beauty education

I made bug repellent

Over the past year I have been slowly making the transition towards making my own beauty and skin care products. Often times it’s more economical, but more important than that, I am assured that what we’re putting on our bodies is free of toxins. What I’ve found, is that it’s incredibly easy, empowering and very fun. I even view it as a creative outlet and it gives me great satisfaction to be able to start and finish a project so quickly.

I’ve compiled a list of helpful resources to learn about the hows and whys about making the switch. My hope is that this information will empower you to make more informed choices when selecting products or inspire you to make your own. It can be difficult to digest new information all at once; instead of feeling overwhelmed or too paralyzed to change, please remember this blog is about making baby steps. The next time you finish that bottle of shampoo or body wash or even mascara, contemplate trying a non-toxic product or easily make your own!

  • Watch this video. It’s quick, fun and sheds light on the cosmetics industry. It’s so difficult to ignore ads that promise beauty, though the vast majority of those products are harmful to you. The good news, is that you CAN purchase and make products that fulfill your needs without harming yourself in the process. It just takes a bit of due diligence on your part to weed through the lemons.
  • READ LABELS! This is THE article to read. It is wildly educational, very thorough and denotes terms to look out for and how to choose safe products. Remember that virtually nothing is regulated by the FDA, so terms such as: all-natural, earth-friendly, non-toxic, organic and vegan may not be. It does occasionally mention a few brands, which is helpful, but annoying as well. Before blindly purchasing, check the database:
  • Environmental Working Group’s skincare database, Skin Deep, rates products on their toxicity level. Pick a couple of the products that you use and educate yourself about what you’re putting on and ultimately IN your body! Find products that rate low and make the switch.
  • This is a phenomenal article which sheds light on FDA regulations, or complete lack thereof…don’t forget to click on the link to endorse your concerns. Here’s an excerpt:

“…the FDA has taken no regulatory action whatsoever over the last six decades to protect the public from unknowing exposures to a wide range of toxic ingredients in cosmetic and personal care products. These include allergens, hormones, carcinogens and their precursors.”

  • By now you’ve probably heard that parabens are bad. Here’s an article that easily explains them and how parabens = formaldehyde (which the FDA acknowledges causes cancer).
  • The FDA does not require companies to list what ingredients are included in the term “fragrance.” And fragrances are really just chemicals. Additionally, companies often hide more widely known toxic chemicals in the term fragrance.
  • Oh sunscreen, how we need thee, and how misleading most brands are. The EWG put out a fantastic sunscreen guide that navigates this market’s choppy waters. Take the guesswork out of choosing what’s safe!

Another reason to make the switch is that chemicals pollute our water, damage our eco-system and create tons of waste. Recycling or re-purposing packaging is the responsible choice. Even bottle caps and lids can be recycled! Or buy your products in bigger containers or even in bulk!

What small change will you commit to? And while I just presented you with a slew of information, I’m relatively new to this as well. I’d love to hear your tips and additional resources!

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