Check Your Current Products
Go through all of your products and check the ingredients/look them up on Think Dirty. If they aren’t on Think Dirty, visit the EWG Skin Deep page, where you can look up the each of the ingredients to see if they’re considered harmful (this takes some time, but you learn a lot along the way).
Make Your Own Judgement Calls
I still own a few products that I only use once in a blue moon and they aren’t exactly nontoxic. Don’t be so hard on yourself. This is a personal choice. Repeated exposure is the real enemy here, so if you have an eyeshadow you want to keep for a special occasion, keep it. If it’s something you use daily, you might want to consider swapping it for a safer option. There is no right or wrong way to do this. The most important thing is being aware of what is in your products. From there, you can decide whether it’s something you want to keep using.
Replace Your Products as They Run Out
This step might not be for everyone. Once you find out that you’re exposing yourself to dozens if not hundreds of potentially harmful chemicals, it can be difficult to keep doing it knowingly. But investing in all new skincare, makeup and personal care products at once can be extremely pricey and sometimes unrealistic. Replacing as you go can be the most economical and least wasteful way to make the switch, but again- it’s a judgement call!
Be Wary of Labels
Certain words like ‘natural’ are thrown around a lot and really have no legal meaning, so anyone can have NATURAL written in big block letters on their labels. This is meant to confuse consumers and trick them into buying something they believe is safe when it’s not. For this reason, it’s important to do your research and always pay attention to the ingredients. ‘Fragrance’ is a big one to be wary of, as it can contain hundreds of different chemicals, and the company is not obligated to disclose them.
Shop at Non-toxic Only Retailers
A great way to ensure your new products are truly non-toxic is by shopping at places like Credo, Follain or Detox Market. These retailers carry non-toxic products exclusively and even have locations in certain cities, which is great if you like to try things on before you invest.
Know Your Stuff
Just because something is all natural, doesn’t mean its necessarily going to work for you. Many natural ingredients can even cause skin reactions, especially if your skin is already sensitive. Conversely, just because a chemical is synthetic does not mean it’s automatically bad for you. This is where resources like Think Dirty and EWG Skin Deep become your best friends. There are many, many non-toxic beauty options available today. As with conventional beauty products, some are effective, and some are not. There will be a bit of trial and error. Luckily, we have things like reviews to go on these days.
I’ve been on this journey for about six months now, and I am still in the process of replacing all of my products. This process can take some time, but I feel confident that I’ve made the right choices for me. I hope you’ll consider making the switch too. While it requires some effort, the peace of mind you’ll have is priceless.