I started learning about "the nasties" that are in many beauty products when I worked at Crabtree & Evelyn. We had to re-formulate some of our most famous fragrances and lotions because of a nasty ingredient called "Cocamide". Cocamide is a by-product of coconut oil, however, it is chemically modified into an unnatural, toxic form. Under Prop 65 in the state of California - Cocamide is banned from all products such as lotions, shampoo, conditioners, etc. because it has been known to cause cancer. This lead me to thinking... well if it's banned in Cali, why isn't it banned everywhere else??
Pretty quickly after that, my mom saw a few news stories regarding the use of chemicals that cause cancer that are in MANY, MANY of our beauty products. She called me, all riled up. "Here we are eating as healthy as possible - organic veggies, fruits, everything and then we slather chemicals all over our skin in the morning". She's right. WTH!
So, of course, we got to work. Luckily, the Crabtree products that I was 'selling' had removed cocamide and many of the other 'nasties". In addition to that, some of my favorite lotions were ok. But, I still had to make some major changes.
To help you better navigate the beauty department: Here's the list that is included in Prop 65.
Here's a short list of the more common offenders:
Cocamide DEA or Cocamide Diethanolamine
DEA Lauryl Sulfate or Diethanolamine Lauryl Sulfate
Lauramide DEA or Lauramide Diethanolamine
Linoleamide DEA or Linoleamide Diethanolamine
Oleamide DEA or Oleamide Diethanolamine
Any product containing TEA or Triethanolamine
Here are some of my favorite beauty products that I've made the switch to:
I have combination skin. I already knew that Vitamin C is great for skin so this face wash ($10-$15) caught my eye in the beauty department at Shaw's. I started using it and love it! I can now found it at Whole Foods, as well. I put it right on my Clarisonic or just as is.
You've heard a lot about coconut oil - eating it, "oil pulling", etc. Have you heard about it for a night cream? I've been using this as my "night face lotion" for months now and it's just lovely. And yes, I have combination skin so I was nervous about it being overly-greasy - it's not! I also use it as eye makeup remover. $6.99 for a bottle of refined, organic, coconut oil and I've had it for MONTHS! Cost-effective and one of the best things to put on your skin. (be warned: be careful using it to remove eye makeup - it's so greasy that sometimes it gets in my eyes - a little goes a long way)
Every single time I shower, I put lotion all over my body as soon as I get out. This is a nice, very light, non-greasy formula that I found at Whole Foods. It comes in around $10 for 32 fl oz. I've been dabbling in a bunch of different coconut oil-based lotions and my favorite so far is the coconut butter from Trader Joe's - it is so creamy and smells amazing.
I used to be pretty addicted to Visine eye drops. The easiest way to 'refresh' after a long day at work is eye drops and a little blush. I was also using Visine every morning. I knew it was bad, but, I couldn't stop. My mom talked to her doctor about eye drops and she recommended Thera-Tears... they are a little pricey... $11.99 for a bottle, but, they are preservative free and MUCH safer to use than Visine. At first, it took my eyes a while to adjust... now I use eye drops much less because my eyes are naturally whiter and moisturized so I use them much less.
I don't use Toner because I've always used Witch Hazel in place of it, but, if you do.... try Witch Hazel instead. I LOVE LOVE Witch Hazel. There is seriously no need to spend money on a Toner when you have a cheap big old bottle of Witch Hazel in the cabinet. Works great as a daily toner, for cuts, inflammation caused by bites, etc.
I've been meaning to write this blog post for a while so I hope you find it useful. I'm happy that most of the above listed products are all much less expensive than most beauty brand counterparts. I'll keep you updated with more of my favorite beauty items in future posts. Have a wonderful day! xo