Two years ago I made the switch to natural, organic beauty and toiletry products. It seemed overwhelming at first, but after some research and testing a few products, I realized that it actually simplifies my life. And my home too. A lot.
I used to be an addict of luxurious and expensive face creams, shampoos, oils, lotions and basically anything that smelled nice and promised youthful beauty. I thought little about the consequences this had on the environment, my health, and my wallet. Sure I recycled all of those plastic bottles, but what about what was running down the drain and into our watersheds? Yes that eye cream promised to reverse my laugh lines, but at what cost to the rest of my cells that were being exposed to harmful, often even carcinogenic, chemicals? And what was I missing because I spent my money (and time) on products instead of experiences?
I decided I was ready to make the switch to natural, eco-friendly and health friendly products. I had done it already with cleaning solutions and I'm always careful about not bringing VOC's and other toxins into the air in my home, so this was the natural next step.
What I found was that simple and natural products work as well or even better than the expensive brands I had been using, cost way less, and make life so much simpler because I don't have to buy a ton of different plastic tubes and jars that clutter up my bathroom.
The products I have now come in beautiful glass bottles that I can order again online at the click of a button. The soaps are handmade from local artisans and smell and look amazing displayed in a glass jar on my counter. I don't have to constantly rinse and recycle tons of plastic, and my bedside table looks a whole lot better with a simple white jar of lavender hand cream than an ugly branded bottle I try to hide.
I also don't spend as much time morning and night with my beauty routine. Best of all, I don't have to worry about the toxic chemicals I'm putting into my bloodstream or our waterways.
I urge you to take stock of your beauty routine and products. Do you have a ton of half-empty or seldom-used bottles cluttering up your vanity cabinets? Does your shower look like a drug-store shelf? Think about how even the sight of all of these "things" affects you every morning when you see them. Then think about how much plastic (and I'm talking about the product packaging and your credit card) is used for all of your stuff. Is it worth it?
Clean out the things you don't use, and start researching what you could be replacing them with as you finish up the rest of the products you currently have on the go. Two really good resources are Ecoholic Body and The Imperfect Environmentalist.
Then when it comes time to restock - go on line and order something natural, in glass packaging that can beautifully displayed. Check out your local farmers market this weekend for soap makers and buy a few to always have on hand to both smell and look pretty in your bathroom (I use hand-made soap every day for washing hands and in the shower, even as shaving cream - I found I just don't need anything else!). Simplify your routine down to a few products that are essentials.
Here are my favourites:
Facial care (cleanser, moisture oil and eye oil): Skin Essence Organics
Hand and body cream: Shea & Cocoa Butter Lavender cream from NEOB Lavender
Makeup - tinted moisturizer, blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara from DeVita
Shampoo and Conditioner: Live Clean - available at national food and drug stores
Deodorant: Fat and the Moon deodorant cream
Toothpaste, Mouthwash: Tom's of Maine - available at national food and drug stores
Liquid Hand Soap: Nature Clean - available at national food and drug stores or Well.ca