Green Beauty 101: 5 Easy Ways to Swap Your Conventional Products for Nontoxic Options

The recent hype about natural, organic beauty products might have you wondering if you should take the leap into cleaner cosmetics. Since about 60 percent of what we put ON our skin (including makeup, lotions, fragrances, oils and balms) makes its way into our bodies, it’s smart to pick products with ingredients that aren’t potentially harmful. In the largely unregulated cosmetics industry—there hasn’t been federal legislation regarding beauty and personal care products since 1938, and the United States only bans or restricts 11 ingredients while the European Union has restrictions on 1,328—we have to be our own advocates by reading labels, asking questions and staying informed.

According to a 2004 study by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the average woman uses more than 12 personal care products on a daily basis. Those cosmetics contain an average of 168 chemical ingredients, many of which are linked to cancer, hormone disruptions or bad allergies.

But if you’re just venturing into the clean cosmetics world, it can be overwhelming to decipher between good-for-you additives and not-so-great ingredients. Instead of losing all hope of luxe products that make you as giddy as when you first swiped on your mom’s red lipstick, resigning to rinsing your hair with filtered water and using beets as lip tints, read on to find out five easy ways to start swapping your conventional products for greener options.

Five Easy Ways to Green Your Beauty Routine

  1. Replace items as you run out. There’s no need to rush home and throw out all your current products, especially if you just bought a brand new bottle! Just replace it with a cleaner, greener option next time you need a refill.
  2. Start with products that you use on large surface areas. Want to start the green routine ASAP but don’t know what to toss first? Start with products that cover the most surface area of your body, like body wash and body lotion or face lotion and foundation. Then work up to replacing things like concealer, mascara, shampoo and face wash.
  3. Start DIYing. Tons of everyday products that you probably already have can be turned into cosmetics. Moisturize with coconut or olive oil; create a hairspray with vodka, honey and lemon juice.
  4. Get picky. To save a little dough as you transition your routine, only splurge on items that stay on your body. Choose a cheaper face wash, but a more expensive face oil or treatment. Go for a less expensive shampoo but invest in a good leave-in hair treatment.
  5. Sample, sample, sample! Try a travel kit of a line or product you’re interested in first to make sure you’re excited about the results. Or, stop into the VERT Beauty shop to get personalized recommendations from skincare professionals.

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