A Clean Perspective on the Beauty Industry
Like many of you, I’m a wife and a mom. This means when it comes to purchasing hair and skin care products, it is up to me. So I want to ensure my family is using safe products. My husband and I shifted to a more holistic based lifestyle years ago because we realized that we can naturally heal many health issues by eating natural, whole foods. What many people forget when making this shift is that it is just as important to be aware of not only what we put in our body, but also what we put on our body.
What caused the shift to clean beauty for me was when I became more aware of reading ingredient labels on products I was purchasing. I quickly realized that many corporations use toxic and harmful ingredients such as industrial chemicals, including carcinogens and pesticides, reproductive toxins, hormone (endocrine) disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers and surfactants. After reading up on the harmful health effects of these ingredients I immediately did a revamp of all the products in our home, including beauty products and household cleaning products too. Now having a child makes me even more aware of products entering our home, whether it was the nipple cream I used during that first month of breastfeeding, or the diaper ointment I use on my son, these are all products going onto our skin and being absorbed.
It is easy to be fooled by terms used in marketing such as natural or green since regulations can be in the grey area. So here are a few resources I use to determine product safety. The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Cosmetics Database and the Think Dirty® Shop Clean app allow you to do a quick search of products and give you a rating based on the known hazards associated with ingredients listed on labels. I also look for products that have a list of which ingredients they specifically do not contain. You can find a list of harmful ingredients to avoid by searching “The Dirty Dozen” on the David Suzuki website.
Along with choosing products with safe ingredients, I also believe it is essential to choose skin and hair products that are safe for the environment as well as choosing products that do not test on animals at all. The Easter Bunny is cute but an even more important bunny is the one you can find on products that are “Leaping Bunny Approved”. This is an internationally recognized symbol that represents a standard that guarantees a product to be free of new animal testing of the ingredients and finished product.
With Earth Day just around the corner, we should all make an effort to look into the sustainability of the products we use. The sustainability of products can be broken down into four key questions that you can ask yourself. Are they practicing ethical sourcing of natural raw materials? What is involved in the cosmetic production (energy and water consumption, waste management)? What is their packaging like (compostable, biodegradable, recyclable)? And what is the biodegradability of the finished product? So next time you grab a product of the shelf, or click ‘add to cart’, I challenge you to look into the company’s sustainability practice. Make 2019 your year to make the switch to clean, safe, sustainable beauty products!
Here are a few of my favourite things that I use for myself and my toddler that I consider to all be ‘clean’ products.
- Aleva Naturals Bamboo Baby Wipes
- Monat Detangler
- Substance Nappy Ointment
- Beauty Counter Bebe Body Oil
- Tom’s Toddler Toothpaste
- Eminence Organic Skin Care
- Monat Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive and Lash & Brow Serum
- Nude by Nature is an Australian makeup company that is clean & affordable.
By Laura Soetemans