When you have your set routine of products you enjoy using, it can be hard to transition away from your beloved products that may not be deemed as clean. But if you are determined to transition into a more non-toxic lifestyle, your beauty and skincare products may be the easy entry you are looking for.
So why transition to cleaner products? The skin is the largest organ with a total area of approximately 20 square feet. Since your skin is porous, it absorbs everything that you put on it.
What you put on your skin, goes into your body.
Here are a few steps you can take to slowly making the transition to a cleaner lifestyle.
Know which ingredients to avoid
The beauty industry is still highly unregulated in the United States with many ingredients getting the “ok” despite other countries banning key ingredients. For example, the European Union has 1,300 ingredients banned; whereas in the U.S. only 11 ingredients are banned. According to the Environmental Working Group, this is because the EU takes a much more precautionary approach, so if an ingredient is presumed to be hazardous they will restrict its use in products.
While it may be difficult to cross check every ingredient, the EWG has a Skin Deep guide which checks many personal care products and rates them based off of their customized rating based on cancer, toxicity, allergies and other restrictions.
A few of the key ingredients to avoid are:
- Formaldehyde: It is a known carcinogen that is fairly common in hair straightening products and nail polish.
- Synthetic fragrances: Fragrance is an umbrella term where companies are not required to disclose its contents. This can therefore consist of hundreds of chemicals without you knowing.
- Phtalates: These have been shown to be endocrine disruptors – which can even cause early puberty.
- Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): These are skin irritants that can be used as a thickening agent in cream-based products
- Oxybenzone: This is a well known endocrine disruptor common within sunscreen. It is even banned in the whole state of Hawaii in order to protect marine life. If it’s not good for marine life it’s not good for you!
Luckily there are non-toxic stores such as The Detox Market and Credo Beauty that specialize in only carrying clean products.
Start with your most used products
Your most used products may be the hardest to transition since you use them so often but that also means these are the ones that make the most impact. For example, start with your cleanser or sunscreen for skincare.
Finish what you started
It may be tempting to start tossing all of your non-clean products and start completely fresh but little by little is the best approach. This way you can also notice any skin changes with the new products you begin to incorporate into your routine.