Instead of just scaring the bejeezus out of you when it comes to this crazy cosmetics industry business, we figured we’d give you some actionable steps to start moving toward better beauty products.
Through our research, the evidence is clearly mounting against the cosmetics and personal care industry. And as is the case with food, if we want to be well, we simply have to become our own consumer advocates. We cannot rely on companies or the government to protect us. Unfortunately, their goals are simply not aligned with ours.
And an important note I want to make is articulated beautifully in Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry (talk about a light read):
If there’s enough evidence from the lab and enough evidence from epidemiology that a substance can increase our risk of breast cancer, we have to be able to act on that, as a society, to reduce exposure. You’re never going to have conclusive evidence of the kind that the chemical industries and current government system requires to prove that a chemical is causing breast cancer. It’s not an isolated incident that happens in a vacuum. It just makes a lot more sense to act early on scientific warnings.
And that’s something I touched on in my article about parabens and phthalates. It’s like, look, the evidence is not saying 100% that these chemicals are directly causing health issues but, there’s a ton of evidence to suggest that they are related. So, since there is zero need to be using them in the first place, doesn’t it just make sense to avoid them? If we all start to avoid them, you can be sure that more companies will act to meet our consumer demand, provide safer alternatives, and drive the prices down. Many companies are already doing it.
Whether we like it or not, our consumption of toxins, once we know about them, supports their continued use in our products.
Imagine what would happen if all American women came together and boycotted personal care products with parabens and phthalates alone? IMAGINE?! They’d be making more paraben-free products than we’d know what to do with.
But so as I was just discussing with my college roommate, it can be really overwhelming to try to swap everything at once.
It’s like we find out about all of this, freak out and want to just throw everything out and start over. Which is great, and I think we should. But that can be really expensive. So here are my suggestions, and what I’ve been doing to make the transition to safer products.
Step 1: Take a look at everything you’re using and ask yourself if you really need it in the first place.
Like, do you really need to be using anti-wrinkle night cream? Reallyyyyyyy? Do you honestly think that stuff is going to prevent you from getting wrinkles? You know what prevents you from getting wrinkles? Genetics, probably. And staying out of the sun and living a healthy lifestyle, getting lots of sleep and drinking lots water.
So if there are products in your routine you don’t really need, ditch them.
And for the rest, if you can avoid them for a while until you can afford to replace it, then do so. If not, don’t panic. Studies have shown that after even just a few days of switching to safer products, the levels of toxins plummeted in urine tests.
Step 2: Start with one or two things you use on a daily basis and swap them for something safer.
I started with my face wash and moisturizer. I went from a very pricey anti-acne regiment that included a bleaching agent, and swapped it for Beautycounter’s Routine Cream Cleanser and PM Hydrating Cream, both which I am loving so far. They smell great and feel great and you don’t even feel like you’re lacking any of that chic beauty product vibe. Like I’m not rubbing baking soda all over my face or something. Although, I may start doing that to my hair.
Beautycounter | Routine Clean & PM Hydrating Cream
Bridget is an S.W. Basic’s gal (We’re actually both raging fan-girls of Adina Grigore. She’s a fellow Integrative Nutrition Alumna and founder of S.W. Basics. You should have seen how awkward we were introducing ourselves at her book launch. We’ve since recovered our composure and recently chatted with her about bringing you some fun, safer beauty related stuff, so stay tuned!). And a bonus is that you can find them at Target! See, zero excuses not to start switching over today!
S.W. Basics | Exfoliant, Makeup Remover & Cream
We just want to encourage you to start making your transition to safer beauty products as soon as possible.
In this day and age, when you can scoop Dr. Bronner’s on Amazon for for $18 bucks, cut it with half water, and use it for months, there is zero excuse not to start protecting yourself from harmful ingredients today.
You can do it! Let us know if you have any questions. And if you’d like your own copy of The Never List, pop your email in below and we’ll send it over to you!
Also published on Medium.