Spending our hard earned money on new facial and body products is scary, right? Are they going to work? What about natural and organic brands? Eek! Even scarier. How are we supposed to know if we can trust natural beauty brands when they don’t employ celebrities for endorsements or have expensive studies proving their efficacy?
Natural products have long had a bad reputation for being more expensive or less effective than their chemical-laden counterparts. This relic line of thinking doesn't hold up to all the amazing natural brands on the market now. Gone are the days when you could only find organic beauty products in the back corner of your local co-op. Conscious consumers now have natural alternative at every price point that are just as effective!
I made the switch last year from a traditional Western bath, body, and skincare regiment - you know the one with toxic chemicals, preservatives, and fragrances galore - to an all natural, chemical-free routine. So what happened?
I’ve never felt better. I’m spendinglessmoney. My skin looks and feels great. As if that weren't reason enough, here are 3 more important reasons why natural skincare is better:
The average woman comes in contact with 515 synthetic chemicals a day. Yuck. Every ingredient we put on our bodies gets absorbed into our skin, bloodstream, and eventually our liver and other vital organs.
Chemicals that are known carcinogens are in most name brand bath, body, and beauty products. Ingredients like formaldehyde and parabens are proven to cause hormonal disruption, health issues, cancer and even emotional issues like anxiety and depression. Life's hard enough without adding in depression-inducing chemicals, ammiright?
To be fair, it's not just beauty products, it's also name brand snack foods and other household items. But if you're as concerned about minimizing wildlife devastation as I am, it's extremely important to be aware of the environmental impact of palm oil.
Palm oil is cheaply produced so it's in an unbelievable amount of name brand bath and beauty products. Palm oil plantations are directly responsible for destroying over 80% of the rainforest in Indonesia and we will likely see the extinction of many animals - including orangutans - in our lifetimebecause of this ingredient.
It has a ton of different names like glyceryl or stearate, so I recommend cross checking this list with your labels to ensure that you're not inadvertently purchasing skincare products containing this deadly ingredient.
It boggles my mind that cosmetic companies still use the archaic practice of animal testing. But they do. According to Peta - Estee Lauder, Benefit, Lancome, Almay, Avon, Mac, Covergirl, Revlon, Maybelline, Tresemme, Victoria's Secret, and Clinique all do animal testing. These larger brands also generally own smaller, seemingly independent brands.
Estee Lauder, for example, owns Becca, Bobbbi Brow, Too Faced, Origins, Perscriptives, Smashbox, Aveda, Bumble and Bumble - just to name a few. So all of those brands either use animal testing or provide profits to a parent company that does,
The organic and natural brands that I choose achieve amazing results without going through the stomach-churning, unethical process of torturing animals. I can't say for certain that all organic brands are cruelty-free, but every one I've come across is.
If you want to check up on the business practices of your own favorite beauty brands, there's an awesome database called Beauty without Bunnies that has animal ethics information on 2,300 companies.
Take it slow: If you're new to shopping for organic skincare and feel overwhelmed with options, start slow with 1 product at a time. You don't have to make the switch all at once. As you finish a face wash or lotion that you're already using, replace it with a chemical-free alternative.
Use Amazon (with Fakespot):Amazon is actually an amazing source for natural skincare and beauty products. I found both Acure Organics and Shea Moisturethrough Amazon. Even though these products are available at my local Whole Foods, I felt confident giving them a try for the first time because I had see the rave reviews online. Social proof is key.
When shopping on Amazon, I recommend adding a plugin like Fakespot to your browser to rate the quality of reviews. Fakespot uses an algorithm to tell you if the reviews are legit or not. I use it on every single product I consider and I honestly have no idea how I shopped on Amazon before I installed it.
Search the stores you already frequent:As you need new products, you can also just give the term "organic" a search on your preferred beauty store website and see what comes up. Sites like Birchbox, Ulta, and Sephora have user-reviewed organic roducts galore. Although I don't know how to independently verify the validity of these reviews, the range of user images and ratings leads me to believe the reviews are at least mostly legitimate.
Lastly - use Instagram: I've found tons of smaller beauty brands on Instagram that don't have a presence in corporate stores. Insta is great because you can build trust by following along with the journey. It's fun to see behind the scenes pics of production and you can often interact directly with the owners. Scroll through tags like #organicskincare #naturalskincare #greenbeauty and #nontoxicbeauty and I think you'll be surprised at how many small brands there are out there doing wonderful things!
Hope these facts about the natural skincare industry and shopping tips were helpful! Shop my personal faves below or check out how tocopy my chemical-free skincare routine for less than $120!