Where do I start? is the most common question everyone asks when making the switch from not-so-green beauty products to all natural alternatives.
Throwing away even your most trusted lotions, soaps, and oils you swore by for years can be frightening and certainly even a little pricey if you are replacing more than just a few. It is completely understandable, and to make the breakup a little easier, today we are not only sharing with you the top reasons why you should make the switch, but also the five most important products to ditch first.
Why go toxin-less?
Skincare products are one of the major sources of toxins for many people. Most drugstore and brand-name products are packed with chemicals and artificial ingredients that may feel like a temporary positive impact on your skin, but in reality they are leaving you with negative side effects that can be carried out long term.
Your skin is the largest organ and our greatest indicator of health or imbalance. When you think about exposure to toxic chemicals in terms of just how much of your skin you are covering daily with these products, it is only logical to start the swap with the skincare basics you use everyday. And even more so, the ones you definitely want to swap, or even get rid of completely, are products that contain one or more of the The Dirty Dozen ingredients.
The result you get just from swapping out these 5 toxic staples will be way more profound and lasting, you won’t ever want them back.
The 5 key products you need to ditch for a clean skincare regimen, NOW:
1. Chemical Sunscreens
Why: According to Skin Deep Sunscreen Guide, a resource from the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) researchers, “manufacturers are still producing sunscreens that don’t provide adequate protection from UVA and UVB rays and also contain hazardous ingredients.” The active ingredients in sunscreens come in two forms to protect the skin against sunlight, mineral and chemical filters. The most common sunscreens on the market contain chemical filters usually made up of two to six toxic ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. These are the ingredients you want to stay away from when choosing a sunscreen.
Go for the ones made with mineral filters such as zinc oxide and / or titanium dioxide.
2. Facial Exfoliants made from polyethylene
Why: Polyethylene beads are the common exfoliating ingredient found in popular products from big brands like Olay and Neutrogena. They are made from polymers of ethylene oxide- the same stuff used to make plastic grocery bags. Because they are perfectly spherical, the beads are supposed to create a bit of friction as they roll over your face. However, once these tiny beads roll down your drain they wind up in rivers and seas, making them on ecologist’s Most Wanted list of environmental pollutants right now.
Fortunately there is a polishing bead perfectly shaped and smooth found in nature. Jojoba beads are gentle, botanical-like spheres that are even good for sensitive skin.
3. Harsh Cleansers
Why: There are so many cleansers that contain harsh detergents like sulfates that can actually leave your skin dry without even really nourishing it, let alone cleansing it. And let’s not get started on the foaming action or deep cleansing action that popular drugstore cleansers promote. Nothing foaming should ever touch the delicate skin on your face. Foaming cleansers will dramatically alter skin’s PH, destroy the acid mantle, and create havoc in your skin cells. This also goes for cleansers that have synthetic filler ingredients which can weaken your skin over time and ultimately lead to more or new breakouts.
When choosing a cleanser, look for ones that are gentle, pure, and contain ingredients that do something beneficial for your skin. Try cleansing with an oil like pure coconut oil or jojoba oil or a creme cleanser like the Gentle Rejuvenating Cleanser.
4. Products with Phthalates and Parabens ( and the rest of the dirty dozen ingredients)
Why: This can't be stated enough, up to 60% of what we put on our skin gets absorbed, so the products we put onto our bodies affects our health and overall well being-either good or bad. Did you know there are about 3,000 different ingredients used in fragrances that show up as one word ingredient names “fragrance” or “parfum”. Included in these 3,000 un-named ingredients are phthalates, which have been linked to health issues such as cancer, hormonal disruption, and reproductive problems. Commonly found in skincare basics (cleansers, moisturizers, fragrance oils), these toxic ingredients will actually strip your skin of its natural barrier, leaving it feeling dry, tight, and irritated, also known as sensitized skin.
While in the process of reclaiming the optimal health of your acid mantle (skin barrier), add a hydrating formula to your routine to maintain the ideal equilibrium.
5. Creams and serums using Mineral and Synthetic oil
Why: Many moisturizers and serums use mineral oil, a derivative of petroleum, and one of the Dirty Dozen Ingredients to avoid in skincare. Regularly using synthetic or mineral oils on your skin can aggravate acne, damage skin function and potentially cause premature aging.
When searching for a moisturizer or serum, look for ones made with plant and pure essential oils. These are packed with nutrients, omegas, and antioxidants that will actually nourish your skin. Using serums alone is totally okay too, as they work brilliantly as moisturizers by hydrating, penetrating vitamins, and even fighting free radicals.
*Image credit: IntoTheGloss.com