The initiation into the green beauty world can seem like a daunting task with the endless amount of beauty options (thankfully) now available. Only a handful of years ago it was a challenge to find effective, natural beauty products but also the efficacy was not as advanced as traditional brands so this made the transition wearier. Now, with what seems like an endless assortment of options, I’m here to guide you on which green beauty products can make the biggest impact on your skin and overall wellness.
Quick fact: Did you know that nearly 70% of what you apply topically on your skin gets absorbed into your blood stream?
That is nearly the equivalent of actually ingested cosmetics often laden with toxic chemicals and ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrance and other chemical based preservatives and dyes.
So where to begin? I recommend starting with skin/body care and complexion products (foundation, concealer, blush, bronzer) that have healthier based ingredients and lower toxicity is key. These are products that we tend to use in larger amounts and are spread along more areas of the face and body.
When going green with skin, body and complexion products, here’s what to be conscientious about...
The listing of ingredients always lists the highest concentration of a certain ingredient first and the smallest concentration last. I’ve listed several ‘red flag’ ingredients below as they are known hormonal and endocrine disruptors and may even lead to cancer if used long term according to some studies. Additionally, they have been known to cause allergic reactions and general sensitivity.
Steer clear from the following ingredients:
Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl) (These are preservatives that extend shelf life and inhibit microbial growth)
Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea (most commonly used preservative after parabens)
Phthalates (dissolving agent, helps make plastics more flexible)
Talc (absorbs moisture, cuts down on friction)
Propylene Glycol (used as a humectant, it is usually synthetic)
Petrolatum (mineral oil, very cheap to produce)
PVP/VA Copolymer (petrolatum derived)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (creates a foaming action)
Stearalkonium Chloride (used as a conditioning agent)
TEA (Triethanolamine) (Used to adjust PH in cosmetics, base for cleanser)
Synthetic Fragrance (can contain hundreds of by-chemicals)
Through out working in the cosmetics industry during the past 14 years, I was exposed to many of these ingredients that in turn, caused my skin to become less tolerant of new ingredients. I could never find the source of my irritation and my dermatologists only prescribed more creams that often contained some of the same preservatives. During a period of time, my skin became sensitive to anything it touched that I even developed dermatitis. After an intense process of elimination, I made a committed switch to more natural and clean ingredients by doing so, I noticed a dramatic difference in how my skin behaved. I can actually now use multiple skincare products and makeup without worrying about a break out or a rash.
I’ve listed several of my favorite go-to skincare and beauty sources for all things clean beauty. These online retailers and wellness sources specialize in organic, natural and vegan skin, body, hair and makeup. Also, they serve as a great guide to implementing an overall healthy lifestyle.