Transitioning from conventional beauty, body and baby products to more natural, safer versions can seem downright intimidating. You have your tried-and-true products, they work, but you know you could do better. So where do you even start? We get it, it’s hard, even for us. We still are faced with Googling ingredients – even if it’s just to find out it’s a fancy word for coconut oil. Therefore we’ve gathered some tips on how to move forward, and that’s just it, don’t stress – just move forward.
What’s your motivation?
Environmental impact, toxin load, allergies – we all come to a place of doing better for whatever reason, but it’s good to listen to this reason because it will help you define your own set of rules. We can tell you what we prefer, but only you can set the guidelines. If you’re looking for less toxins, start looking for certain ingredients to avoid. If you’re looking for less irritating products, you’ll look for which culprits to steer clear from. Environmental impact, avoid microbeads (yay for banning!) and look for recyclable packaging and sustainable companies. Of course you can go for all of the above, but having that motivation in mind really helps you sort through the options.
Your skin is your largest organ, so it’s a perfect place to start protecting from nasties. So when you’re thinking of which products to swap out, think of surface area or consistent daily use. Items that go all over your body (body wash, lotion, tanners, etc) or things you use every day (lip balms, foundation, deodorant) even to surfaces you touch daily (dishes, laundry, countertops) – these are going to get the most use, so cleaning up their act will be a great benefit. Speaking of biggest impact – children are more susceptible to toxins, so targeting their products is a great start as well.
If overhauling your whole routine is in the budget, go for it. But for the rest of us, it’s good to take a replacing mentality. The sooner you get started the better, but it’s also not realistic to throw out a brand new tube of $40 mascara. Do better next time. Anytime you’re about to run out of an item, start researching, getting samples and preparing yourself to go for a safer option.
Never Trust A Label
Sad but true, you can’t take the words “natural”, “organic”, or even “non-toxic” for face value on any label or in any marketing claim. It’s unregulated. However, ingredients usually reveal what’s lurking inside, so you’ll have to get good at your research. As a reminder, ingredients are listed largest to smallest in regards to the amount in the bottle. If you notice some offenders in the first few, put the product down. If you aren’t sure what it is, utlize EWG Skindeep, Think Dirty, CosDNA or just search it. Better yet, know what to avoid and what it can be listed as.
Abide by Brand
Learning a whole slew of chemistry related words isn’t our idea of a good time either. It still makes our brain hurt. So if you want to make it easy on yourself, go by Brand. For instance, if you know most everything in an ACURE product is safer, rely on that. You trust 100% Pure makeup, stick with them. MOST brands are pretty uniform in their mission, ingredients and reputation. MOST. This doesn’t mean this method is fail safe, but if you’re in a pinch and need to grab something, know who to trust. Then when you’re willing to branch out, you can always research online or come to sites like these for recommendations. It’s also good to know what retailers carry which brands (ie Target carries Zoe Organics, Earth Mama Angel Baby, Vapour Cosmetics, etc)
Let Go of Guilt
No one is perfect. If you’re trying to do better, that counts. So if you can’t splurge on a whole line, know that gradually making the shift is a good thing. Don’t guilt yourself if you slip up or haven’t gone all the way, and definitely don’t guilt others who aren’t on the same path. We find that the more we educate ourselves and others, the easier this process becomes, and the healthier we are for it.