We all want to make smart decisions when it comes to our health. That’s why plant-based restaurants and wellness-friendly hotels are on the rise, and organic eats and sustainable brands have never been more popular.
The thing is, there’s a huge focus on what we put into our bodies — eating local, organic, non-GMO foods, etc. — but not much talk about what we put onto them. That’s a problem, because lotions, body washes, shampoos, make up, and other cosmetics often contain toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancers, allergies, neurological disorders and reproductive issues.
And it’s perfectly legal, because cosmetics regulation laws haven’t been meaningfully updated in this country since 1938. That’s 80+ years!
Plus, putting harmful chemicals on your skin or scalp may be even worse than eating them. The food we eat gets filtered through enzymes in our saliva and stomach, which break down what’s ingested and flush it out of the body. When it comes to your skin, roughly 60% of everything you put on it makes its way into your bloodstream. Scary.
Um, what about safety standards?
The average woman’s daily beauty regimen includes twelve products — with HUNDREDS of different ingredients (!!!). Unfortunately in the U.S. there is no governmental task force responsible for inspecting the ingredients used in personal care products.
That means beauty companies pretty much regulate themselves.
No one is checking to make sure the ingredients that go into your cleansers, makeup, and moisturizers are safe. Seriously.
In other parts of the world, oversight is a bit more strict (as in, it exists). Europe has banned 1,500 toxic substances from personal care products, and Canada has banned 500 to date. As for the United States? That number is a shamefully low 30.
So if you live in the U.S., it’s on you to make sure you’re not slathering yourself in toxic chemicals everyday. If you want to lead a truly healthy lifestyle, cleaning up your beauty routine and making the switch to nontoxic products is nonnegotiable.
So, what? I can’t wear make-up now?
Don’t panic. Before you swear off mascara forever, here’s the good news: clean beauty lines are stepping up to make truly nontoxic, cruelty-free, organic beauty products more readily available than ever. TONS of indie beauty brands are setting new standards for totally safe products that deliver amazing results and can compete with popular toxic favorites. Even some big names in the industry (Nordstrom, Sephora, Dermstore) have introduced natural skincare and fragrance lines.
If it seems daunting to completely revamp your beauty regimen, start small. We recommend opting for an aluminum-free deodorant or trying a clean, nontoxic moisturizer to start. You can check out our beginner’s guide to clean beauty here.
This is starting to sound expensive…
“Natural” and “organic” products are often associated with higher prices, so it’s important to understand exactly what you’re paying for.
Some clean beauty brands charge more simply because it costs more to source natural, organic ingredients in responsible ways. Certified Organic farms are required to comply with specific regulations and are subject to inspections, so the cost of filing fees, inspectors, compliance, and so on can really add up. These farms also need to use natural growing aids and pesticides, which are more costly than conventional alternatives.
Beyond that, organic beauty products tend to contain fewer “cheap” ingredients (like water and emulsifiers) and more expensive natural preservatives.
Still — those factors shouldn’t result in exorbitant prices for most natural and organic beauty lines. So why are there so many pricey products out there?
The short answer is branding. Some organic beauty lines want you believe that clean beauty is a luxury. That means fancy labels, pricey packaging, expensive marketing, and more $$$ from you.
But! Amazing, affordable natural skincare and haircare products exist — the trick is to sort through the suppliers who are authentic about their mission. The best beauty brands are making the world a healthier place by creating products we can trust.
Because clean beauty is for everyone.
Clean beauty brands are having a serious moment right now, and we believe this is the start of an even bigger movement. And eventually — with continued help from consumers (and maybe a Kardashian?) clamoring for safer options and more transparency — the clean beauty industry will just be… the beauty industry.