by Sabrina Zimmerman
From the air we breathe, water we drink, to the food we eat, every day we unknowingly expose ourselves to harmful toxins, chemicals and pesticides.
In the fast paced world we live in, many of us overlook or don’t realize the abundance of unhealthy toxins lurking in our beauty and personal products.The truth is that our bodies are not impermeable and everything that we touch and put onto ourselves and into ourselves does indeed make it into our bloodstream. While we may not always have much control over what environmental toxins we are exposed to, we as consumers can make changes to our personal and beauty routines, to reduce our overall toxic exposure.
To help you make the change, below are 9 commonly used personal care and beauty items that can be easily swapped for a safer green alternative.
Why you should be concerned: Conventional hair care such as shampoo and conditioner contain ingredients like Sulfates (Sodium Lauryl & Sodium Laureth), Silicones, Propylene Glycol, Parabens and Synthetic Fragrances (read more here and here) that can cause skin irritation. These harmful ingredients often cause rashes and hair loss, while for many the side effects are more hidden and can include damage to the immune system and organs or even cancer.
Green Haircare Pick: Innersense Organic Beauty www.innersensebeauty.com $18-26
Innersense Organic Beauty has an entire hair care line that is free from all harsh or harmful chemicals (wondering what these harmful chemicals are, then click here). All of their products are formulated with high-quality organic and biodynamic ingredients chosen for their anti-oxidant, anti-aging and nourishing properties. Personal favorites include the “Color Awakening” Hair Bath & “Color Radiance” Daily Conditioner. The shampoo is a gentle cleanser for color treated hair and is hand crafted using organic and biodynamic ingredients of Coconut, Pumpkin Seed and Shea Butter, as well as Sunflower Seed extract for natural antioxidant benefits. This will cleanse, hydrate and protect color from fading. The Conditioner is perfect fro anyone who wants to protect their hair and prevent color fade-out as well as keeps strands nourished and full of shine. Innersense Beauty entire hair care line cruelty free and environmentally friendly.
Why you should be concerned: The main ingredient in conventional deodorants and antiperspirants is aluminum, and its primary function is to stop you from sweating. Because it accomplishes this by basically “plugging” your sweat glands, any toxins that have accumulated in your sweat isn’t perspired out, which can lead to a whole myriad of health issues over time. Not to mention that where we apply deodorant (our armpits) is right over our Lymph Nodes and is the gateway to our Lymphatic System (Lymph Nodes are in our bodies to help clean away the toxins and filter the Lymphatic System, find out more about why our Lymph Nodes are important here).
Green Deodorant Pick: PiperWai www.piperwai.com $11.99
Piper Wai natural deodorant uses activated charcoal as a substitute for aluminum, this deodorant allows your body to perform its natural function of perspiration, but the charcoal helps to absorb any wetness and neutralizes odor at the same time. It also contains essential oils for anti-microbial action while providing a clean, fresh scent.
Why you should be concerned: The main ingredients in most lip balms are Petroleum Jelly and Mineral Oil, both of which are derived from crude oil and essentially create a barrier over the skin, preventing it from “breathing” (think covering your lips with saran wrap!). This in turn interferes with the normal function of the skin, slowing down cellular turnover and contributing to accelerated aging in the long run. Other issues can include contact dermatitis and acne.
Green Lip Balm Pick: Kari Gran ‘Lip Whips’ www.KariGran.com $15-20
Kari Gran Lip Whips are formulated with moisturizing and organic oils and ingredients like Castor Seed Oil, Sunflower Oil, Vitamin E and Beeswax, these lip whips leave your lips feeling soft and dewy for hours. A personal favorite is their ‘Tinted Lip Whip,‘ a soft, subtle shade of pink that flatters every skin tone and is perfect for everyday wear! *If you are vegan or look for vegan products, it should be noted that the Lip Whips do contain Beeswax and Carmine.
Why you should be concerned: Most pads and tampons on the market are made with synthetic ingredients like rayon, plastics, wood pulp and conventional (GMO) cotton which involves massive amounts of pesticides and chemical processes. Non-organic cotton is also bleached with chlorine dioxide. This process creates the chemical by-product dioxin, which is a substance that according to the EPA is extremely toxic!
Organic Green Tampon & Pad Pick: Fleur Organics www.fleurorganics.com $20 a cycle
Fleur Organics was created by a registered nurse who saw the potential dangers of using conventional feminine products, she sought to provide safer, healthier options. Fleur Organics was her solution. These non toxic tampons & pads are of 100% organic cotton and other non-toxic substances, these products are designed to minimize the risks of irritations and allergies in your most intimate area! What i love is that Fleur Organics offers a subscription option, in which you can customize your products according to your cycle and don’t have to worry about reordering.
