If you're reading this, you already know that natural is better. But it's particularly important when it comes to your skin (and hair). Your skin is your largest organ, which means any harmful substances you put on it are immediately absorbed into your body.
The shocking truth is this: Even if you eat organic and use eco-friendly cleaning products, chances are you're probably still ingesting dangerous substances via your skin and hair care products. Artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances and chemical preservatives are just a few of the toxic ingredients found in everyday personal care products.
Over the years, numerous studies have come out, underscoring the dangerous effects of these endocrine-disruptors. Even more shocking than the negative impact of these ingredients is that our government has done little to nothing to regulate the cosmetics industry. In fact, regulations in Canada and the European Union are much more strict than those in the United States. Our neighbors to the north prohibit a number of contaminants — notably formaldehyde, triclosan, and 1,4-dioxane — all of which the FDA allows. This means that the onus is on you, as a consumer, to read labels and educate yourself. If you're looking for a great place to start, check out EWG's Skin Deep Database.
Now for some much-needed good news: The beauty industry is starting to go green. OK, so it's not going to happen overnight (or all at once), but progress is apparent. The number of natural beauty options is expanding exponentially, and brands are coming out with safer formulas that are just as luxurious and effective as conventional products. Retailers like Credo Beauty, Shen Beauty, and Cap Beauty are making natural, organic, and nontoxic options more accessible than ever before. And mass retailers like Target are getting in on the movement — stocking their shelves with natural beauty brands, like Acure Organics and Shea Moisture.
It's time to ditch those dirty offenders in favor of cleaner alternatives. Below are some of our favorite green beauty staples that you can seamlessly swap in place of your not-so-natural formulas.