Green Beauty: 5 Simple Steps to Switch to Better for you Skincare

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There’s a lot of talk right now about toxin-free living. Maybe you’re a skeptic of this movement, much like I used to be. But my mind started to change as more research came out about the harmful effects of many ingredients used in conventional products, especially skincare and cosmetics. These ingredients not only do more harm than good when it comes to the health of our skin (by clogging our pores, causing inflammation, and stripping away beneficial oils), but many of these ingredients are also linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and reproductive toxicity, among other things.

How you may ask? Well, our skin is the largest organ of our body and since it is porous it absorbs ingredients from the products we apply to it. The average amount of time it takes a substance to be absorbed into our skin is 26 seconds. So we need to be just as careful about what we put on our skin as we are about what we put in our mouths. And I’m not just talking about skincare, I’m talking about anything that touches your skin, from hand soap to cleaning products. It’s up to us as consumers to do the research since there is little to no regulation over this marketplace.
 
“Cosmetic products and ingredients do not require FDA approval before they go on the market.” Nor does the FDA have the “authority to remove [cosmetic] products from the market, even if they contain toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury, formaldehyde, and lesser-known… “chemicals of concern.” says a Washington Times article.
 
The good news is that there’s a growing marketplace of AMAZING green beauty products. So if you feel like you are ready to make the switch, here are some simple steps to get you started.
 

Step 1) Change your perspective 

Think of your dollars as votes. We change demand with every purchase. Going green is not always the cheapest switch. Think of this as an investment in not only your health but the health of future generations. 

Step 2) Get to know ingredients

Assess the products you already have. Flip over the bottle and read the ingredients. Don’t stop with your skincare, scan cosmetics and hair care products too. If you see ingredients you don’t recognize look them up. If that’s overwhelming, download the Think Dirty and EWG apps and SCAN them. These apps rate each product’s toxicity, allergen, etc. level on a scale of 0-10. Here’s a helpful list of 12 ingredients to always stay away from.
 

Step 3) Start small

Switching to safer skincare products can be overwhelming, not to mention costly. After taking stock of your products, choose one to switch first, then continue replacing your products as you run out. You can even DIY to save money. My current facial cleanser is made of four ingredients that I buy at a natural grocery store.
 

Step 4) Watch out for greenwashers

Many companies promote their products as being safe, but what it all comes down to are the ingredients. As the Washington Times puts it, “A product can be 99.9% synthetic, but if it contains even a tiny bit of something natural like water (in the amount of 0.1%), the company can advertise it as natural!” 
 

Step 5) Make the switch!

When switching to better skincare, look for companies that stand out in the green beauty world and seek to educate consumers and even change laws. Look for labels like Certified Organic, EcoCert, Cruelty-Free, Made in the USA, Toxin Free, etc. You can even go the extra mile and choose products that are vegetarian and gluten-free – yes those labels are important too.
 
Here’s a resource to help you choose better for you products.
 
Reach out to me if you’re overwhelmed. I would love to help you make the switch. Also, please feel free to join my Facebook Group where I educate about becoming a more conscientious and informed consumer. I love to help women feel equipped and empowered on this journey!
 
Further Resources:
 
 
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Kim is a native Northern Virginian. She married her high school sweetheart and they have two children, Leland (2014) and Christy (2015). She is a foster & adoptive mom and a pastor's wife and is passionate about advocating for exploited women & children and going green without breaking the bank. You can find her educating and empowering women to live consciously and take care of their health by switching to safer and ethically produced products over in her Facebook community (facebook.com/groups/wonderfullymadewithkim). She LOVES: Jesus, her husband’s cooking, snuggling her kids, taking naps, talking about the Enneagram, and the beach. She could do without: humidity, bugs, winter, and writing thank-you notes.