Starting to transition over to a green beauty routine can be quite daunting. There are so many products on the market now which is amazing, however it can be hard to work out what is right for you sometimes. I’m often asked what advice I would give for those wanting to switch over; I originally wrote this post a couple of years ago but am revisiting it now as it seems quite relevant. There are so many buzzwords in the beauty industry right now, it can be confusing. I’ve always leant towards the term green beautythis is a link to an older post explaining my thoughts on it.. I also love the term conscious beauty – I think it is so important to be really aware of what we’re using and how our choices not only affect us personally, but everyone and thing along the supply chain and production line.
If you are looking to shake up your beauty routine a little bit – here are a few tips to maybe help get you started if you haven’t already..
Decide what is important to you – what are your values? I’m often asked if a product is good or bad – unfortunately it’s not as simple as that. Do you want to use products that are vegan, or is it more important that the ingredients are organic and sustainably sourced, or is packaging your priority… There is no right or wrong here – it’s your ethos. They are all intertwined but sometimes a product can’t tick every box, and of course you want the products to perform well too!
Don’t freak out and think you have to switch everything over night. I’ve seen many women do this and they get themselves so stressed about it – this isn’t good for your health which is maybe what you’re trying to help!
Switch things over as they run out. This is way kinder to your bank balance but also to your skin. If you change everything over at once, you won’t know what works for you and what doesn’t, skin get also get confused with lots of new products.
Think about what you use the most of and start there. Body lotion is a great place to start as you’re covering the biggest surface area. It’s also often the cheapest product in a range, so can be a great introduction to different brands.
Give new products a chance. The textures of natural and organic foundations for example, may feel different because most haven’t got the silicones that conventional brands often have. The application may be slightly different; natural oils and waxes will change consistency according to the weather, and so might require warming up with your fingers in the winter for example.
The longevity might be different; you may need to touch up a little more often again due to the lack of ingredients like silicones and plasticisers. I’d rather touch up then have something literally stuck to my face..
Natural and organic make-up will not contain cheap fillers like mineral oil, but instead will contain lots of skin friendly plant oils, butters, extracts etc. These will feed and look after your skin. Your skin may have a little purge when you stop using products that are made with not so friendly synthetic ingredients – again give your skin and the new products a chance to balance out.
You can still react to natural and organic ingredients – indeed they can be very active and potent.
Not all synthetic is bad – again it depends on your personal ethos. Silicone for example is considered inert (so non-reactive perhaps from a skin point of view) however from an environmental point of view it won’t degrade so what happens to it when it gets washed down the sink… also sometimes natural brands choose to use synthetic colours for example because nature doesn’t offer them, or perhaps nature does but it might not be right to take it; Weleda uses synthetic nature-identical mica for example due to the issues surrounding mica.
Natural and organic will have a shorter shelf life, this is definitely something to be aware of when buying lots of products. It’s worth making a note of when you’ve opened something so you can keep track – usually you’ll know if something has gone off by its smell or texture, but this isn’t always the case. Use things up before buying new stuff and multi-use products if you can 🙂
No beauty, green or otherwise, is one size fits all. What one skin loves another will hate – it’s finding what is right for you and listening to your skin. Keep trying and sample where possible.
If you have a favourite non-green lipstick or mascara – it’s ok to still use it! If you even just make a few switches then it’s all good.
Make-up is fun and should make us feel good, not stress us out!
I hope this has helped and not confused – I could keep adding!! I think another key thing is to not be shy of asking your favourite brands what they are doing about your concerns.. they may not be perfect but I really think transparency is one of the most important things in a brand.
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