I can’t believe we’ve reached our 4th and final week of our Green Beauty Month. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and learned a lot whether about the Oil Cleansing Method, dry brushing, or why the ingredients in your shampoo and conditioners matter. This week I am excited to chat about the most painless way to switch to green beauty products that won’t wreck your budget or sanity.
**If you’re new here and wondering why you should switch to a green beauty routine, make sure to check out #2 below! For more background on body care products my friend Erin wrote a great post on products that are free of harmful chemicals.
In high school I had terrible acne. I blame hormones, Oreos and a beauty-routine filled with chemicals. Every time my skin broke out I would cover it up with more makeup. In college, I switched to Bare Minerals thinking I was doing something good for my skin. At the time, I probably was doing my best. Back then there were very few, if any, truly green makeup brands.
I’ve been out of school for over 10 years now and the non-toxic makeup world has come so far since then. Now, you can find amazing makeup products in every color under the sun – many of them even good for your skin.
Yes, green beauty products do tend to be pricier. Eventually I am going to work on a post just focusing on green beauty products you can find at the drug-store or that are budget friendly. However, I think the highest quality stuff will still tend to be more expensive though because of the ingredients they use. I’m OK with this though if it doesn’t mean I need extra skin care products to fix problems created by makeup.
The process of switching over can also be daunting. That’s why I broke it down for you step-by-step on how to switch to a green makeup beauty routine. Ready?
My 5-Step Process to Switching to Green Beauty Products
1.) Don’t throw everything out at once.
While it may be tempting to throw out all your “toxic” beauty products and start clean, I don’t recommend this. Not only will you feel like you have nothing to put on your face, but it will be costly to replace everything at once.
Instead, I like to give the same advice I do when people are trying to transition to a more green and healthy home. Use up what you have first and then replace each chemical-filled cleanser/beauty product with a cleaner & greener version when it is gone. It’s a lot less stressful of a process and gives you time to find great products without having to replace everything in your makeup bag in one day.
If I’m honest, I still haven’t transitioned everything out yet. I still have a few non-green lipsticks in my bag and a random mascara I picked up at Marshall’s one night when I was desperate. I am taking my own advice though and using these products up first before purchasing cleaner replacements.
2.) Do you Research on What’s Really In Your Makeup Bag
The next step is to research what is in your bag. Maybe you’ll surprise yourself and own products that are OK to continue using and even good for your skin. There are lots of sites and apps you can use. I’d recommend Think Dirty, the Environmental Working Group’s site, or Skincarisma.com.
Here are some facts about what’s lurking in our makeup products from “No More Dirty Looks”:
“Just open up your makeup case and check the bottle. The first ingredient is probably water, which immediately means there are going to be loads of synthetic ingredients in there. Next, you’ll probably find a cocktail of silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrance, mineral oils, waxes, and those carcinogen releasing chemicals we keep talking about. The only quality that all those ingredients share is that none of them are good for your skin. It’s just pore-clogging, skin-dulling crap that makes you think you need it to look lovely. Nothing pretty about that.”
“If you have one you love and you apply it at the end of your makeup, on top of a base, it’s not the end of the world if it is not totally clean. But if you’re wearing it to hide pimples (which often means broken skin) beware. Broken skin makes for easier penetration and irritation, and this could just compound the problem. You’ve no doubt seen treatment conceals with tea tree oil (or benzoyl peroxide if it’s a conventional zit zapper). We think these are pricey gimmicks that will irritate your skin and drain your wallets.”
Loose and Compact Powders and Minerals
People are rushing to buy mineral makeup, thinking it is good for their skin. But most are filled with parabens that can dry out your skin, or silicones to make it smooth or silky. Make sure it is a truly clean brand before purchasing.
From “No More Dirty Looks”:
“As for nonmineral powders, most are talc-based. Talc, you now know, is verboten. Many also contain bismuth oxychloride, which can contain irritating parabens, aluminum compounds, silicones or PEG.”
Cornstarch is often used instead of talc and although it is nontoxic, can feed acne-causing bacteria. This is why you sometimes have to test out even the “green” products to make sure they work with YOUR skin type, not just someone else’s.
This one is tough for me because I love my lipsticks. I am still using up a few Mac ones in my makeup bag before I will switch completely to green brands. But even then, I am leery after reading tidbits from from Think Dirty that say, “Back in 2007 when the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested a batch of thirty-three lipsticks, more than 60 percent of them contained lead.” Yikes.
Added to that, many lipsticks contain BHA, “a controversial fat preservative that’s used in food and is “reasonable anticipated to be a human carcinogen” by the EPA and NIEHS. In other words, it can cause cancer.
Even your lip balms aren’t necessarily safe. Ever notice the more you use them, the more you seem to need them? It’s because many contain alcohol which dry out your lips. Seems counterintuitive, right? Instead, stick with someone completely natural or Burt’s Bees.
Not only do many mascaras contain formaldehyde releases, mercury, SLS, coal tar, parabens, etc, but those chemicals are also close enough to get in our eyes. Not pretty. Thankfully, it seems there is a new green brand of mascara out each day. Some better than others but the testing part can be fun.
Don’t let this information leave you feeling overwhelmed. It is good to be armed with knowledge about what we’re really putting on our skin so we can make better choices in the future.
