Katie O’Sullivan writes about non-toxic and organic skin care, natural makeup and eco home products as The Green Product Junkie. A native New Yorker, she’s well aware of the impact trash (most notably plastic) is having on the environment and of the dangers of toxic ingredients in conventional skin care and makeup products. With a little humor, she’s happy to help give you that gentle nudge (that can occasionally be defined as a “strong push”) to make the life-changing move into the world of green beauty and lifestyle.
The Girl With The Big Basket
Yeah, that was me. I was that woman you’d see at Sephora with the big basket and an even bigger smile. I absolutely loved going in there. Sephora was my Mecca and I would literally get lost in there for hours just testing lipsticks on my wrist all the way up to my elbow. I look back now and I’m like, “What was I thinking? How could I not have known?” Well, to be fair, it’s incredibly easy not to be aware mainly because cosmetic and skin care companies don’t want you to know what ingredients they’re using and they’re really hoping that you’ll just keep buying and stay clueless. Unless you seek out this information, you’ll be hard-pressed to have anyone just offering it up to you, which brings me to how I came to start asking questions about what was in my products…
Deodorant or Lipstick?
I’m not sure which one it was that came first…was it that I found out about the lead they put in some lipsticks and how much we actually consume in a year, or the toxins in deodorant? Whichever it was, the second I began reading and learning, I immediately knew that I needed to make some huge changes, and fast! It was then that I started seriously researching alternatives to all of my toxic makeup, my deodorant and all of my skin care. Making the switch wasn’t a slow process for me mainly because as soon as I had the information, everything made sense to me and I was all in. I’m always surprised (but I totally understand) how people can have all of the information about how toxic the ingredients in conventional products are for our health, yet want to hold on to them until “they finish them up.” Gosh, that was so not the case with me. I broke up with all of my stuff as soon as I realized that it was harmful to me and started replacing the staples within a few hours.
But Green? It’s Just Too Expensive!
That’s a myth. I get it, organic food is more expensive, but you know what I always say? Cancer is far more expensive, as is sickness and disease. Green beauty does not have to be expensive and you don’t have to go out and buy everything all at once. I’m actually pretty stunned when I go into a pharmacy now and see the prices of conventional products…they are expensive, especially considering the garbage ingredients they are using. Green beauty can run from inexpensive to really expensive, it’s just like anything else. And, I find, I can always find less-expensive alternatives to most products. If you’re on a serious budget, I recommend you start with Acure Organics. You just can’t get more affordable than that, and it is a fantastic line. In fact, I recommend it to just about every budget-conscious person that comes to me saying they want to go green. If you need specific information on products from them, you can search my blog, I write about them all the time.
Where Do I Start?
First off, whatever you do, don’t be overwhelmed. Look it as something fun because you know what? It is. This industry is filled with great people who make wonderful products that will improve your skin, will smell better than anything else you’ve ever sniffed and, on top of it all, they are infinitely better for your health! I recommend making these changes first (in no particular order):
The top four are essential for health, the next two, I say do because your skin will love you for it. My first product I ever used in Green Beauty was Kahina Giving Beauty’s Argan Oil. It’s a staple. Honestly, I think that if you’re trying to get into pure skincare, you’ll most likely want to start with their Argan oil, as you can use it to moisturize your face, tame hair, your nails, it’s just wonderful.
So Many Choices…Oy!
Yeah, there’s a lot of green beauty out there right now. When I started getting into this, it wasn’t this popular, so it was a tad easier. But, my blog has lots of recommendations for everything from concealer to foot scrubs and although I detest choosing favorites, here’s a breakdown of some places for you to start.
FAVORITE GREEN BEAUTY STORES:
So, in closing, Green beauty is just the right way to go. Think of it this way, nicotine patches are used because they help the skin absorb the nicotine, so why would we ever think that many of the other products we put on our skin aren’t being absorbed?
When you start to become use clean, pure skin care and makeup, it won’t be long before you start considering the environment in general. It just happens. It did for me, anyway. On my blog, I’ve got lots of suggestions of how you can green up your lifestyle. A few quick changes you can make?
Dental Floss – This packaging is paper so it can be recycled, instead of plastic that will sit in a landfill for hundreds of years.
Toothbrush – This toothbrush is made from recycled yogurt cups and you can send back to the company to be recycled yet again.
Glass Straw – Did you know that 500 million straws are used daily? They take quite a bit of time to biodegrade, too. Like, around 750 years…yeah, bad. So, I got myself a glass straw, but you can also get aluminum. When I forget mine, I try to remember to say, “No straw, please” when I order a drink.
Reusable Utensils – These are so important, especially if you’re ordering takeout all of the time and using single-use plastic utensils. Plus, they’re gorgeous. I give them as gifts.
Reusable Bags – My favorite are made by Bag the Habit because they use recycled materials to make their bags AND they have padded handles. I’ve been using them for years.
So, with that, good luck with your journey, trust me, it’s a fun one!