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Cancer. Yes, I know I got straight to the point on this one, but it’s that serious. This post is not in an effort to scare you, or shit, maybe it is, but I want to bring to light something really important.
There was a time when I was younger where cancer was one of those things you heard about someone else having. Someone who knew someone that you knew maybe, or even further removed. Cancer was an “older person thing” and as long as you didn’t smoke or just get incredibly unlucky, you wouldn’t get it. Right?
As more chemicals were added to our food, water supply, cosmetics and everyday toiletries; cancer became somewhat common. Now suddenly it’s someone you know. It’s no longer a friend of someone’s grandma– it’s your friend. Your sister. Your mother. And in the most horrible cases– your child.
A few years ago when I got into fitness, I started to care less about being skinny and started to care more about being strong. Then I started to care about being healthy. I started to care about the longevity of my life and my husband’s life. I started to care about being 86 years old and still having an active body and an active mind. And then, I started to realize that health wasn’t just about not carrying around excess body fat or what I put into my body, it was also about what I put onto my body.
Did you know in Europe there are more than 1300 ingredients banned from cosmetics and in the United States there are only 11? ELEVEN. Freaking E-LEV-EN.
Luckily, this path I was on aligned with a fellow blogger, gone green beauty enthusiast: The Organic Bunny. I began to pay more attention to her posts. I started to feel guilty for pouring toxic chemicals on my body day in and day out and started to really give a shit about what all this meant. So, I began to swap out my products for cleaner options. I tossed all my MAC and other toxic as fuck makeup and even recently bought an incredible water filter to reduce plastic waste. I’m now proud to say with the exception of deodorant (I have tried SO many and it chafed), my blondness and the occasional pedicure– my toiletries are now completely organic. So no. I’m not perfect. I have made allowances but I have significantly reduced the toxins I voluntarily bring into my life.
I use cruelty free or vegan products– that’s the same thing right?
Nope. While organic beauty is cruelty free, cruelty free does not mean organic. Cruelty free products are not tested on animals (yay) but can still contain harmful chemicals that you can absorb through your skin, or even ingest like the plastic in some of Tarte’s lipsticks. Vegan products don’t contain actual animals which is cool (like some products have animal fat in them for example and can actually go rancid. Gross right?) but still not organic.
There are a lot of buzzwords flying around in an attempt to “greenwash” products when in reality they are just as toxic as the ones not making any claims.
Why are non-toxic beauty products so expensive?
In a nutshell because they aren’t made with crappy, cheap ingredients. Though there are a number of affordable options out there that you can even purchase at Target.
How do I know what’s safe to use?
Educate yourself. Apps like Think Dirty and websites like EWG’s Skin Deep database are awesome places to start. There are also a number of awesome green beauty bloggers out there doing the research for you, recommending their favorite products and working with brands. Bloggers are great resources, but at the end of the day you should hold yourself responsible to learn and do your own research.
How do I start?
If you are reading the above with horror and suddenly have the urge to dump all your products in the trash, have no fear. Starting may seem overwhelming especially because there are SO many products we all use on a regular basis, but you can start small and work your way to completely clean (or whatever level of clean YOU feel the best about). I personally started with skincare, because I didn’t have a real skincare routine at the time. Start by replacing the stuff you use the most. That hand cream in your car, your toothpaste, the lipgloss in your purse, body wash etc. Start with those and start filling in the pieces. It’s actually kind of fun to search for (and find) replacements for your favorite lipsticks, eyeshadows and foundation.
Where to Shop & My Personal Faves
The Organic Bunny Box – You will absolutely not regret subscribing to this box. You get 6-8 full size products every month which is such an awesome way to try and find what you like. Not to mention, you can start plugging most of the holes in your arsenal.
Foundation -I absolutely love 100% Pure’s BB Cream. I use Level 30 in Radiance.
Contour/Highlighter – Lily Lolo.
Blush – Fit Glow.
Eyeshadow – Au Naturale, Jane Iredale pigments.
Brows – ecobrow
Skincare – 100% Pure Coffee Bean Eye Cream and Vitamin A & Coq10 Wrinkle Smoothing Night Cream, Acure Brightening Facial Scrub (also available at Target), Aleavia Facial Cleanse, Kaia Naturals Facial Cleansing Cloths, Tasty Face Vanilla Mint Moisturizer.