You know that non-clumping mascara you love? That irresistibly tingly lip gloss? The puffy under-eye circle cream? They all have one thing in common: chemicals. All those dazzling effects come at a high price (and I’m not talking about sticker tags, here).
In order for many beauty products to work their magic, manufacturers add substances such as sulfates (which make extra-bubbly body washes), phthalates (for less-stiff hairspray), lead (to make lipstick “pearly”), parabens (to keep bacteria at bay) and fragrances (which may be concocted from a shocking number of chemicals, expertly blended to make you smell just like a fresh-picked flower).
What most people don’t think about (I know, that mirror can be distracting) is that once these substances are slathered on your skin, lips or scalp, they seep in. Your body absorbs them. And the effects aren’t pretty—at least not on the inside. Chemicals in cosmetics and skincare products can actually harm your health. Is looking good really worth the risk?
Luckily, you don’t have to worry about it. Natural skincare products and cosmetics are everywhere today (including right here at Vitacost.com!). These popular alternatives are made with herbal extracts, vegetable oils (mmm, coconut) and other plant-derived ingredients that are safer, healthier and still bring out the beauty in you.
Here are some of my favorites. Give them a try and let me know what you think!
• Have sensitive skin? Aloe vera is your friend. Wash away the day’s dirt with Aubrey Organics Vegecol Facial Cleansing Lotion. It’s 100 percent natural, made with soothing aloe and calming calendula.
• Weather isn’t the only thing that wreaks havoc on your complexion. Skip the chemical creams and fight flaky, dry skin with hydrating moisturizers made from luxurious shea butter or coconut oil. I love Nourish Raw Organic Shea Butter Intensive Moisturizer, which can be used to soften hands, elbows, feet and even dry, chapped lips.
• Don’t leave home without it! Natural sunscreen is your best bet for serious skin protection, no matter what the season. Devita makes a paraben-free, SPF-30 Solar Protective Moisturizer that’s feather light, goes on great under makeup and was specially designed to not trigger breakouts. It’s vegan-friendly, too.
• If you’re worried about lines, creases and dark spots, all-natural, antioxidant-rich topical serums help fight free radical enemies (brought on by UV sun exposure, smoking, stress and—you guessed it—chemicals). Our CSI Antioxidant Serum provides potent plant-derived antioxidants to help shield skin from all the environmental bad guys.
• A good, long soak in the tub is the perfect ending to your busy day. Relax and unwind with Deep Steep Organic Bubble Bath, made with aromatic organic herbs and available in ahhhh-inducing scents such as Lavender-Chamomile, Grapefruit-Bermagot, Tangerine-Melon and Honeydew-Spearmint.
The Beauty Boss is written by our staff editors Rebecca Chopin and Katie Kaleita, who work closely with the Vitacost.com beauty department experts to bring you the most relevant, up-to-date information on natural beauty and antiaging tips and trends. Have a beauty question or want to suggest a product for Vitacost.com to carry? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.