It's that time of year again when most of us have set new goals, resolutions, intentions or whatever you may call them. I love the feel of January and the freshness it brings, but I am not really a resolution person. I believe you can start fresh and new any day, week or month of the year and should evaluate often, not just at the start of the year. I wish you all the best with your goals for those that set them January 1st or for those that set them throughout the year!
It's also that time of year when you are hearing and reading about the latest detox, juice cleanse and diets for the New Year, I ask you to also consider a different "detox". A detox of your personal care products, a detox for the outside of your body...for your skin, your largest organ!
According to Environmental Working Group, personal care products include up to 10,500 unique chemical ingredients, most of which are suspected carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and include dangerous substances like coal tar and formaldehyde.
And while Europe has banned 1,400 of these harmful ingredients, the U.S. has only banned thirty...30! (What?!) It was just 11 a few months ago, but earlier this year the FDA restricted triclosan and 18 other chemicals used in “antibacterial” soaps. This was a small victory that partially restricts anti-bacterial chemicals from hand soaps, but doesn’t address the use of these ingredients in cosmetics, toothpaste and other applications.
This means companies are allowed to use known toxins—ingredients that have been linked to cancer, reproductive issues, and hormone disruption—without even disclosing these ingredients to us! Seems crazy, right? Personally this makes me mad!
The biggest ah-ha of it all? That at least 60% of what you put on your body seeps into your skin and is absorbed by your cells. Every. Single. Day.
And this. Adds. Up.
This may not be a wake up call to you. You may very well know that your favorite lipstick and daily face serum aren’t necessarily made from the cleanest of ingredients. And you’ve probably thought about making the switch to clean products. But, where do you even start in making this kind of change?
Luckily, it's not all doom and gloom. There are some great companies working hard to create safer skincare products and to change the industry. And, these products work just as well or better than the department store brands we have learned to love!
How do you start working thru your beauty collection that you spent so long (and so much money) building?!
And, what’s more; how do you have time to research better products that actually do the job!? I've gotcha covered!! Below I share 14 (pictured above) of my many swaps I have made over the years. Believe me when I say that if I can do it, you can too!! I was using fabulous brands that I didn't think I could part with...and the change has been easier than I imagined and it feels so rewarding and liberating to know I am using safe products!
There's a tool I highly recommend you all use for not only personal care products, but for food, cleaning and laundry supplies as well! EWG (Environmental Working Group) has developed their free Healthy Living app that allows you to scan the bar code of products with your phone's camera. It will then give you a rating for that product from 1-10 indicating what ingredients are of concern and how they may relate to cancer, reproductive health and allergies. This is super handy for the next time you are at Target and need to buy deodorant...scan away to find the safest option! I always shoot for a rating of 1, 2 or 3 and it must not have any reproductive or cancer concerning ingredients.
Here are some of my favorite brands and swaps I have made over the years.
Sunscreen: Beautycounter's sunstick is my go to as it's a mineral based sunscreen. I love the ease of a stick and the fact that the zinc can't separate since it's a solid. It comes in a body and face size. The smaller face size is so great to keep in your purse, golf bag or ski jacket!
Nail Polish: Cote based out of Santa Monica is a safe nail salon with a line of polishes that includes a TON of color options! I love getting my toes done, but not all the harmful products that can come along with it. I take all of my own stuff to get pedicures including my own colors.
Teeth Whitening and Strengthening: Smart Ash from Bedrock and Bloom is an all natural tooth whitening powder that's actually good for your teeth. It contains activated charcoal, bentonite clay and more to clean, detoxify, whiten, reduce sensitivity, strengthen and restore. I dip my toothbrush with paste on it into the ash and brush a couple times a week with it. Teeth Whitening can also be as simple as hydrogen peroxide. I so often get asked what I use to whiten my teeth. Hydrogen peroxide swished around morning and night is my secret!!! It also kills bacteria.
Face Wash: Nourishing Cream Cleanser is a cleanser and a toner all in one. I love the simplicity of this cleanser and that it does not contain any fragrance, lathering agents or parabens that other cleansers may contain.
Body Lotion: Alba's Unscented Original Body Lotion is the most moisturizing body lotion I have found! Make sure you buy the unscented or the safe factor goes away because of the synthetic fragrance and the dangers that come along with that!!
Foundation: Tint Skin Full Coverage Foundation replaced my favorite...Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. I wasn't sure I could give that up, but it was easy with this moisturizing rich formula! I love the coverage and how it performs...stays on all day or night! Did you now cosmetics are a big source of heavy metals and companies aren't require to test for them? Beautycounter batch tests for metals every time for every cosmetic product!!!!
Deodorant: Piper Wai activated charcoal deodorant is the best I have found! It now comes in a stick...so much easier than the paste! It is free of aluminum and synthetic fragrance.
Lip Gloss and Lipstick is a must to switch to safe since you basically eat it all day long! Lead is often found in these products. I love these glosses and lipsticks that rate safe on the EWG app! There are so many great colors to choose from and they are very moisturizing.
Toothpaste typically contains fluoride and some other nasty things...not something I want in my body! I switched to Earth Paste and it only consists of 5 simple ingredients. No Glycerin, fluoride, foaming agents, artificial colors, It' simply water, redmond clay, real salt , xylitol and essential oils. I prefer the peppermint flavor.
Dry Shampoo is a must when you don't wash your hair every day...or every other day! I love Monat's Dry Shampoo!! It's derived from plant based ingredients and reduces the greasy look!
Body Soap can often contain synthetic fragrance, SLS and artificial colors. I've found my skin prefers simple soap and Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap is my favorite!
Mascara is a tough one as it's such a personal choice. It is so hard to find a safe brand that lasts, doesn't run and provides length and fullness. Beautycounter's Lengthening Mascara won Allure's Best of Natural Beauty Award this past year and rightfully so! It lengthens and lasts all day!! It is hard to get off, but I can deal with that as long as it lasts all day!!
Lip Conditioner: It's amazing how less chapped your lips are when you don't use petroleum based products!! Keep in mind that anything you put on your lips, generally gets in your mouth! This Calendula Lip Conditioner is my favorite...I have one next to my bed and one in my purse!
I hope this is helpful! Start with a few items and go from there! Don't try to change everything at once or you'll be totally overwhelmed!! If you need other suggestions, please comment below and I will try to help!!