The average american woman uses 12 and average man uses 6 beauty/cosmetics products a day. This wouldn’t be a problem if the products we were using were safe and not full of harmful ingredients. Think about your morning routine. You probably wash your face, brush your teeth, put on face lotion and deodorant at a minimum; then there is makeup, hair and shower products. For about the past decade I’ve been using a mixture of natural and conventional products. Since starting this blog I’ve been looking into all aspects of my life and how sustainable and healthy each product or practice I do really is for me and the planet. I decided to dive into personal care products and figure out what is safe and what is not. Trust me this is a rabbit hole that I’m still finding my way around. I want to share with you all that I find, and make it easier for you to make the green choice for cosmetics. It’s like they say “Knowledge is Power”.
If you are not already using the website Environmental Working Group (EWG) you need to, it will become your best friend. I know you’ll love it! Here’s a bit about them and their mission “The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.” Sounds awesome, right?
The part of the EWG that I use ALL the time is the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (they also have a free app that makes doing research in the store while you’re standing in the aisle shopping super easy)! This organization is such a huge help for navigating what brands you can trust and which ones to stay clear of. They rate products with a scale of 1 to 10 for how toxic and harmful each product is. These ratings are based on a number of factors, EWG has very large databases made up of research and science around specific ingredients, how they react with the body and any known side effects they may have. They have thousands of products rated from CoverGirl to Bert’s Bees to Chanel.
Conventional products are full of chemicals, dyes, carcinogens, fragrances and other toxins that you do not want to be rubbing into your skin, the largest organ of your body! Those nasty ingredients can then get absorbed into your bloodstream. Honestly I can’t stand that it is so hard to find out what is safe to use. In my research I’ve found that there are no standards for using words like “all natural” or “organic” on cosmetic and beauty products. The green washing of cosmetic products is a real problem. That’s why it is so helpful to use EWG Skin Deep website to research your products before buying.
It is good to remember that you don’t need to be perfect when you first start to think about all this stuff. There is no need to throw everything out and start buying all new products (unless that’s what you feel called to do), that’s not what I’m saying. I’d love for you to start becoming more aware of what’s in the products you and your loved ones are using. Don’t get turned off by the bit of extra effort it takes to find healthy sustainable alternatives. Your health is worth it, you are worth it. Don’t take the bottles word; read those ingredients, use the EWG app to get empowered. Actually knowing what you’re putting on your bodies is a HUGE step. It’s so satisfying to support companies that are making safe alternatives. Feel proud of the companies you support when you buy your products and please tell me what you think below. I know this is a huge subject and I would love to dive more into this with you. What questions do you have? What struggles do you have when trying to find organic natural alternatives?