We think a lot about what we put in our body, but what about what we put on our skin?
I remember when I first made the connection because it went hand-in-hand with my plant-based eating journey (more on that later) over three years ago. It was what initially sparked my passion for holistic health. Once you begin to understand how to decipher ingredient lists and analyze nutrition labels, this critical way of thinking begins to spill into all areas of your life. It’s a good thing, if you ask me. It causes you to really stop yourself and ask if the choices you’re making and the products you’re purchasing align with your values or if you’re simply acting out of habit. And since I was making an effort to delve deeper into what I was ingesting, it only made sense that I would take a closer look at what I was putting on my skin.
For example, did you know that ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ is a catch-all for up to 3,000 chemicals? Manufacturers are not required by law to disclose these chemicals as it falls under protection of trade secrets. So much for transparency, right? These synthetic fragrances have been proven to be major disruptors of the endocrine system (the collection of hormone-producing glands that regulate your metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things). Suddenly I wanted nothing to do that luxury eye creme with a list of 15 ingredients I couldn’t pronounce (not so glamorous after all). That designer perfume? Ick, no thank you. Rather than be scared of this information, I challenged myself to become more aware and empowered. We know that the skin absorbs everything we put on it, but I never really thought about what that meant. So this body butter makes my skin feel soft, but how? And at what cost? I decided I want to feed it nutrients and ingredients that are going to contribute to my well-being, rather than work against it.
I slowly began cleaning out my vanity. I downloaded the Think Dirty app which helped me understand ingredients (what to avoid, what to look for) and look for natural alternatives. Around this time we began working with Tara Miller and her natural beauty and lifestyle shop, Health Hut. Tara is a wealth of knowledge and taught me so much! Instead of throwing out all my products and starting over (not ideal for the environment), I gave them to friends or family who I knew would enjoy them or used them until they were finished. It took me a few months to totally switch over my routine but the good news is the options are endless. There’s a new natural skincare line launching every week it seems, and this is so incredibly positive! It’s easier than ever to go natural.
So, here are my favourites. My top shelf bottles. My go-tos. These products work super well and feel luxurious, so I don’t feel like I’m ‘giving up’ the experience of my old products. These brands check all my boxes; they are free of artificial ingredients & fragrances, do not test on animals, and most of them package in glass (which helps since I’m very conscious of use of plastic).
(Morning) Schaf Facial Cleanser
(Evening) Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser
(Morning) Schaf Purifying Scrub
(Body) Goop 5 Salt Detox Body Scrub
(Morning + Evening) Double Happiness Flower Shower Face Mist
(Morning) Tata Harper Illuminating Moisturizer
(Morning) RMS Beauty Oil
(Evening) Goop Replenishing Night Cream