How to Transition to Natural Beauty Products
My transition to natural beauty products all started while living in Costa Rica for 6-months. The women and men of Costa Rica fearlessly rocked their natural curls and I was inspired to quit my chemical relaxer addiction by their beautiful hair! My newfound passion for curly hair lead me to discover that not only did chemical relaxers contain hundreds of harmful toxins, but that most conventionally sold beauty products also contained extremely harmful ingredients. I knew it was time to find a healthier way to nourish my skin and hair.
My obsession with all things natural beauty spread like wildfire and I was hooked. It fed my craving to learn and challenged me to do what was best for my body and the environment. Being from the Caribbean, I was no stranger to homemade products. My great-grandmother in Puerto Rico is known for slathering her homemade coconut oil from her hair to her toes, which inspired me to do the same. I began crafting skin-care products as an experiment.
My first batches of lotion and lip balm were admittedly a disaster, but once I figured it out I never looked back. My products would hydrate my skin and even healed my eczema when prescription medication couldn't. This isn't to say that the only way to go natural is creating your own skin-care line but to show that transitioning to natural beauty products is possible with a little effort.
As Dr. Maya Angelou would say, "when you know better, you do better" and I sure as hell did! I slowly began to avoid harmful ingredients in the beauty products I couldn't make myself. If you think it was easy, it wasn't always and even to this day I struggle to let go of certain products especially when conventionally sold beauty products can be cheaper and readily accessible. Transitioning to natural beauty products is a commitment to my health.
Our skin absorbs anywhere from 60%-100% of everything we apply to it, and harmful beauty products are loaded with ingredients that are more likely to cause preventable diseases. Below are 5 ingredients to avoid to transition to natural beauty products.
- Fragrances are tough to give up but you see “fragrance/perfume/parfum” on your product label, and it's doesn't specify that it's created with essential oils, put that product down! Why? Because the word fragrance shouts UNREGULATED and in the worse ways. It can mean that thousands of ingredients can be used to create your favorite fragrance. Fragrances are known to be toxic to our reproductive system, are carcinogenic and are also endocrine disruptors.
- Heavy metals such as Lead, Mercury, and others are known neurotoxins linked with learning disabilities. Additionally, they're toxins that disrupt hormones, reduce fertility and are also carcinogens.
- Parabens are also endocrine disruptors in about 75-90% of all skin-care and beauty products. It's no secret that they cause skin cancer and can contribute to reproductive toxicity. Ladies, we're not the only ones susceptible to parabens. Warn your husbands, boyfriends and other male family members that parabens also decrease sperm production and testosterone levels in men.
- Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) is found in many products and can be an extremely potent skin irritant and hormone disruptor contaminated with potent carcinogens such as 1,4-Dioxane and Nitrosamines.
- Mineral Oils is a fancy way of saying petroleum which is a known carcinogen linked to causing a variety of cancers and can be found in everything from lip balm to baby lotion.
My transition to natural beauty products certainly hasn't happened overnight. I've been on this journey for 6-years and I couldn't imagine trying to do so without some time to prepare mentally and emotionally. Studies show that women over the age of 25 begin to solidify the brands they will stay loyal to for the rest of their lives so I know that transitioning to natural beauty products might seem a bit overwhelming but you're not alone! I don't expect you to give up products immediately. The truth is you probably love them and have already made a monetary investment and can't simply throw them in the trash.
- Begin transitioning to natural beauty products with products you're about to run out of like shampoo or conditioner.
- Some of the easiest swaps for me to make were with my cosmetics. There are tons of natural brands that cater to all makeup lovers. Simply read the label and test a few of them out!
- Don't shy away from D.I.Y. skin-care products! It might seem intimidating at first but with an easy tutorial, you can make your own skin-care products as well. Here's a simple video tutorial and the recipe for my favorite Whipped Body Butter!
- There are amazing apps that you can download right on your phone like Think Dirty that make transitioning to natural beauty products a breeze.
You didn't think I'd leave you hanging, did you? Below are a few of my favorite organic and natural beauty products!
BRANDS I LOVE:
Fun fact, many of these brands are small businesses owned by women!
Transitioning to natural beauty products can seem daunting but it doesn't have to be! I've had so much fun over the years discovering the natural beauty and skin-care brands created with my health in mind. And remember, you don't have to do it all in one day. Start by switching one product at a time and you will be hooked! I wish you the best of luck transitioning to natural beauty products. Have you tried natural beauty products? Which are your favorites and why? Tell me in the comments below.
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