Minimalism in the Medicine Cabinet : Transitioning to Green Beauty

Green beauty can be overlooked in the wellness world. And let’s be real, its much easier to add a smoothie into your routine than to sacrifice your favorite mascara (your absolute favorite mascara of 3 years that doesn’t run at all and makes all other makeup unnecessary). I get it.

While I have been on this health-journey for about 4 years, I didn’t seriously consider using natural products until about 2 years ago.

Here was my reasoning:

“What I put on my skin couldn’t possibly be as important as what I eat.” False.

“Green cosmetics won’t be as effective.” False.

“If this product was dangerous for my health, there’s no way a company could sell it to me.”  Absolutely false.

“I love Sephora.” Still true…but Sephora sells green products, too. 

Truth be told, I didn’t really want to change my habits. It sounded like an incredible hassle to replace all of my beauty products and find decent substitutes….and an expensive hassle at that.

I didn’t want to hear that my perfect shade of red lipstick contained lead. I preferred not to think about how the endocrine disruptors in my shampoo were affecting my hormones. Could not even begin to consider that my lotion contained carcinogens.

Eventually, my ‘ignorance is bliss’ reasoning fell short and it was time to take the plunge.

Educating myself on how to shop for green beauty products has been the hardest part of this process.

For example, can you name the use, origin, and potential health hazards of Myristal Myristate? No? Neither can I.

I am not a chemist, but I shouldn’t have to be to know if my cleanser causes cancer.

If you’re new to the green beauty scene, I highly recommend following the ‘Dirty Dozen‘ list or checking your products on EWG’s Skin Deep Database. Its not a perfect system, but it can hopefully offer a point of reference while you’re finding products that work for you. Remember, manufacturers aren’t required to disclose the full ingredient list of their products. I would not trust any company that is not willing to disclose their ingredients.

Additionally, you can make it super easy on yourself and find ethical suppliers that you trust. Blissoma Holistic Skincare in St. Louis supplies most of my beauty regimen. Blissoma has incredible standards –vegan, cruelty free, non-toxic — so I can buy without doing heavy research. Another company I’ve been enjoying is Credo.

Minimalism in the Medicine Cabinet 

As part of my Minimalist Project, I decided to address my skincare & cosmetics first. Two birds with one stone; I could purge any lingering toxic products while taking the first step towards organizing my entire apartment. Not to mention my medicine cabinet is the smallest storage space in the smallest room of my home….baby steps.

Keep the products that are safe, dispose of anything else – my guidelines were crystal clear.

While there wasn’t any sentimental value obstructing the process, my biggest obstacle was practicality. “Yes, I do only wear this Urban Decay eye shadow once a year, and yes, I have totally had is since freshman year of college….but what if an occasion comes up and I just absolutely need a smoky eye?” (Unlikely). Products like these landed in the linen closet to be reevaluated at a later date. Like I said, baby steps.

Now all of my everyday essentials can fit fashionably in the tiny cabinet. I added a few small jars to store my makeup brushes & toothbrush, too. Its very aesthetically pleasing & completely gratifying. Minimalism Phase 1: complete.

Here are a few of my favorite green beauty products that live on my shelf:

1.Kind Beauty It Stick in Bulgarian Rose

I love fragrance but since switching to green beauty, I haven’t found a natural perfume outside of essential oils. The Kind Beauty It Stick in Bulgarian Rose smells completely divine & the scent stays with me all day. Its extremely versatile & you can use it as a deodorant, lotion bar, or solid perfume. I use it as a deodorant. It goes on smooth & is extremely moisturizing. I cannot wait to try the other scents, I’m particularly interested in the Cedar Grove & Lavender Fields. WARNING: This product is not approved for hot yoga.

2. Timeless Vitamin C Serum

I talk about this product constantly. Seriously, if you even mention skincare to me I will bring up Timeless. Blissoma’s vitamin C serum is a lifesaver when I haven’t gotten enough sleep. It instantly brightens, plumps, and gives me a fresh, dewey complexion. With this product I see instant results, but overtime I have noticed my forehead lines seem fainter (insert amazed emoji here). Some days I apply a few drops underneath my moisturizer, others I apply a thick layer on my face overnight. Favorite serum, hands down.

3. Homemade Body Butter

I recently helped to host a body butter workshop and I was lucky enough to leave with my own jar. The base is a blend of mango butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and argon oil. My favorite part of the workshop was designing a signature scent. I chose a mixture of patchouli, vanilla, & cedar. Basically, I smell like a flower child/woodland princess all the time and I love it. Feeling enthusiastic about DIY skincare.

4. David’s Toothpaste

Natural toothpastes can have a bitter taste, but David’s is a super easy transition away from traditional options. Its lightly sweet, fresh, & minty. It looks beautiful in my cabinet (which is saying something for toothpaste) and it comes with a metal twisty thing (technical term) to get all of the toothpaste out of the tube. Practicality at its best.

5. Lavender Essential Oil

Remember me mentioning that I love fragrance? Lavender oil is my go-to scent. Whether I am leaving the house for work or about to tuck into bed, I apply a few drops of lavender oil on my wrist & temples. When I first started practicing yoga, one of my instructors would end class by placing a few drops of lavender on my forehead during savasana and it would completely transport me to my happy place.

6. Intelligent Nutrients Leave in Conditioner

My hair is thick, wavy, and washed only once a week. Rather than becoming oily, my hair gets dryer as the days go on. Leave in conditioner is one of the only hair products I use consistently. I use it after I wash my hair & occasionally throughout the week when my mane is on the fritz. Currently using & loving Intelligent Nutrients Leave-In Conditioner. Alas, I could not find the product on their website and I am desperately afraid they stopped making it… Luckily, I buy from a local vendor and there are still a few in stock!

7. RMS Un-Cover Up

Makeup is not in my daily routine. I crave to look a bit more put together, but truthfully speaking I just cannot make myself wear makeup when I don’t feel like it. It is often irritating to have a face full of product and most mornings I would rather read than ‘put on my face‘. When I do make the time, I adore RMS Beauty. The Un-Cover Up is my under eye concealer and covers any blemishes. RMS is made with coconut oil and goes on as a ‘second skin’. Many under-eye concealers make me appear old & tired, but RMS looks super natural and because it is oil based, I look moisturized and fresh.

XX

Ellie

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