In my teens and early 20s I was lucky to have pretty easy, clear skin and never gave much thought to what I was putting on it. This laissez-faire skin care routine of mine backfired a couple years ago when my skin suddenly became prone to mysterious rashes. Combine that with the fact that I am no longer 20, live with a green-friendly vegan, and have learned that 60% of what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body, I’ve started paying a bit more attention. I won’t claim to be a green warrior, but I do try to do my part for the environment, and more importantly, for myself. A startling number of ingredients in most drug store beauty products (shampoos, body washes and lipsticks being amongst the worst) contain known carcinogens and other toxins that can mess with your hormones and increase your risk of cancer and other diseases (for a scary summary of the worst offenders, click here). Whether or not the regulatory agencies charged with such tasks tell me that the levels of these chemicals are dangerous to me, I don’t particularly like the idea of swiping lead on my lips or massaging petroleum derived sulphates into my scalp. I can’t claim that my beauty routine is totally chemical free, but I’m working on it and have so far been pleased to discover that healthier, more natural options that actually work are not only available, but both accessible and affordable. I’ve compiled a list of my favourite brands and a few I’m hoping to try below.
Burt’s Bees -This is an easy one. If you’re a lip balm addict like me, you’ve probably already used this product a few times in your life. But Burt’s isn’t only about lip balm – the company has over 150 all natural products, from eye cream to aftershave. I adore the Milk & Honey body lotion and the tinted lip balm (which uses only natural colours and none of those scary sounding dyes your mother is always warning you about).
Yes to Carrots – While I haven’t yet used this brand of products, I vowed while writing this post to make the shift. I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a sucker for branding, and this company rocks it. The “Yes To” company has 5 lines of skin care products, tailored to your particular skin-type and needs: carrots for nourishing, cucumbers to sooth, blueberries for aging skin, grapefruit to correct and repair, and tomatoes for acne prone skin. These all natural skin and hair care products are made with organic fruits and vegetables and contain no parabens, petroleum, SLS or phthalates. Just check out the chart below – doesn’t that sound more appetizing than the impossible to pronounce chemical ingredients slapped on the back of most drug store products?