“Clean” beauty products are defined as those that are safe for our health, non-toxic, and are clear or transparent about their ingredients. Clean products are also those that are safer and healthier for the environment. There is a reason why clean beauty or clean products have been buzzwords in the past few years: The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are not always clear about which products are green-washed, so consumers have had to find ways to find genuinely clean products on their own.
Regardless of your reason for wanting to transition to clean products—whether for your health or the planet—know that it’s always a worthy and noble decision. Here are some tips to make your switch as seamless as possible.
Understand your skin and its needs
One of the biggest challenges you will face in transitioning to clean beauty is saying goodbye to a routine that works for you. If you already have traditional products that have worked for you for so many years, but they don’t necessarily make the cut as clean products, you will need to find ways to re-learn and understand your skin all over again to know the best alternatives for every step. Here are some steps you can take to get to know your skin once again:
- Observe how your complexion responds to specific formulas and nutrients. Use sample giveaway products from stores like Sephora and Ulta.
- Be patient as you pay attention to the changes on your skin; clean and green beauty products will always work differently compared to their more traditional counterparts.
- Do a patch test on the inside of your wrist before you apply the product to your face.
- Consult with your dermatologist to understand your problem areas. Only they will know the best and most effective anti-aging products that are clean.
Know what ingredients to avoid
The past few years have given rise to a laundry list of ingredients we need to avoid. While they’re not completely harmful in small doses, some research has shown they can be a cause of concern. Here are some examples of ingredients you need to avoid:
- Carcinogens, which are often added in cosmetic pigments
- Heavy metals like arsenic, lead, mercury, and other contaminants are usually found in traditional lipsticks, toothpaste, nail color, and eyeliner
- Mica, used in powder products, is known for being filler in asphalt and cement and for being sourced unethically
- Parabens, which are preservatives added in a wide array of personal hygiene products
- Talc, which is believed to contain some amount of carcinogen asbestos and should be avoided in powder products
There are plenty of other ingredients of concern that you need to take note of. Make sure to reference multiple sources and exhaust every source of information you can find. Research brands’ ethos on this issue; you will be sure to find more information on their websites and social media accounts.
Do it one step at a time
You don’t need to make the switch in one go so that you don’t get overwhelmed. You can organize your priorities according to tiers. For example, you can start with the products that contain the most toxic ingredients and work your way from there. Here are some products that might contain more non-safe products that we use more regularly:
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Feminine wash
Since these are the products we use every day and on a more intimate basis, consider switching them up first. The second priority tier can be your household cleaning products. If you’re not using makeup every day due to the pandemic, then consider doing the switch only when you have to wear makeup for work again.
Gain an insight into the movement
One of the best ways to ensure you won’t give up on the task, especially when it gets hard, is knowing why you’re doing it. If you’re driven by purpose, then no challenge will stop you. Remember that the clean movement started because a group of activists wanted consumers to make more informed choices and not just fall into the trappings of aggressive marketing. If you’re also for sustainability, remember why you choose to support brands that have expressed care for the environment.
The task may be hard, but it’s worth it. Your body deserves nothing less than excellent and safe products, and our planet deserves to be cared for as well. Observe your skin, do your research, take it one day at a time, and remember why you started—and you’re well on your way to making a seamless transition to clean beauty.