difference with the clean brands you find stocked at Integrity Botanicals is that the ingredients are high quality, safe, and natural. We’re talking real rose oil versus the synthetic man-made stuff. It can be overwhelming and challenging to understand cosmetics ingredient lists, so to begin, consider avoiding these three ingredients overall and shop with trusted sources who vet products and ingredient lists for you like Integrity Botanicals.
3 Ingredients to Avoid
1. Fragrance or Parfum — Government regulations consider fragrance a proprietary trade secret, so companies do not have to list the hundreds of chemicals that go into a fragrance. Sadly, fragrance is found in nearly everything these days, and it is one of the most caustic and irritating ingredients in existence. While we don’t know exactly what’s in a given fragrance, we do know there is a high risk that it will disrupt your endocrine system and cause allergic reactions ranging from rashes to migraines and nausea. Natural products use plant-based aromas like essential oils to scent their products.
2. Petroleum and Petrochemicals — There’s a reason why many people still believe all oils clog pores — mineral oil. This petroleum based product used to be the main oil on the market and in beauty products. Remember trying baby oil as a moisturizer? Mineral oil and all petroleum-based products create an occlusive environment that keeps skin and pores from breathing. It traps moisture along with whatever else is in pores, leading to breakouts and worsening skin conditions like rosacea. Petroleum based ingredients are bad for the environment and bad for your skin, but they are easily replaced.
3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) — This is a big one to avoid, and it’s seemingly everywhere! These harsh foaming agents help your shampoo, toothpaste, and face soap suds up. They strip the skin of its protective barrier and natural oils, leading to skin imbalances, dandruff, and sensitivity. That squeaky-clean feeling you get after cleansing with SLS or SLES is actually drying and damaging. People with skin concerns like eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis benefit greatly from cutting these ingredients from the picture.
3 Ways to Transition to a Clean Beauty Routine
1. Start by replacing daily use products that you use on large surface areas. Your skin is permeable and absorbs a portion of everything you put on it. Products that you apply daily and leave on the skin, such as body lotion, sunscreen, and foundation, have a greater absorption rate than something you apply and wash off, like soap or shampoo, or apply in moderation, like eye shadow. Prioritize replacing the products you really live in and wear from day to day with natural options. Moisturizers, daily-wear sunscreen, and deodorant are a great place to start.
2. Replace the rest of your conventional care products with green ones as you run out. To make the transition to a clean beauty routine, go at a pace that feels doable and affordable to you. You don’t need to toss out every single product that you own and start new all at once. For example, try starting with a clean foundation and continue to use your conventional concealer and mascara until it’s time to restock. In the meantime, read up on what other green makeup enthusiasts are using and loving so that when it’s time to make a purchase you feel more informed about your choices.
3. Have fun with DIY skincare. Maybe splurging on a body scrub or a bath soak is low on your priority list while you’re replacing everyday basics with clean options. Make your own! Items like scrubs and masks can be created with fresh ingredients straight out of your kitchen, and they work! Check back here for DIY skincare ideas, or just start browsing Pinterest or Instagram for easy DIY ideas that can make a big difference in your skin. The home spa vibe is easy and fun to recreate.
As you begin to transition to a cleaner beauty regimen, remember there’s a shade of green beauty for everyone. Light green beauties have a few natural and organic products mixed into their routine and are open to incorporating more. Dark green beauties are pretty hardcore about ingredient lists and don’t really mess with conventional products, even if they do work. Most people start out light green and then discover that clean skincare and makeup can be just as glamorous and far more effective (we all want results, right?), so shopping for clean options becomes a no-brainer. The point is to be aware and make conscious, informed decisions that feel right to you.