Though it’s Earth Day everyday on kimberlyloc.com, for those who are just toe-deep into the green movement, I’m using today’s post as an intro to cleaner beauty and a refresher for the rest of us as to why it’s so important to take the leap when it comes to detoxing your beauty bag.
While the dirty ingredients I’m mentioning in today’s post (and on TV today — tune into KCTV5 “Better Kansas City” between 9 and 10 a.m. if you’re in the area — video will be posted later!) are by no means an exhaustive list, I feel that they are the most common ones you’ll find in beauty products.
That means they’re also going go be some of the easiest to eliminate first as you clean up your routine! Below you’ll fine some affordable, easily accessible green beauty options to replace your conventional products with — you’re going to love them!
Kiss Parabens Goodbye
I cannot emphasize this enough: You eat your lip balms, lipsticks, glosses and other pretty stuff you put on your lips on a regular basis.
This is basically unavoidable — so be sure to choose a tasty, USDA-organic balm as your base and be smart about the ingredients in your lip colors!
(My choice? Badger Balm USDA Organic Lip Balms!)
Ingredients common in lip products (and, sheesh, so many other conventional products), are preservatives called parabens.
Parabens are used to lengthen products’ lifespans and help kill bacteria.
While that sounds noble and such, there are so many other ways to keep products shelf-stable and clean. Companies (yes, BIG companies!) are catching on and eliminating parabens, such as ethyl-, methyl-, butyl- and propylparabens.
Be wary of companies that have not yet made this switch! Profits and pure laziness from companies should not put consumers (you!) at risk for skin irritation and hormone disruption.
(Parabens can interfere with the natural cycles of the endocrine system, which regulate your body’s hormones.)
Get the Rub — Without Propylene Glycol
You know that your skin is your largest organ. To keep it smooth and hydrated, you slap on so much body lotion and body oil over the years — and expose your skin and bloodstream to whatever is inside your moisturizer.
That’s why it’s important to choose a healthy one that your skin and insides want to drink up.
Propylene glycol is a common ingredient in moisturizers. They’re used because they can deeply penetrate the skin and give the illusion of hydration and softness.
Unfortunately, overexposure to glycol can lead to kidney and liver damage.
While that sounds extreme and shocking, the fact that propylene glycol is used antifreeze, paint and floor wax — things you typically try not to get on your skin — should keep you even more disgusted with this cheap ingredient.
See Ya Later, Sulfates
You can suds up in the shower sans sulfates.
Sodium laurel sulfate, or SLS, is the ingredient behind rich, foamy lathers we are so accustomed to in our shampoos, body washes and soaps.
However, removing the SLS and replacing it with a coconut or sustainably harvest palm oil will deliver the same suds — without exposing you to carcinogens or irritation and getting you the same squeaky-clean the way engine degreasers, car wash soaps and garage floor cleaners do (yeap, SLS is in all of those heavy-duty cleaners).
When I mention carcinogens, I mean the fact that SLS has been shown to cause permanent eye damage in young animals. (Now you know why it stings so bad to get conventional shampoo in your eyes!)
Tell Phthalates Off
Phthalates are everywhere. But we really don’t need them to be.
This group of chemicals, known for their link to reproductive issues, is used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. Phthalates are also used as solvents for other materials.
In nail polish, phthalates come in the form of dibutyl phthalate (DBP).
As a plasticizer, it’s there to add a moisturizing sheen, dissolve other cosmetic ingredients and help prevent chips and cracks.
Nail polishes have evolved, and these nasty ingredients aren’t necessary for a chip-free mani anymore!
Look for nail polishes that are at least “three free” (the “three” being dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene) to avoid this hormone-disrupting ingredient.
(Luckily, several mainstream brands have also removed these ingredients from their polishes, too.)
If you’re ready to go dark green, you can choose “five free” (the “five” being dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, toluene, formaldehyde resin, and camphor) nail polishes to avoid additional toxins.
(I’ll dedicate a separate post to this soon!)
In hairspray, phthalates come in the form of dimethyl phthalate and are used to add texture and luster to the product.
To avoid phthalates in hairspray, which you’re at risk for inhaling and throwing your system all out of whack, choose USDA organic hair products or simple products with pared-down ingredients to get the hold, volume, texture and shine you need.