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If you make a conscious effort to be well and educate yourself on healthy living, you've probably come across articles and videos explaining that some of your beloved beauty products are actually toxic. That can be a hard pill to swallow – yes, even that green tube of mascara that you trust to make your lashes miles long can actually be harming you. It’s hard to believe, I know. An infographic of the potential toxins in my system really got me thinking, and I realized it was time to revamp my routine.
I won't sugarcoat it — it’s been a tough battle putting down my donuts at breakfast and opting for a green drink or smoothie, not to mention my french fries for a side of kale salad instead, but the benefits have definitely been worth it and totally outweigh the taste of my past comfort foods.
But that’s not where it ends. It doesn't help to detoxify your diet alone when you’re slathering chemicals all over your face and body. It may seem overwhelming to overhaul your cabinets and drawers full of products all at once, but there's no need to. Small and steady steps in the right direction are better than taking no action at all. Cleaning up your beauty ritual should be your next step towards a well-balanced, complete, and holistic lifestyle.
Here are five quick and easy ways to get started now!
1. Swap your cotton pillowcase for a silk pillowcase.
Silk pillowcases help to reduce, protect, and prevent the onset of wrinkles on your face and neck area. Cotton, no matter how high the thread count, is very rough on the skin because it leaches moisture out. Sleeping on silk gives your hair a beautiful naturally silky feel without the use of chemicals. With traditional pillow cases, our head is exposed to friction that is caused by the cotton fabric. While we're sleeping, friction creates static, which can cause the hair to lose moisture and may even damage hair follicles. Silk can also help certain skin conditions and allergies, as well as asthma and eczema.
2. Change your moisturizer to something more natural.
If the last time you checked the ingredients on your moisturizer was... never, then let me refresh your memory. A standard moisturizer can contain over 20 unnatural ingredients: methosulfate, ceterareth-20, hyaluronic acid. Do I have a clue what any of that is? Absolutely not — but a good rule of thumb with products is if you can’t pronounce, spell, or recognize the ingredients, then throw it out! Instead try using 100% pure raw cold pressed organic coconut oil or 100% pure jojoba oil, which is rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that’s great for the skin.
3. Toss your toothpaste and try homemade toothpaste.
The list of ingredients in your toothpaste isn't any brighter. One of the worst ingredients to watch out for is propylene glycol, a solvent that's the active component in some antifreezes, and is used in toothpastes and mouthwash. Also check for sodium fluoride a by-product of aluminum manufacturing that can also be found in rat poisons and industrial pesticides. Even the so-called healthy toothpastes on the shelves aren't really as all natural as they claim. But don’t worry; making your own is actually pretty easy. Combine 2/3 cup baking soda, 4 tsp fine sea salt, and 1-2 tsp of pure peppermint extract.
4. Ditch your deodorant make your own.
Another super-easy, nontoxic do-it-yourself recipe is homemade deodorant. After I read studies that suggested the high aluminum content could potentially be linked to breast cancer as well as Alzheimer’s disease, I didn't hesitate. I immediately trashed my deodorant and set out to make my own!
This is the recipe I used, and I can personally vouch for the fact that it stands the heat of Miami Beach, where I live, and holds up just as well in any yoga class. Combine 6-8 tbsp. coconut oil (solid state), ¼ cup baking soda, and ¼ cup Arrowroot Powder. The coconut oil has wonderful antibacterial qualities, and it doubles as a nourishing moisturizer. I store mine in a glass jar. The only awkward part is the application; I find it easiest to swipe on with my fingers.
5. Switch your favorite perfume with essential oils.
Many of the chemicals in perfume are the same chemicals in cigarette smoke, yet there's no regulation of the fragrance industry. While the ingredients are kept under wraps (my old favorite, Prada Infusion D’Iris, doesn't even label the ingredients) ,it’s because of a loophole in the FDA, originally created so that people couldn't copycat the most coveted designer scents.
Now, I recreate the advertised clean floral citrus mandarin scent with a combination of essential oils. It can be really enjoyable to create your own signature scent that no one else can copy! I get compliments all the time and feel so much more at ease.
I hope these fast fixes inspire you to spring clean your beauty routine! Some may seem more dramatic than others but give them a try and see what works best for you. If you have any tips or suggestions, let me know!