Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine: 5 Simple Swaps for All-Natural Allure
We’re onto week 3 of the #springclean series — and I have to say this week’s topic has been a total game changer for my skin, hair, nails and confidence to boot!
Clean beauty has been totally trending lately (I mean Gwyneth wrote a whole book about it so you know it’s legit) and for good reason. Think about it — your skin is your body’s largest organ and absorbs up to 60 percent of what you put on it. And with us ladies lathering ourselves with 12-20 chemicals on average daily — 80% of which have never been tested for safety — this is a pretty big deal. Especially for someone like me, who is so diligent about avoiding pesticides and toxins from processed foods, but then slathering chemical-rich products all over myself…. umm, ick.
Luckily, more light is being shed on the industry (check out the documentary An Inconvenient Truth) and there are more clean beauty products on the market than ever (and a ton of double-duty ingredients you already have sitting in your pantry).
Read for some of my fave, simple, cost-effective clean beauty swaps you can easily try today.
#1 Swap Body-Lotion For Coconut Oil
Body lotion is one of the biggest clean beauty offenders, often containing environment hazardous parabens, which are linked to allergies, skin toxicity, biochemical changes in the body, developmental and reproductive disorders, endocrine disruption, tissue irradiation, organ toxicity and cancer.
The easiest swap and most bang for your buck? Trade out lotion for a huge jar of coconut oil (I buy in bulk at Costco). Not only will it last you a full year, but it contains only one ingredient (coconut) and is super moisturizing, hydrating and smells delicious. If you’re not into the scent you can find unscented kinds, or if you want something a bit more high-end, you can upgrade for an oil formula, which easily slathers over skin.
Bonus Tip: Coconut Oil also makes for an excellent, all-natural makeup remover.
#2 Trade Body-Scrub for a Coffee Rub
Just like body lotions, body washes also tend to contain parabens. Be weary especially of generic scrubs, which can create microscopic tears in the skin, causing infections and irritations. About a year ago I switched over to using a coffee scrub, which is chock-full of free-radical fighting, skin protecting and youth-boosting antioxidants that beautify, firm and sooth skin. The caffeine in the coffee also stimulates circulation and perks up tired complexions. Plus it’s completely eco-friendly and can be found right in your kitchen cupboard.
You can try making your own with this simple DIY coffee coconut scrub, or if you’re willing to shell out a bit more cash for something ready-made, this Cardamom Coffee Scrub is about as luxurious as it gets.
#3 Go Fluoride-Free
True-story, last year I noticed these tiny, red bumps around my mouth that would not go away. I assumed it was acne, but after a month I went to a dermatologist who told me it was actually Perioral Dermatitis, a facial rash (gross) that has been linked to fluoride in toothpaste. Turns out fluoride, when taken daily, can be toxic — and with fluoride already in our water and being absorbed in our mouths through toothpaste — we may be getting way too much in our system, leading to thyroid issues, skin inflammation and even cancer.
Once I stopped using my usual toothpaste, my Perioral Dermatitis went away and hasn’t come back. My fave brand is Tom’s of Maine Fluoride-Free Peppermint toothpaste, or you can try making your own with this DIY recipe.
#4 Attempt All-Natural
Okay, this one might be a struggle for some ladies, as the makeup we wear every day is pretty much our second skin — and the thought of going to work makeup free is pretty much the same thing as showing up in our underwear. But lately women are swearing by the 5:2 diet, where you give your skin at least two days a week makeup-free, in order to allow your body and skin to detox from your everyday products—no matter how natural they may be.
I began doing this last year, although truthfully it was pretty much out of sheer laziness. But the more I tried it, the more comfortable I felt sans makeup and the more I embraced my natural beauty. Now I barely ever wear makeup (perks of WFH) and while I’m definitely not saying you have to do this, I do love that going all-natural is really a part of a bigger movement, about feeling more confident in yourself and what you contribute to the world and less about beauty on an artificial level.
That being said, I do realize asking most women to give up makeup is just not realistic. Start small by seeing if you can go one day a week sans makeup (maybe on a Sunday you’re cozied up at home?) or at the very least start paying attention to what goes into your beauty products. Use this handy infographic to start making clean beauty purchases, or follow this guide on the 3 best beauty product swaps you can make.
Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside of your body. The biggest difference I noticed in my outer appearance was when I started fueling my body with real, whole, plant-based + beauty-boosting foods and drinking tons of water. It’s so much easier to go makeup free and feel confident in your skin when you’re in good health and taking care of yourself.
#5 Toxic Deodorant is the Pits
Sorry, couldn’t help myself with that one. But on a more serious note, there have been many studies linking deodorants to diseases like cancer and Alzhemier’s disease. This could be because most antiperspirant formulas are made up of chemicals like parabens (refer to #1) as well as toxic heavy metals like aluminum that are potentially absorbed by the skin…and have been found within many breast-cancer tumors.