If So Many Basic Grooming Products Are Filled With Toxins, What *Can* We Use?
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I made the decision about four years ago to clean up my grooming routine. I’ve had severe allergies and asthma my whole life. Being a makeup artist on set, I quickly realized the effects that the cosmetic powders, sprays, and fragrances had on me. My allergist also warned me that if I was going down this path, I’d better take care.

I read several books on how to live a healthier life and I became aware of the risks associated with many ingredients in my makeup. I learned that cosmetic companies are not regulated by the FDA, so I studied up on healthier alternatives. (Thankfully, with the internet, companies can make the choice to be honest and transparent.) Now I live my life as a LOHAS (Lifestyle Of Health and Sustainability) consumer.

So how do I approach my personal care routine? It begins with purchasing clean products. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

The most important tool you can possess is knowledge of your ingredients!

You can find the no-no list of ingredients here and here. Print these and bring them to the store. If you find one or more of these in your cosmetics, find a healthier alternative. You can also use this list to check your products at home.

Stay away from the majority of drug store products.

Many mainstream cosmetics are filled with petrochemicals and synthetic fragrances. These bad chemicals could potentially be harmful to your reproductive organs, endocrine system, and overall health.

It's estimated that 60 percent of what you put on your body gets into it and then stores itself in your tissues. (Not to mention the environmental damage from the manufacturing of these products!)

Be wary of “greenwashing.”

Because the FDA allows cosmetic companies to regulate themselves, companies that only care about products can use marketing as a persuasive tool to convince you that their product contains natural ingredients, when in fact, it's loaded with petrochemicals and contains the most minimal and ineffective amount of that good ingredients you want.

Companies that care about people, the planet, and profits will have their philosophy and purpose statement on their website. If you agree with their vision and if they're honest about their product’s ingredients, more than likely you can support their business.

Shop at your local health food store to start if you don’t have time to do a lot of research.

They have great alternative options for the whole family. Once you’ve bought your healthier alternatives, it’s time to throw away your old chemical-filled cosmetics and recycle any packaging you can.

My Basic Grooming Routine

1. For shampoo, I use EveryDay Coconut fairtrade, and my conditioner is Desert Essence.

2. My favorite body washes and lotions are from 100% Pure.

3. My favorite deodorant is from Real Purity. It’s the only real natural deodorant out there that works for me and my husband. (And we’ve tried several.)

4. I wash my face in the morning with an all-natural oatmeal bar soap. My mom hand makes them for me.

5. I tone with organic rose water I buy at Whole Foods Market.

6. I moisturize with Derma e Vitamin A Cream, and I apply a health food store sunscreen with SPF 30.

7. I brush my teeth with my favorite toothpaste, Nature’s Gate Whitening Gel, and use a toothbrush made of recycled yogurt cups.

8. I apply my eco makeup in this order: Foundation, concealer, powder, mascara, eyebrow filler, blush, and lipgloss.

9. In the evening, I wash, tone, and moisturize my face before going to bed, and I use Zweena Argan Oil as a nightly serum.

10. When it’s time to shave the gams, I use my Merkur safety razor with Kiss My Face shaving cream. It’s eco, effective, and awesome!

Here are some brands I like that make healthier alternatives for your non-toxic grooming routine:
Clean Makeup Lines

Skincare Lines

Photo Credit: Eco. Organic. Cruelty-Free Makeup by Megan Porschen

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About the Author

Megan is an eco, organic, cruelty-free Makeup Artist and Esthetician based in Los Angeles. She is one of the first pioneers in eco makeup artistry. As part of the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics and Women's Voices for the Earth she can help ensure the health of her clients and the environment. Megan came upon a major change in her lifestyle because of her allergies and asthma. She quickly realized through her love for nature and beauty that she could be a voice for change in a world that is overflowing with toxic chemicals. Megan’s work has been featured in magazines and publications around the world, and focuses on her philosophy to be a beauty who loves nature. Visit her website for more info at meganporschen.com