Why you should be concerned: There are two ways that sunscreen can protect us from sun damage – either a chemical barrier or a mineral one. The ingredients used in most conventional (chemical) sunscreens include oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. All of these ingredients can disrupt hormones, reproductive and thyroid function, or causes skin irritation or allergies.
Green Sunscreen Pick: Enessa Organic Skincare “Sol” – www.Enessa.com $23-$55
An anti-aging moisturizer and sunscreen in one, “Sol” uses non-nano Zinc Oxide and organic Red Raspberry Seed Oil to protect the skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays. Rich, and hydrating, this goes on clear without leaving a greasy feel to the skin. It contains nourishing organic oils such as Argan, Jojoba, Rosehip and Tamanu for a soft, radiant complexion. Also makes a great primer for under make-up!
Green Tinted Sunscreen Pick: Coola Suncare www.CoolaSuncare.com $36
Coola Organics offers two tinted options – a matte tint with a spf 30 for oily skin that uses a non-nano Zinc Oxide and a moisturizing version with a spf 20 that uses Titanium Dioxide for those who may be sensitive to Zinc Oxide. Both contain organic ingredients, provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and both are water resistant.
Why you should be concerned: For the same reasons you should be concerned about your facial care, you should also worry about what is lurking in your body care. Parabens, Phenoxyethanol, Urea, Alcohol, Mineral Oil, etc..make appearances in conventional body lotions too, causing the same kinds of issues!
The Vanilla Citrus oil from Indie Lee is a multi-tasking oil that can be used on the body, face or hair, this ‘moisturizer’ is formulated with hydrating jojoba, sweet almond and apricot oils and is scented with vanilla and sweet orange for a truly delightful combination. I recommend using this organic body oil while your skin is still damp after showering and your skin will be soft and sweet smelling all day long!
Why you should be concerned: Many of the perfumes on the market contain synthetic fragrances, which is essentially the brand’s “signature scent” and can be made up of dozens of toxic chemicals that can cause allergies, migraines and hormone disruption (source).
Green Perfume Option: Lurk www.LurkMade.com $55-$225
Lurk Made perfumes are made with organic, wild-crafted, sustainable and non-GMO ingredients. Lurk provides intoxicating scents that are not only pure, however they actually lasts quite long (I have found that many ‘natural’ perfumes do not stay all day). A personal favorite is the “OM 011”, a sexy blend of oudh and sandalwood that intertwine with notes of feminine jasmine, rose and lotus blossom for a truly exquisite scent!
Why you should be concerned: If you take a look at the ingredients of just about every conventional serum or moisturizer, you’ll probably find a very similar list – including Alcohol, Parabens, Phenoxyethanol, Urea, Propylene Glycol, Dimethicone (or other silicones), Mineral Oil and Petrolatum (these are just a few of the hundreds out there). All of mentioned chemicals/ingredients are known for causing skin irritation, acne, contact dermatitis, accelerated aging, and worse!
The Auve Radiance Infusion Face Oil is beautiful and rich, yet a very lightweight oil that also contains some of the most potent firming and age defying ingredients around. Including Bootlace Bark Extract and Apricot Seed Oil work to tone and firm skin, while Grapeseed Oil improves the overall quality of skin and Squalane infuses skin with hydration. This natural oil can be used as your daily serum and moisturizer, and with the natural jasmine scent you’ll find it addictive! All Auve products are hand crafted, cruelty-free and eco-friendly while being made without mineral oil, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic dyes or GMO’s.
Why you should be concerned: Like shampoo, many face washes on the market contain Sulfates, which can strip your skin of its natural oils and disrupt your skin’s healthy “balance”. For those with oily skin, this may mean your skin becomes more oily as it will strive to replace what was lost, for drier skins, this may make your skin even more dry. Other common and toxic ingredients may include Parabens, Alcohol (drying to skin), Urea, and Fragrance/Parfum (synthetic).
Green Facial Cleanser Pick: Sircuit Cosmeceuticals ‘X-Trap+’ www.SircuitSkin.com $38
X-Trap from Sircuit Cosmeceuticals is a gentle daily cleanser that is made with non-drying and mild cleansing agents, it will leave your skin feeling clean, baby soft and pampered. It’s formulated with Organic Shea Butter to soften, L-Alpha-Bisabolol to calm, soothe and heal and a peptide made from Moringa Seeds to help purify and protect skin from environmental pollution. This is free from artificial fragrances, preservatives, and colors, and is gluten and cruelty-free.
With the growing popularity of green beauty and skincare, and the growing awareness and concern of how the ingredients used in our products affects us, it’s comforting to know that we have so many wonderful and healthier options to choose from.
Find more of Sabrina Zimmerman’s favorite green products by visiting www.TheBrunetteEcoholic.com