November 10, 2016
It may be a universal woman’s truth: your beauty cabinet is a sacred and highly curated collection of items. These products were carefully selected, sought after, recommended, passed down, read about and saved up for.
The bottles, tubes and jars all represent a decision that you made to fill a particular need, want or desire.
Whether you purchased them to straighten, brighten, tighten, or even selected them for that much-needed boost of confidence, it doesn’t matter. Regardless of shape, size or end-use, we chose these products to make us feel GOOD.
But during this long-term collecting of products that make us feel GOOD, there is a major piece of information that many women didn’t take into account. That many women were not even aware of whatsoever. (This includes us too!)
And once privy to it, it doesn’t exactly elicit those GOOD feelings.
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 hundreds of these harmful ingredients, the U.S. has only banned eleven. Eleven! (What?!)
This means that many of our beloved and highly coveted products are actually flooded with chemicals, toxins and, unfortunately, long-term health consequences.
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.
So, let’s share the actual GOOD news now. With this awakening and wave of awareness of what’s in our beauty products, come makers, artists, healers and chemists forging the natural skincare path and creating effective, luxurious and fabulous products for us to actually HEAL and support our body versus harm it.
This may not be a wake up call to you. You may very well know that your fav shampoo 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. You can even envision how proud and glowing you’d feel – inside and out!
But, where do you even start in making this kind of change?
How do you start chiseling away at the beauty arsenal 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!?
Natural toothpaste that keeps your teeth white?! Vegan foundation that doesn’t slip off by your 2nd meeting?! And what about plant-based deodorant that really works, even on the most stressful of days?!
Yep. We know this all sounds V overwhelming…
But, wouldn’t it be amazing to open your bathroom cabinet each morning only to see and use products that lean on nature to give you the skin of your dreams, that help you to reclaim your energy, fuel your overall wellness, and that make you feel beautiful, strong and empowered?
As always, we at Good Life have your back. Because, we get it.
I (Good Life Founder & Clean Beauty Boss) was there.
In my early twenties as I began a new chapter of life in San Francisco, my overall health plummeted with no warning signs or obvious reasons why. My energy crashed, my digestive system weakened and I tirelessly attempted to keep up with my fast-paced Fashion Merchandising job and pushed myself to maintain a busy, big-city social life.
Through researching I became aware that swapping out my toxic personal care products could quite possibly make a difference in how I felt, but it was definitely not something I had the time or energy for.
But, as I began to take matters into my own hands and prioritize my health, I discovered the short-cuts and tricks to fit healthy living into my fast-paced life, including simple strategies to finally begin swapping out for clean products.
And as I slowly removed the toxins from my daily regimen, an indescribable transformation in my health and overall well-being began.
Whether you’re craving improved energy, clearer skin or simply pride in the products you use on the daily, the benefits of clean beauty are vast and massive.
And we want you to know that it is possible to start swapping out, without feeling like you picked up and turned your entire beauty cabinet on its head.
So, we’ve created a 5-step guide to start swapping out for clean beauty. Ditch the overwhelm. We’re keeping it real simple here.
5 SIMPLE STEPS: HOW TO START SWAPPING OUT FOR CLEAN BEAUTY
1. ONE: Eliminate unnecessary products
We see you, tupperware containers full of beauty products. We all have that stash. That secret arsenal of products we almost forgot we had, but, of course, (gasp!) we could never get rid of.
I’d like to share my very own Exhibit A: that aggressively blue eyeliner I wore to my ex-boyfriends favorite football team’s game 4 years ago. Keep the arsenic and aluminum-based liner in case the Chargers make a comeback? Or toss it, feel great about lightening your load and mindfully replace it with an organic jojoba oil based liner that moisturizes and conditions (and maybe in a color you’ll rock just a bit more often…)
Another great example is bubble bath, (especially for the kids). Bubble bath is chalk full of unwanted chemicals and if you ask us, we’d rather know we are healing the body rather harming it when actually making the time to unwind in the tub!
These unnecessary and chemically-infused products are not only taking up coveted #shelfie space in your bathroom, but weighing down the possibility of going clean. If you haven’t used it in the last 4 weeks, let it go girl, let it go.
2. Start with high exposure, frequently used products:
Those products that get your love and attention every day. You know, the face wash you use twice a day, the bar of soap perched by the sink and the lip balm that has a permanent seat in your everyday bag.
Go with me here. You use this lip balm, maybe, 4 times a day. And you’ve used this particular lip balm for 3 years straight (it’s a known quantity and you totally dig it!) Well, you’ve just racked up 4,380 opportunities to come into contact with hormone disrupting parabens, chemically infused fragrances and artificial colors. Remember, this exposure adds up!
