Written By Nancymarie B. @sincerelynancymarie
Most of us understand the importance of fueling our bodies with nourishing, wholesome foods, but did you know that the products we put onto our skin is absorbed by our bodies, which can also effect on our overall health? No? Not to worry, this article looks at why understanding the ingredients in your cosmetics is such a vital part of your eco-feminist journey.
HOW SERIOUS IS IT, REALLY?
In 2003, Europe recognized a need for stricter ingredient guidelines in the beauty industry because of the harmful effects on our health. To date, more than 1,300 chemicals have been banned from beauty products in Europe due to side effects including cancer, genetic mutations, and respiratory issues. With the same information, the US Food and Drug Administration has only banned 11 chemicals from cosmetics.
When it comes to makeup usage, Americans are leading the pack, which means thousands of toxins are polluting our environment, killing animals, and entering our bloodstream every day. And, as eco-feminists, it’s up to us to value our health and the planet, while encouraging others to do the same.
ALL OR NOTHING?
You don’t have to go cold turkey, unless you want to. Parting with your favourite products can be challenging, inconvenient, and maybe even emotional, so take your time. Consider swapping the one product you use the most with an eco-friendly alternative. In our Five Eco-Responsible Beauty Brands article, we gave you some great options to try. We recommend searching for products that are cruelty-free, 100 percent vegan, 100 percent recyclable, etc. Feel free to try out a couple of options until you find something that works for you. This can actually be quite fun and easy, and once you have switched your main product, the rest will come naturally – especially if your new brand has a line of products that carries everything you need.
As you start ditching products, try and identify the ingredients you want to avoid. Being an ingredient detective can be exhausting at first, but don’t worry honey, you’ll become a pro in no time. Canadian environmental activist, David Suzuki, has created an eco-responsible foundation, focusing on solutions to tackle the environmental crisis, and offering a very helpful list on the foundation’s website of 12 toxins that you definitely do not want in your cosmetics. Seeking out beauty products with minimal ingredients (and one’s you can actually pronounce) are its basic tenet.
If you want to save some money and tap into your creative self, try your hand at do-it-yourself recipes. Starter formulas are abundant on the internet and you can make anything from detoxifying facial masks to body scrubs and deep conditioners. Who knows, you may find your calling and be the next eco-friendly beauty business we spotlight!
GET OUT THERE AND DO YOUR THING
Living a healthy eco-friendly lifestyle is a holistic process that goes beyond watching what you eat and carrying your bamboo utensil set with you everywhere you go (but these are important, too!). It’s also about eliminating those things that harm both you and the environment. Your body is your soul’s home, the planet is your body’s home. They both deserve our care, love, and products that rejuvenate and energize from the inside out, and outside in.