The Clean beauty movement has been on fire and with good reason. Nearly all of the skincare products we find on the shelves are layered with ingredients that our great grandparents have never seen before and we’re over it. It’s time for some natural products to grace our skin because what we’re using is determining what our skin feels + looks like now, and will inevitably set the course for how our skin will look + feel years from now, and that’s kind of important. Why? Our skin is the largest organ on our body, which only heightens the importance of why we need to do all the things to take care of it, but what does that look like?

We’ll Tell You What It Doesn’t Look Like
From parabens, phthalates, and sulfates to oxybenzone, triclosan, hydroquinone, and artificial fragrances, you can find all of these nasty ingredients and more in your skincare products. Is your head hurting from trying to read all of those harsh words, yet? Because ours is. All of these ingredients can be found in your makeup, nail polish, sunscreen, shampoos + conditioners, hair dyes, and the list goes on. We are sure some of you have experienced irritations from certain products, and what do we do? We throw it away and move onto something marked “sensitive skin,” which fixes the short-term effects, but what are these products doing to us long term? 

“Products are tested to make sure they don’t cause short-term problems, such as skin irritation. But they’re not tested for long-term safety,” says Dr. Kathryn M. Rexrode, associate professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School. The FDA only steps in when someone has made a claim against a product stating that it has caused damage, but other than that, the purity of a product is left to the hands of a money-hungry industry that doesn’t really care about the long term effects for us. It’s pretty upsetting, right? Well, let’s do something about it. How? Let’s take baby steps and then let’s take a plunge.

The Baby Steps
Obviously we all can’t afford to just throw away everything in our bathroom because so and so said so, but what we can do is start looking at the ingredients in the products that stay on our skin the longest. Body lotions, face lotion, body oils, face serums, primers, sunscreen, + makeup all seep into our skin and are there all day long. When you use products that aren’t natural, they have the potential to deplete your skin from its natural state, fill your body with harmful toxins, speed up aging, and some body lotions can even be the cause of weight gain because it’s interfering with your hormone production. So what do you do? Look at the ingredients. If you see any of the nasty words listed above in your products, start looking for an alternative.

Some alternatives for clean skincare are Primally Pure for facial cleansers, ILIA Makeup, The Organic Pharmacy for sunscreen and other options, + The Honest Company for body lotions, and for a list of Goops 2021 list of non-toxic favorites, check their picks out here.

Once you’ve found a clean alternative to the products that stay on your skin the longest, start throwing away the old products that have harmful toxins in them, and when you’re ready, start looking at other daily habits + products that are used on your skin, hair, and nails.

Take the Plunge
Taking the plunge could mean a lot of things, but really, we just want you to keep choosing better products that will help you step into a new you and start creating new daily habits that will benefit you, your future, and your skin. What daily, weekly, and monthly habits can you start incorporating? What shampoo + conditioner do you use? What about your soap, shaving cream, and nail polish? We have a snazzy new brand that you might have heard of called freecoat nails. What is it? It’s a non-toxic beauty bar that focuses on providing people with non-toxic options. They also have an organic sugar scrub that is made in-house + it feels like pure goodness on your skin (no lie). There aren’t too many non-toxic beauty bars out there, but we’re trying to change that so we can create the new norm.

Another change you should start to think about is your hair dye. If you dye your hair on your own or get it done professionally, you’re exposing yourself to 5,000 different chemicals including some known to disrupt the body’s natural hormone balance or to have cancer-causing effects in animals, according to studies. A study was published online on Dec. 3, 2019, by the International Journal of Cancer, which states that they found a link between hair dye and breast cancer. “Women in the study who used permanent hair dye at least once in the 12-month period leading up to the study had a 9% higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who didn’t use hair dye. And when the study authors broke the findings down by race, they found an even higher risk for African American women. Women in that group who used any permanent dye in the previous 12 months had a 45% higher risk of developing breast cancer compared with women who did not use hair dye. It didn’t seem to matter how often or for how many years the women had used the dye,” states Harvard Health Publishing.

Clean Beauty, It’s a Way of Life
There are so many different things you can do in order to incorporate new daily habits that will lead to a healthier you and a healthier future, but it’s all about what works for you. If you’ve found new, healthier + clean habits that work for you, what are they? If you use non-toxic skincare or hair products that you love, what are they? Leave it in the comments for our readers so we can all grow in this Clean Beauty movement together, because it shouldn’t be a movement, it should be a way of life, and we’re ready to live it.