When I began this green beauty journey, and I’ve talked about this before, I went overboard in throwing away all of my drugstore and conventional products. I had bags and bags of items that I deemed toxic.
I didn’t want anything “bad” to touch my skin, hair or body. Learning about non-toxic vs toxic and ingredients, I assumed that everything not from nature directly was incredibly toxic and would only add to a serious chemical burden that would no doubt lead to multiple diseases. I imagined myself diagnosed with something serious and in my wild imagination, I blamed it on all of the beauty products I used over the years starting with some horrendously cheap aerosol hairspray I used as a teenager to lock in my big New Jersey hair.
Slowly over time, I learned that ingredients can be good or bad or toxic or non-toxic. Just because something is from a plant doesn’t necessarily mean its good for you. And just because something is made in a lab doesn’t mean it’s going to kill you. And when talking about disease and hormonal imbalances, there are so many factors that its nearly impossible to blame anything on a particular product or brand.
I pushed aside the fear and decided to not worry.
I always think of green beauty in terms of food. You can be a healthy eater and still have french fries once in a while. Or you can be a strict vegan and adhere to a very rigid way of food consumption. You can be a vegetarian and still eat junk food.
Maybe you don’t care what you eat and you run ten miles a day. Or perhaps you eat healthy all week and splurge on the weekends. I have a friend who refuses to use conventional deodorant for fear of breast cancer but smokes cigarettes.
There are so many different ways to eat, exercise, care for yourself just as there are ways to avoid toxins and choose beauty products.
I go by the 80/20 rule where much of what I use is green and clean, but some of what I use (and subsequently review here) is not totally clean.
The best thing you can do is do what works for you and not worry about judgment and do not live in fear.
Consider this: What’s your budget? Where do you like to shop? Do you like to use products recommended by a certain blogger? Are there ingredients you are allergic to? Are you firm on using products that are cruelty-free? Vegan? Do you mind fragrance in your products?
If you are actively avoiding toxins in beauty products, consider that sometimes, ‘mainstream’ brands are equal to ‘healthy’ brands as far as toxicity. For example, I looked up “foundations” on the GoodGuide, and discovered the following:
Lily Lolo and Laura Mercier both scored an 8 (10 is the cleanest and safest). L’Oreal Paris and 100% Pure also scored 8’s. Ilia, a brand I love and trust scored a 6.
For “lipsticks” Neutrogena scored a 9 while Vapour Organic was an 8. NYX lipgloss scored an 8 and so did Revlon as well as Zuzu Luxe, this surprised me. Oftentimes I skip right by mainstream brand cosmetics thinking they are laden with dangerous chemicals. Maybe thats not always true.
My point in sharing this is to show you that not all drugstore/conventional brands are highly toxic (as I once thought) and the best thing you can do is educate yourself, do your research, and make decisions that fit your lifestyle.
And aside from that, don’t worry or stress about your choices. Enjoy life and enjoy beauty products!