3.) Research “Greener” Products to Buy Instead
I’m going to give you guys a cheat sheet because I’ve already been doing my research on green products to use. Below are ones recommended by “No More Dirty Looks” and my own personal research. Hopefully, this is encouraging that there are lots of cleaner brands out there that are good for your skin.
- Lavera tinted moisturizer and Lavera makeup fluid
- Nvey Eco Organic liquid foundation
- Jane Iredale Dream Tint Moisturizer
- W3LL People Narcissit Mineral Cream Foundation
- RMS beauty “un” coverup
Side note – RMS Beauty is only made with nourishing ingredients for your skin. This is probably the best company you can buy from but it does come with a high price tag.
Side note 2: W3ll People is sold at Target!
What do I use?
It’s not on the list, perhaps because it is fairly new, but I use Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass color correcting cream as my foundation. Guys, there is a cult following for this stuff. And no, I am not on their payroll – I just honestly love it. That’s because I use it as a very light foundation that actually helps clear my skin.
It’s never made me break out, covers all my blemishes, and even helps clear them.
According to Skincarisma, it does contain some ingredients like alcohol or sulfactants that in a perfect world would be gone. But overall it gets really great remarks and has done wonders for my skin. Sadly, it is pricey though. Fortunately, a little goes a long way!
Loose and Pressed Mineral Powders
- Laura Mercier Mineral Powder
- Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Foundation
- Jane Iredale Amazing Base and Pure Pressed Minerals
- Alima Pure
What do I use?
I actually use the pressed powder from a company called Youngevity. I’m not trying to sell it, but just letting you know what I use. It is made from 100% pure minerals and contains no harsh chemicals, preservatives, or dyes. My skin also loves it!
- Couleur Caramel Mascara
- Dr Hauschka Volume Mascara
- Tarte Lash Hugger
- Josie Maran Mascara
- Jane Iredale Purelash Mascara
What do I use?
A $3 one I picked up from Marshalls. Don’t be like me! After this I am switching to one from either Root Pretty or 100% PURE.
- RMS Beauty Lip2cheek
- Couleur Caramel Lipstick
- Josie Maran Lipstick
- W3ll People Nudist Lipshine
- Anything from Root Pretty, 100% PURE
What do I use?
The ones I’m using up from Mac first. Then I am switching to 100% PURE or Juice Beauty.
- Vapour Organic Beauty Aura Blush
- Dr. Haushka Rouge
- Alima Blushes
- Root Pretty
- Juice Beauty
What do I use?
Root Pretty Blush in Sugar Plum.
This list should at least get you started. Overall, my favorite “green” beauty brand right now are Root Pretty, 100% PURE, Juice Beauty and RMS Beauty.
4.) Test out different products finding what works best for YOUR skin.
Just because a product is “green” doesn’t mean it will be best for your skin. For instance, I have very sensitive skin so I avoid most products that contain coconut. However, coconut oil is still a green ingredient and may not bother someone else’s skin. You’ll never know until you try. It’s the same with products that contain Shea Butter for other women.
Also, different brands have different feels and consistencies and while one person might love the feel of a certain foundation, you might not. Find out what works best for your skin type.
5.) Don’t forget about DIYs.
By now I’ve tried making my own DIY foundation, mascara, and blush. The mascara and blush were a disaster. The DIY lipstick is more like a tinted lip balm but works well. The foundation, however, is great. Try it out!
I’ve also reading about using fresh beets to make your own blush and I am going to give that a try soon.If you want to try it with it just cut a small piece of raw beet and use the cut side to apply directly to cheeks or lips. Not only is it natural, but super healthy filled with antioxidants, it also is very bright and works as a great stain. I can’t wait to try!
This week, I am also going to try making my own DIY eyeliner using activated charcoal capsules mixed with aloe vera juice. I will keep you posted on how that works.
Let me know if you’ve tried any DIY makeup that’s worked. I’d love to give it a go. And hopefully, I’ve helped make the transition little easier to a green makeup beauty routine.
Do you have any favorite brands? Let me know below!
Lastly, since we’re talking about natural beauty, my friend Erin from a Welder’s Wife are giving away an awesome collagen collection from Neocell this week. We were sent them to review and give away to a lucky reader.
Win a Collagen Set for Healthy Hair, Skin & Nails!
First, you will get to try Neocell’s Super Collagen for hair, skin, nails, joints and bones.
“Collagen is a complex structural protein that maintains strength and flexibility throughout the body. As we age, collagen depletion can lead to common signs of aging in the skin, hair, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Super Collagen™ contains clinically studied Bioactive NeoCell Collagen™ which supports healthy collagen formation throughout the body.”
Second, you will get to try Neocell’s Marine Collagen.
“NeoCell Marine Collagen is a premium nutricosmetic formulated to promote healthy, strong, and hydrated skin. Collagen is one of the main constituents of the skin and is responsible for its structural integrity. Hyaluronic Acid is an essential nutrient for tissue hydration. These premium ingredients work synergistically with a vita-mineral blend to support healthy collagen formation and youthful, radiant skin.”
And for my fellow pregnant friends, I heard it can help prevent stretch marks. Personally, I love mixing it up in my famous turmeric milk drink for an extra boost of goodness for my body.
Complete any of the bottom tasks to be entered! And remember, the more you complete, the better chance you have to win.