Think about those few products that are literally glued to the ends of your fingertips. This is a great place to start because it can yield a massive decrease in chemicals going onto your body, lessening the chemicals absorbed into your body! Win!
3. Begin with swapping what you are running out of first.
It’s so natural for us to remain within our comfort zone (both in our beauty products and in our lives, amirite?!) And it’s instinctive to immediately replace what’s running low. But before you head to the store to refill with your familiar tampon brand and everyday nail polish, stop and listen. Because this could be your big break!
Rather than out with the old and in with the old (snooze-ville!), we suggest finding space and confidence to make a swap for a cleaner brand this time around!
This is the strategy that allowed me to start slow and also allowed me to remove any guilt associated with being wasteful or prematurely throwing things away.
Like a giddy schoolgirl, I’d watch my tube of toothpaste become flatter and more lifeless with each AM and PM brush. And when it finally died, (RIP toxic name brand I won’t name), I rushed out to replace it with a paste that was completely free from dyes, pesticides and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (the main ingredient in both toothpaste and rat poison).
Without wasting products or money this is a surefire way to make the swap.
4. Focus on products that are oftentimes ingested
So, we’ve reviewed the fact that we absorb more than 60% of what we place on our skin, but an even more direct pathway to our bod is our mouth!
Take a look in your beauty bag and decipher which ones may end up being ingested. We are talking about anything you put on your lips (gotta love drinking your lipstick off your morning coffee cup), as well as anything you place on your hands, like hand cream or nail polish! (Full disclosure: I may or may not bite my nails during a crazy episode of Stranger Things…)
These are products that are, more often than not, making their way into our bodies far more frequently than we’d like to believe. We know you didn’t mean to order your coffee with a side of lead (commonly found in both drugstore and department store lipsticks)!
Place these particular items under a magnifying glass and consider swapping these babies out for ingredients you might commonly like to see on your plate like avocado oil, coconut and aloe! Now, that sits so much better with us!
5. Let your nose be the guide.
It’s like attempting to switch to margarine after consistently using real butter. (Eh, we don’t recommend testing this, btw.) But after we do a certain, perhaps not-so-great, thing for an extended period of time, our body chemistry quickly changes and evolves to re-stabilize itself when the habit is broken or changed. Our bodies are pretty incredible!
The same thing happens when swapping a few of our personal care items out for natural products. Our sensory perception and chemicals related to our sense of smell are altered and our nose actually re-adjusts to the smells of natural ingredients vs. synthetic.
A little while after I made some swaps for all-natural, I decided to revisit a deliciously “floral scented” body lotion given to me as a birthday gift. But, to my surprise, that “gardenia rose” aroma that once gave me serenity now smelled much less appealing after my lack of exposure to synthetically fragranced products! It smelled fake, harsh and like something I didn’t necessarily want on my body, let alone seeping into my skin!
Ok, forget the margarine example. We do recommend giving this one a whirl: after swapping out one or two products, keep an oldie to compare. It may not seem as luxurious as it did before. Then, use your nose to scope out the rest of your beauty stash. You’ll quickly learn what makes you smile vs. what makes your nose crinkle.
These are the slow, steady and SIMPLE steps that got me shifting into clean beauty and personal care items, as well as the steps that changed my life. Once I began to investigate a few items, I couldn’t believe what I found in the rest of my beauty arsenal. I couldn’t believe what I had been feeding my skin, and ultimately, feeding my body.
We’re super confident that these steps will get you going in the right direction, without a doubt! But, you may be ready to act fast. Or you may want to truly ensure you’re removing these harmful chemicals from your shelves, protecting both you and your loved ones. In this case, you’ll need to equip yourself with a bit more information. You’ll need a game plan.
That’s why we’ve created our COMPLETE BATHROOM GUIDE TO SWAPPING OUT FOR CLEAN BEAUTY with our ready-to-go checklist to help you navigate through those ingredient labels in your collection (yeah, those labels that look like a foreign novel). From your shower to your makeup bag, we’ve broken it down and armed you with the exact ingredients to avoid and ingredients to indulge in across each area of your bathroom.
It’s the next best thing to us being right there to guide you through the process of replacing these harmful ingredients with healing, purifying and nourishing products that make you feel like a wellness boss. Like you’re covered from all angles. And like your beauty can really radiate from the inside/out and outside/in!
You can click on the image below to download our Swapping Out for Clean Bathroom Checklist right now!
If you loved this blog post, we think your friends might too! Click the “share” button and drop us your biggest takeaways from this post in the comments below!