Transition from toxic beauty cosmetics to non-toxic can be challenging. It certainly didn’t happen overnight for me, and don’t be discouraged if you can’t go cold-turkey. The important thing is for you to remember why a non-toxic lifestyle is beneficial for your health and your appearance, and to stay true to that mission, even when you hit inevitable road blocks.
Finding non-toxic beauty products can be daunting at first, but that’s part of the reason I started this blog. I faced many challenges, but the end result is well worth it. When you find that cosmetic that actually works better than the toxic one you were trying to replace, you will have that amazing moment where you feel free from the toxic cosmetics industry.
Here are some tips for navigating that transition time between a toxic and non-toxic beauty regimen:
- Look for non-toxic products one at a time. If you go to the health food store looking to replace your shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and deodorant all at the same time, you will feel overwhelmed. Chances are you (and your hair or skin) are used to the toxic products you’ve been using for the last X years. When you suddenly start using the new products–many of which may not be “the one”–you could get discouraged that they don’t work as you wished, leading you to feel defeated and give up. Instead, just take things one product at a time.
- Start with a body moisturizer. The skin on your arms and legs tend to be tougher and less fussy than the skin on your face. Also, you can eliminate toxic products from being absorbed into the greatest surface area of your body by switching your body moisturizer to a non-toxic version.
- Buy products from a retailer with a great return policy. Better yet, buy products from a brick-and-mortar store where you can try products on in the store or bring home a sample. These products may be more expensive than they are sold for online, but once you find “the one”, you can start purchasing it online in bulk.
- Switch between non-toxic and toxic. This can be counterintuitive. If you are trying to go non-toxic, you will be tempted to just chuck a lot of your tried-and-true conventional versions. But hold onto those products for a little while longer. In some cases, as with deodorant, your body may need time to adjust to the non-chemical versions. If you can wean yourself off of sulfate-free shampoos or aluminum anti-persperants, your body will have time to adjust and you will be more likely to stick with the new beauty regimen for the long haul.
- Read reviews online. Perhaps that’s how you found my blog. This can save you a lot of wasted money and time, especially if you find someone who reviews products and has similar features to you. Since I have curly hair, I frequently use the website www.NaturallyCurly.com as a resource for information on products before I drop the big bucks.
- Remember that non-toxic and cruelty-free doesn’t have to be expensive. I made this mistake a lot. I used to think if it cost more, it probably did a better job. But sometimes the “fancy” stuff is really greenwashing (you can read more about “greenwashing” here). In other cases, a less expensive version will do the job just as well. Sometimes you can even find the best beauty solutions right from your kitchen cabinet. Which brings me to…
- Make your own. If a lotion is great but you need more moisture, add some jojoba oil. If you know argan oil is good for your skin, but all the formulas irritate you, buy it in its purest form. Experiment with ingredients from the health food store. It may save you money in the long run and make you feel quite confident and savvy.
- Never give up. We vote with our dollars, and if we are spending our money on products that are good for humans, animals, and the planet, then companies will continue to make products that fit the bill. Even if you have to cave in sometimes and use your toxic products until you find a quality natural product, don’t feel guilty or get discouraged. I fell off the bandwagon many many times, you just have to jump right back on.
I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please contact me at BeautyBotanica(at)gmail(dot)com or follow me on Twitter @BeautyBotanica!