I feel like this series needs a bit of an explanation. I’ve never not been interested in clean products. That is to say they’ve been part of my ethos before it was trendy – and I do feel like they are trendy at the moment (thank goodness!)
This idea for a blog series came to me after a question by a reader asking what was the easiest way to switch to a clean beauty cabinet. There are a lot of products on the market that claim to be clean and green, but navigating that world without spending a fortune can be tricky.
So what’s the trick? How do you know who to believe? What products should you switch out and what should you switch to? We’ll cover it all in this series throughout March and likely April talking product by product what to watch out for and why.
But first, let’s start with a bit of an education because there’s just so much information out there. Here’s a simple, basic breakdown of the difference between clean and green products.
Of course, this is just a very basic breakdown of the two – as you can imagine so many more nuances are involved, but for the most part this series is going to focus on that “Clean” category.
Do I think naturally derived products are superior? – Sometimes, but surprisingly not always.
Is it easier to switch to clean vs. green products? – In most cases, yes.
I think it’s important to know the difference between the two, but much MUCH more important to know the difference between products with toxic ingredients and ones without.
Bath and Body
For the first post, we’re kicking it off with two simple products that everyone owns and uses: body lotion and body soap.
Pretty much all popular, conventional body lotions contain a few concerning ingredients.
- Parabens – concerning because while parabens help preserve your favorite body lotion and keep it from molding on the shelf they are also linked to hormone disruptions and breast cancer.
Look for these ingredients on your favorite bottle to see if you’re actually just spreading toxins all over your body: butylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, or ethylparaben
- Fragrances – I think we all know deep down that many of the fragrances in body lotions are not natural but do you know exactly how bad they actually are?
Well, it’s a known fact that the FDA doesn’t require companies to list out the ingredients of the fragrance on the bottle so a lot flies under the radar. However, most commercial body lotions use diethyl phthalate in their formulate which is also used as an insecticide in wood finishes.
What to Swap: commercial/some drugstore body lotions (and yes, Bath and Body Works is a big culprit of using toxic ingredients in their products)
What to Use: brands with known “clean” beauty products. Or at least ones free from parabens!
What Brands to Look At
Well, Soapcreek is a great one. They definitely fall into the “green” product category which is perfect for their products. First time trying this Body Buttercreme of theirs it was magic. Smooth and creamy and perfect for dry, winter hands.
Soaps are a bit of a different story as they inherently have fewer ingredients but there are still a few reasons to switch over to cleaner bar soaps that your typical Dial or Dove.
- Chemical Dyes – while most typical body soaps just come white, so many are dyed with artificial colors that seep into your skin overtime.
- Parabens – if they’re not good in body lotion they’re also not going to be good in bars of soap.
- Polyethylene Glycol – used as thickening agents in so many skincare products this allows soap manufacturers to decrease the amount of glycerin in soaps and thicken it with a chemical compound that is a carrier for carcogin and heavy metals.
What to Swap: cheap & conventional bar soaps
What to Use: bars free from artificial dyes and harsh scents
What Brands to Look At :
- Soapcreek – yes I was gifted a bar of their Lavender and Honey bar soap and yes I will be using it every chance I get!
- Herbivore Botanicals – a truly beautifully clean brand with excellent ratings. Their clay soap is so good!
- Ursa Major – I’ve used their products in the past and not one has been a let down. Find their bar soap here.