Why I decided to green my beauty routine

Checking ingredients in non-toxic beauty

Photo taken by Meghan Goering Photography | Cedar Falls, IA Photographer

Why I greened my beauty routine

I’m always testing the latest and greatest and it was becoming monotonous. New products on the market blended together; the same type of product, packaged by a different brand, with buzzwords like glow, radiance, illuminate, etc. And brands were charging top dollar for these items. What was so special about them? 

At the same time, I was greening up my life in other areas. I had made the switch to natural deodorant after my regular brand wasn’t cutting it anymore. After taking the time to completely detox my pits I found that natural deo actually worked BETTER than the toxic kind. I had also not worn perfume for a few years because I didn’t feel safe spraying chemicals on my body when I had breastfeeding children. It was around that time essential oils were gaining traction, brands were popping up left and right with clean beauty offerings, and I found safe beauty apps like the EWG. I had already been cleaning with non-toxic products for a few years. It seemed like the natural next step to start axing some toxins in other areas of my life. This is why I greened my beauty routine.

I wasn’t sure if I’d blog my journey with this but I had such a renewed excitement about blogging when I started a green beauty routine. I’m not striving for perfection, and find a lot of comfort in an 80/20 lifestyle. So when I destashed I did keep a few of my old favorites and donated the rest. Most of my new purchases are non-toxic, however I still use and love a few non-clean brands. 

What do the labels mean?

The United States has lower standards for what can be in beauty products than almost every other country. Did you know that the European Union bans about 1,300 ingredients from personal care products and the United States only bans 11? For the amount of money I spend on beauty products I want to at least be more aware of what I’m putting on my body. 

There are MANY different labels that the beauty industry refers to when speaking of ingredient-conscious products. Green beauty, clean beauty, non-toxic beauty, natural beauty, organic beauty, and hypoallergenic beauty are just a few!

Green beauty

These products have been sourced from nature. This is my favorite way to describe my beauty routine because I am taking a special interest in choosing brands committed to delivering the best. 

Non-toxic beauty

Products that are non-toxic leave out ingredients linked to toxic responses in humans: hormone disruptors, cancer, and other sicknesses. Formaldehyde, phthalates, petroleum, asbestos, coal tar, are some ingredients commonly found in beauty products and have harmful effects.

Clean beauty

This is a more loosely used term referring to products that are non-toxic. Not all clean beauty is natural or organic and free from chemicals. ALL ingredients are chemicals- natural, toxic, synthetic, etc. Clean beauty means avoiding harsh ingredients which are toxic and carcinogenic. 

Natural beauty

This means absolutely nothing. There are no regulations on what this term can mean when used in the marketing of a product. Many brands will use all synthetic ingredients, and then put a couple natural ingredients at the bottom of the list and label it “natural beauty.”

Organic beauty

This is a highly regulated term meaning that the product has been certified by the USDA. All ingredients in the product are grown and processed under very strict codes. 

Hypoallergenic beauty

This means the beauty product has been tested and shown to cause fewer allergic reactions. People with sensitive skin often gravitate towards this type of makeup and skincare. 

Greenwashing

When a brand uses marketing and packaging to make their products “seem” organic, natural, non-toxic, etc. but they really aren’t that is greenwashing. A lot of brands use eco-friendly or green colored packaging, and have a logo that looks like it’s naturally inspired but they’re really not ingredient conscious. This is a misleading way of marketing people to think they’re using healthy beauty products but they are not!

Educate yourself

Learn more about beauty product ingredients, and decide what your own bottom line is. I prefer an 80/20 lifestyle and that applies to makeup bag too. If there’s a product that’s non-toxic that does the same thing for me as its toxic counterpart, I’ll choose the one without toxins every time. I use a natural deodorant. I use a non-toxic perfume with safe synthetics. Living life in fear of ingredients is mentally unhealthy, but taking steps in the right direction is a great place to start! 

My bottom line? I’ve been swapping out my skincare for non-toxic options and on a daily basis rotate between a few non-toxic options. I’m less strict with myself when it comes to products I use occasionally.

Where do I start?!

I was afraid to dive into green beauty beauty because I wasn’t sure if the products would be good. Will natural deodorant make me stink? Does natural foundation have staying power? Luckily, green beauty products have come a long way. 

One step in the right direction at a time is key. Changing over your entire routine could take months or even years. I suggest replacing things one by one with a healthier option as you run out. I’ve also found that there are more low performing options than high performing in the healthy beauty world. Reading reviews is going to be key to making some of these changes! 

Resources that will help 

EWG’s Skin Deep Database is a great place to look at ingredient labels. Products are given a score based upon an ingredient assessment. Concerns over specific ingredients are broken down by score. Each product is given a low, medium, or high score based upon whether the ingredient could be linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicity, etc. 

Think Dirty app can be used to check overall brands for high/low scores of toxicity, to check categories to “shop” for a type of product (foundation, sunscreen, etc.), or to check specific ingredient lists. It’s very helpful when shopping!

Do your own research and know your bottom line and you can be your own resource when you green your beauty routine!

Green beauty content of the future

If you want to get the ball rolling by replacing some of your beauty products, join my girls only FB chat group! I’m reviving it with new information and FB lives sharing some of the awesome green beauty products I’m using. I’m also joining a series called the “Clean Beauty Project.” Myself and two other bloggers, Lisette of LaLaLisette and Chelsea of Olive and Ivy are joining me in sharing clean beauty looks that are achievable for average women. I am loving showing women how to swap out their beauty products for clean counterparts. Subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss a post! 

Love clean beauty? Check out these articles!

Hanami by Phlur Review + discount off a sample set

Clean beauty eye cream at Sephora!

Clean beauty eyeliner wear test

Beauty Tips for the Busy Babe featuring non-toxic products

DIY Wax Strips

Oui Fresh Box Reviews

Clean Beauty Project 

Do you have a green beauty routine? Is it something that interests you or do you prefer mainstream products? What are your favorite green beauty products?

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