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Thursday, 3 January 2013

Switching to a Clean & Green Beauty Routine - 3 Tips

Have you decided you'd like to clean up your act?  Your beauty-care act, that is.  Perhaps you've been hearing about the harmful ingredients in some beauty products and you've made a resolution to be better to your body this year, or maybe you are going to be a new mom and pregnancy has you scouring shelves for the best for you and your baby.  Or possibly you are dealing with an illness or allergy that means being very careful with what goes in and on your body.

There are many reasons that women and men today are checking it twice; paying attention to the labels both in the kitchen cupboards and the medicine cabinet.  Now more than ever, it's a great time to make changes.  Going green no longer means soap wrapped in twine, and not washing your hair (though those things can be great too), today's selection and options for health-conscious skin care and makeup are matching industry standards for texture, quality and results.

Here are my three tips for tossing the old and stocking up on natural products:

1. Do some research.  Books like No More Dirty Looks, There's Lead in Your Lipstick and Gorgeously Green can help point out the best ingredients to avoid and why.   Learning about the impact of ingredients on your body and the earth will give you a background when you're shopping for new products, helping you to stick to finding more natural alternatives to what you may have been using.  Two years ago, realizing the beauty industry was unregulated made it clear that it was up to me to read labels and find out what I was comfortable with.

2. Try new things.  It's possible you've had the same skincare routine since you started taking care of your skin or wearing makeup.  I'd had the same sequence of cleanse-tone-moisturize for about fifteen years without questioning if it was the right solution for my skin.  I wouldn't leave the house without having used about twenty different products.  After some trial and error, I began to see that I am more comfortable with fewer products that have a better effect on my skin.  (Note: I tried the no-shampoo thing for a bit, and realised it didn't work for me like it does for some people, but did change my products to find my hair has become healthier and more manageable).  Don't be afraid to ask for samples to try before you buy, giving things a week or more to decide if you'd like to invest in the product.  A clean & green routine should mean fewer unused bottles of things floating in the bottom of a drawer.

3. Don't give up.  At first it may be tempting to just drop the idea and go back to your normal routine, but give it some time.  It could take weeks or months for your skin to adjust to new products, but be patient and kind to your skin.  I'm still finding new solutions to skin problems that crop up now and again, but instead of reaching for an old standby, I take the time to try and figure out the root of the issue and instead look to my diet and natural options for the solution.

Switching to clean and green beauty can seem like a time-consuming endeavour, but become engaged in the clean and green movement and you'll likely find many others that share your ideas.  Keep up with blogs (like this one) to see what's new, find products you may not have heard of, and get involved in local events where you can meet others that share your new passion.  Like anything new, if you're passionate and positive about it, you'll see that switching to clean and green can have more results than healthy skin and body.