The scary truth is that most skin care products on the market today contain chemicals that have been linked to some serious health concerns. Over 80,000 chemicals are available for use in the US, yet only a fraction of them have been tested for toxicity.
According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the average American adult is likely to be exposed daily to 126 unique chemical ingredients in personal care products alone.
When most women discover this, they're shocked, but also inspired to educate themselves to make safer choices. But how can you make the transition to green beauty products simply and cost effectively? A lot of people shy away from making changes because they're worried that "going green" will be too expensive, but there are cost-effective, easy ways to do it. Here are four of 'em:
1. Create your own "no" list of ingredients.
To start building your list of ingredients, you definitely don't want in your personal care products, visit EWG’s Skin Deep and David Suzuki’s Dirty Dozen List. They'll help you decide which ingredients are important to avoid. Use this information to create your own standard for your family, just as you would when shopping for food. Maybe you'll decide to only purchase products that use recyclable packaging.
When you follow your own list, you can pick and choose where you want to spend your money on clean products rather than diving in all at once.
2. Start simply.
While some people replace everything all at one, this can be confusing and costly. To make it less overwhelming, start small. As you run out of one product — shampoo for example — shop for your green alternative. If you like it and it does the job, make it your go-to brand.
If you have children, start with their products first. Research tells us that babies’ and children’s bodies are more susceptible to the effects of toxins as their body systems haven't yet fully matured. Continue this way until you have a replacement for all your personal care products.
3. Opt for products that can pull double duty.
Some natural products can have multiple uses beyond what their label says they're for. Take castile soap, for example. This natural multi-tasker can be used for everything from bubble bath, to cleaning counters and washing the dog! It's economical, concentrated and when mixed with water, can go a very long way!
Another perfect example is coconut oil: one jar can be used as a moisturizer, conditioning treatment, antiseptic ... the list goes on! Additionally, natural products tend to contain botanicals and oils that are concentrated, so only a little bit is needed to do the job, which means they last for a while.
4. A small investment now can yield big savings over time.
One of the best things about switching to green beauty products is that most people notice an improvement in their skin and hair. Acne or itchy, inflamed skin might start to clear, or dandruff is alleviated. When this starts to happen, there's an added bonus: even fewer products are needed to deal with the issue at hand. When your skin or hair look good, you don't need to hide it under layers of makeup or product, which adds up to a lot of money saved over time!
And of course, when you switch to green self-care products, you're confident in the fact that your bathroom is no longer filled with products that are dubious when it comes to safety.