Why you should care?Using natural, organic, and cruelty-free products for your body can help your health, climate, rainforests and wildlife.
by Kate Houser
Perhaps you’re spending your quarantine period fully embracing an organic and natural makeup free lifestyle. Or, maybe you’re spending hours watching natural makeup video tutorials to pass the time (guilty!). Either way, you know you’ll be buying new makeup again at some point. Whether you’re someone who’s been keeping to a routine and still showering every day (teach us your ways!) or you’re choosing to save water for the weekly trip to the grocery market, it’s super easy to make impactful shopping choices with your makeup and body products.
We’ve outlined some of our favorite tips on how you can be more mindful when looking for organic, natural, and cruelty-free beauty, makeup and body products. From the ingredients sourced, to the product’s manufacturing, and the product’s packaging, your purchase of these purpose-driven, socially conscious brands ends up giving back to our communities. It’s extremely important to be conscious about the products you put directly on your skin, face, hands, and feet. I mean if you read about some of these chemical ingredients and their long-term toxicity side effects, you would think twice about putting it on your face. I mean, our face is the only part most of the world gets to see right now (thank you Zoom, Facetime, and other video apps)!
Challenge yourself this week and go into your bathroom, shower or makeup drawer and pick up one of your most used items. If you see any ingredients such as artificial fragrances, formaldehyde, aluminum, sodium lauryl sulfate, toluene, PFOA, triclosan or anything with the word “paraben” in it such as methylparaben (which breastcancer.org reported could be a potential link to causing breast cancer), toss it. Really, toss it. These are harmful chemicals that won’t be found in any product that is truly “natural” or “non-toxic”. Cheap, fast-producing chemical-based ingredients are a way to add fillers to makeup and body products. The long-term, chronic application can lead to skin conditions and pollution of our environment. I mean, they gotta go somewhere after we wash it off from our face.
According to Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group, some 40 countries in the EU have banned over 1,400 chemicals from cosmetics that are known or suspected to cause cancer, genetic mutation, reproductive harm or birth defects. The U.S. FDA in comparison has only banned or restricted 9-11 chemicals from cosmetics. The United States has a ways to go to protect consumers from these ingredients. We need to do our part in making sure we’re reading the labels of our beauty products and keeping those chemicals out of our bathrooms. Luckily, there are plenty of amazing brands using safe and healthy ingredients. And we’ve highlighted them so you can stay safe and look fab!
Lastly, stay away from products who use palm oil. The production of palm oil is harmful to our environment because it causes extreme deforestation (destruction of trees) which then causes carbon dioxide release into our atmosphere. The Rainforest Rescue Org reported, “Oil palm plantations currently cover more than 27 million hectares of the Earth’s surface. Forests and human settlements have been destroyed and replaced by “green deserts” containing virtually no biodiversity in an area the size of New Zealand.” They also found that palm oil plantations can negatively impact many of our world’s beloved wildlife, including pushing already “Endangered species such as the orangutan, Borneo elephant and Sumatran tiger” closer to extinction. As consumers, we can choose to purchase from brands who do not support the use of palm oil in their products. We can make a statement and work together with brands to lessen the consumer demand for this extremely harmful biofuel.
This one feels like it should be a given, but the reality is that animal testing still exists. Look for products with labels that say “Cruelty-Free” on the front of the package. If you don’t see it, email the brand and ask if they support animal testing. The more we hold brands accountable for this sort of treatment, the more we will control it’s fate. Animals don’t belong in cages with harmful chemicals being used on their skin and eyes with little to no food or sunlight. Make an effort not to support brands who allow this sort of treatment to occur and keep the art of making products beautiful.
Think about how many plastic bottles of shampoo you go through in a year and multiply it by your age. That number might shock you. For example, I probably use a bottle of shampoo every other month, aka six bottles a year. Multiply that by my age of 30 (I know you’re shocked I’m a day over 23. That is SO nice of you to say, thank you, must be all of that clean skincare I’ve been doing!)…and that’s 180 plastic bottles of shampoo and I’m not even done livin’ yet. If your number scares me as much as mine did, try switching out your shampoo bottle for a shampoo bar! They’re super effective, easy to travel with and we’ve highlighted a few brands below who offer them so you can have a quick and easy start to your clean, zero waste beauty routine!
Now, let’s quickly talk about waste with cosmetic products, shall we? Think of how many tubes of mascara you go through (especially in the times of the year when “The Bachelor” or “This is Us” are airing). Did you know there are beauty brands who offer refillable cosmetic products!? You can order fresh products to refill your containers from these fab beauty brands moving forward. What a fun concept! If your favorite brand doesn’t offer that yet, look for one with a recycling program. Some beauty brands will award points or discounts for sending in empty eye shadow pallets or lip sticks; this way, they can re-use the materials in the containers for future products.
Our favorite tip of all! Below are our top picks for beauty or body products. Shop with impact, shop with purpose and feel even more beautiful, healthy and clean with these awesome brands!
For even more tips, check out our Beauty This for That Guide!
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