At Amare, we try to do what’s best for our bodies, our kids, and our planet. We believe that clean, nontoxic beauty is part of living a healthy lifestyle — just like eating well and staying fit.
We also know that entering the world of clean beauty can feel like a part time job (so. many. labels.), and we’re here to make your intro a little smoother. You don’t need a free weekend and a pile of cash to clean up your beauty routine. We promise.
These five product categories are a great way to get your figurative feet wet and see what clean beauty is all about.
We know what you’re thinking. “Amazing Natural Deodorant” is basically an oxymoron. Not true! We’re happy to report that there are plenty of vegan, cruelty-free formulas that are packed with healthy benefits for our bodies. And they actually work.
Deodorant is often the gateway product for people looking to make the switch to clean beauty. Why? Aluminum.
The active ingredient in pretty much every conventional antiperspirant formula is aluminum (aka aluminum zirconium), which is controversial for a number of reasons. The biggest concern is that it inhibits our essential detox function and blocks up our sweat glands so toxins can’t escape. Plus, the skin of the armpit is exfoliated each time we shave, which makes it extra vulnerable to absorbing harsh chemicals and potentially harmful ingredients (ahem, aluminum).
Several scientific studies also suggest a link between aluminum and breast cancer, endocrine disruption and Alzheimer’s disease. Not surprisingly, deodorant is often the first product breast cancer patients are told to replace.
It’s hard to argue with science. Please, please find a clean, aluminum-free formula that works for you. And tell your girlfriends to do it, too.
Conventional moisturizers contain lots of toxic fillers and preservatives that can interfere with the nervous and reproductive systems. That’s a hard pass from us.
Of course, finding the best organic moisturizer for your face will depend on your skin type and condition. If your skin is dry, you’ll want to look for rich organic oils like coconut, avocado, and argan oil. If your skin tends to be more oily, you’ll benefit from an oil-free option that contains clay (which absorbs oil) or oil-balancing ingredients like grapeseed, sunflower, or carrot seed oil.
Bonus: look for a lightweight formula that includes SPF so you don’t have to find a separate sunscreen for UV protection.
3. Lip Balm
Turns out we actually eat this stuff (estimates say the average North American woman ingests between three to seven pounds of lip product in their lifetime. Yum?) but many mainstream balms and lipsticks contain all sorts of synthetic ingredients, harmful chemicals and other toxins.
If you can’t pronounce all of the ingredients in your lip balm, it’s time to switch. Luckily, there are literally hundreds of lip products made with safe, organic, natural ingredients. Here are some of the good guys you want to see on the label:
- Organic beeswax
- Coconut oil
- Cocoa butter
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
When it comes to cleanser, the #1 ingredient to avoid is SLS (aka sodium lauryl sulfate), which is an additive commonly used to give these products a foamy, bubbly consistency. SLS is a known skin irritant and can be especially harsh on the eyes.
We recommend switching to a formula that uses a natural foaming agent like sugar or coconut for a truly safe, effective cleanse. These blends won’t strip your skin of vital nutrients or irritate your eyes. (Plus, they smell amazing.)
Here’s the dirty on clean soap: mass market formulas are often made with toxic sulfates and “fragrances,” which is a term used on product labels to represent an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients. This is a problem, since it doesn’t actually tell you what’s in the product.
Just like with cleanser, you’ll want to avoid harmful SLS suds and add a nontoxic soap to your regimen.
Bonus points for sustainability if you also upgrade to refillable glass bottles!
And if you only read one sentence in this article, let it be this… when in doubt, opt for simple formulas with ingredients you can understand. Because one thing we’re definitely not looking for in our beauty products…