(To preface this post, I will state that I am in no way a dermatologist. If you have any skin conditions or extremely sensitive skin, please consult your dermatologist before trying any new skincare products.)
I’ve recently been going through the process of switching my makeup and face wash over to less toxic products. This can be a long and expensive process for many reasons:
One is that it takes so much research to decipher whether a product that claims to be natural is even good for your skin. (I say this as someone that has a background in journalism, so reading through the list of chemicals and ingredients on the label of a product can be tedious and disheartening to say the least.) Cosmetic companies have jumped on board with this current “natural and organic” movement, but they have a lot of leeway with how the word “natural” is allowed to appear on their products and they use this to their advantage. Take for example St Ives Naturally Clear Apricot Scrub. You could argue that this product isn’t technically claiming to be natural by simply including the word “naturally” in the title, but my assumption is that they’re hoping the consumer will see the word “naturally” and it will deceive them into believing it is the better option for their skin. (Here is a detailed post about all the ingredients in St Ives Naturally Clear Apricot Scrub and why most of them aren’t good for your skin.) (I do realise this is not the Apricot Scrub, but it is a product from the same line and has a lot of the same ingredients mentioned in the article)
Do not assume seeing the word “natural” on a label automatically means “good for you” because this allows cosmetic companies to charge a premium for “natural” skincare as consumers are led to believe that paying more for a product must mean it’s because only high quality ingredients are used.
(I do realise this is not the Apricot Scrub, but it is a product from the same line and has a lot of the same ingredients mentioned in the article)
Secondly, I think most of us can admit that we’re brand loyal to certain makeups and face washes. When you find a product that works for you, it can be extremely difficult to jump ship and try to find a different brand that works as equally well (or better) for you. Why fix what’s not really broken? For me personally, I have relatively dry skin and what people with dry skin hear over and over again is to use face washes that don’t have alcohol in them as alcohol will dry out your skin even more. Well, upon conducting what I thought would be an easy, pointblank search saying “alcohol in skincare products is bad, here are skincare products to use that don’t contain alcohol”, I ended up opening a whole new can of worms in regards to “good alcohol” and “bad alcohol” in cosmetics.
(I found this article to be an informative read about alcohol in skincare products as it directly refutes claims made about all alcohol in skincare being bad.) This is what initially started my journey of wanting to understand the ingredients in my cosmetics and, inevitably, swapping over many of my products. The real struggle, however, is how is one supposed to swap over their skincare products without losing their mind in endless research and all the money in their bank account? Well, I’ve done some research for you.
If you’re willing to try a slightly alternative method of face wash, look no further than Coconut Oil (Make sure you’re using organic extra virgin coconut oil as to avoid it containing toxic pesticides and being comedogenic, meaning it clogs pores.) You know what’s wonderful about reading the label on a jar of Coconut Oil? It’s only ingredient is Coconut Oil! So I’ve already eliminated the problem of, “What the hell are all these different ingredients listed on the back of this product?”
Also, Coconut Oil is cheap! Depending on the brand and size of the jar, finding coconut oil under $15 is an easy feat. Plus, that same jar of Coconut Oil can be used for cooking, so you’re essentially getting a 2-for-1 deal for under $15. Other benefits of using Coconut Oil as your go-to facial cleanser? It doubles as a moisturiser and you’ll smell like you’re on holiday.
Still up to try a slightly alternative face mask for acne prone skin? My go-to is:
1 TSP Honey ~ 1/2 TSP Nutmeg ~ 1/2 TSP Cinnamon
Honey is a natural way to lock-in moisture while its antibacterial properties help to reduce breakouts and heal current problem areas. Nutmeg is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal which helps to sooth and clear up inflamed skin. Cinnamon also has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties which help to dry out current pimples and blackheads. Cinnamon is also known to help with blood circulation and plumpness of skin. (Only use cinnamon once a week as it can cause irritation and dryness.) Also, all of these products combined can be found for less than $10!
Want an alternative acne spot treatment? Try baking soda and warm water. Baking soda is amphoteric, which means it has the ability to act as either an acid or a base. Why is this good for your skin? It means that baking soda has the ability to help neutralise any pH imbalances on your skin. Baking soda also helps to dry the skin (so use this method sparingly if you’re like me and have dry skin) which in turn helps to remove excess oil from breakouts. It also has mild anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Wary of trying DIY treatments? I love and personally use https://www.nourishedlife.com.au/. Essentially, Nourished Life has done all the research for you on the ingredients in cosmetics (plus other products) and only includes products on its site that have passed their extremely strict ingredients test, which are then easily available for you to purchase. Plus, you can sign up for their weekly newsletter and receive the heads-up on weekly discounts. I recently saved around $50 on my last purchase through Nourished Life because of their weekly newsletter and their Instagram discount. (For more info on their Instagram discount, visit their Instagram page @nourishedlife)
I understand that changing your beauty regiment isn’t easy or cheap as it has personally taken me months to slowly find products I like just as much as the old products I was using, but it is doable!
This week alone, I bought:
Zuii Organic Mineral Blush which is the perfect organic match for anyone who loves the well known NARS Blush Orgasm.
Weleda Skin Food which is a body cream that is also sensitive enough to be used on my face.
100% Pure Purity Spot Treatment for any isolated breakout areas.
100% Pure Black Tea Mascara as mascara is one of the last swaps I need to make to have my makeup routine be toxin-free.
And Black Chicken Remedies Axilla Deodorant Paste to fulfil my need for an organic deodorant option.
All these products were purchased for $115.47 (AUD). Not bad for a new body cream, mascara, blush, deodorant and acne spot treatment!
I hope this week’s post has provided you with adequate information on how to easily and cheaply start the swap on your beauty go-to’s! If anything, I hope it has awakened a desire in you to research the products you are currently using and find products that best suit your needs.