Swapping to safer products can be intimidating, not many have the ability to throw out all of their products and start from scratch. To be honest, I don’t have the dedication or time to do that. But we can all start somewhere and be on our own journey with it.
Many women come to learn, usually through their own struggle, that many beauty, skincare, and household products contain ingredients that are hormone disruptors (This is where my clean journey started- read here).
These ingredients throw the body off balance and may cause PMS and other menstrual disorders, acne, insomnia and the list goes on. Who would have thought the products we are trusting could cause some bold things in our lives? I lived it, so I am here to tell you, they CAN!
To put it bluntly, no one is looking out for your health in this space. It is not okay to assume that the products you are using are fine or even evaluated for safety on humans because they aren’t… however, YOU CAN take the safety of your products into your own hands.
Please know that this will be a journey.
Expect to continuously learn and swap as you have new knowledge and budget allowances. What made me switch was the long long long search for products that would clear my skin from hormonal acne but what I kept switching to just kept stripping my skin and making it worse until I found Beautycounter. It changed my whole life in this area that it has slowly become a passion.
Step 1- Products to Evaluate:
I chose my top categories that I wanted to focus on and make changes for the good. If I was struggling with toxic makeup and skincare, there has to be other products we are using that are silently affecting our family as well.
Step 2 – Use and Replace
After you replace the most toxic offenders, you can start to swap gradually as you run out of what you currently have. It is also helpful to consider what may be expired or needs to be thrown away (I’m looking at you eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks from college- I have been a repeat offender of expired mascara- YUCK).
Lets take a category—Skincare / Makeup:
I am currently 100% switched to clean with skincare – let me walk you through how I got there.
Step 3 – Avoid Specific Harmful Ingredients
Make a list of 3-5 harmful ingredients that you will make an effort to 100% avoid – these will be your personal non-negotiables. I suggest making these ingredients that are easy to spot on labels, so you can skim through in the aisle of Target and make an easy decision to shop or put back.
One ingredient I absolutely tell everyone to avoid is fragrance
Others to avoid:
Parabens (isopropyl-, butyl-, isobutyl-): these are easy to spot on labels because paraben is listed with a prefix
Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP, etc): fragrances fall under this category too.
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG compounds)
BHA & BHT
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS, SLES)
Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate)
When I was switching to safer, I relied on Beautycounter’s Never List (especially the short version) to help me steer clear of worst offenders. I liked that it had a condensed list (-17), with explanations of why, and where the ingredient was commonly found.
Step 4 – Use and Replace
Eyes on your own paper – everyone is on their own journey with unique needs and budgets that allow for this journey to go at different paces. I am giving you permission to switch at your own pace, but allow others to do the same.
Share your experience to inspire others to ditch and switch, too.
Be a kind, informative resource and help when asked.
I have used Cetaphil for YEARS and I thought it was clean because it was for sensitive skin and was gentle- WRONG. I did not switch because it wasn’t clean, unfortunately. I switched because it was doing ZERO for my skin. To my surprise, it contains a ton of parabens and I was actually shocked that it checks off more than 6 ingredients on the Beautycounter Never List
Meet my new best friend! I wish I could kiss this regimen on the lips. Countercontrol is designed to treat oily and blemish-prone skin—without irritation.
This regimen mattifies the complexion, clears breakouts, and balances skin
Vitamin C Serum
Okay, so my breakouts were bad, I promise- REALLY BAD! The worst I had ever had in my life. I switched to medical grade products that were insanely expensive- including this vitamin c serum that is over $100. UGH- Obaji Vitamin C serum 20% — I used it because it was derm recommended and made by a doctor- WHY NOT! I think that this is super strong for sensitive or acne proned skin and nobody really tells you that, even starting with the small percentage and working your way up it was bold.
I didn’t realize how much my skin hated it until I ran out of the bottle and stopped applying.
Instant skin relief – then I researched and switched.
It doesn’t contain a large amount of harsh ingredients but my skin couldn’t handle it. So if you are dealing with the same issues – you may consider switching to this C-serum.
I switched to Counter+ All Bright C Serum.
THIS is my holy grail. This is the product I will NOT let run out. I need it, my skin needs it, we all need it. Its a bottle of sunshine in the morning and it is NOT harsh on your skin but you can feel it working.
The natural tumeric smell is divine.
I broke up with retinol, even though it was somewhat good to me- it contained handful of ingredients on the “never list”. It retails for $120 for a 1oz bottle. Yikes. Love/Hate — My skin tolerated this very well because it was recommended for my sensitive skin. I decided to go clean with Beautycounter’s Retinatural line (Countertime) and my skin feels like velvet.
I ditched my retinol and switched to Countertime which is the anti-aging, retinatural line. I use these two things morning and night and I cannot get enough. A little goes a long way and it was such a good move to protect my skin barrier and fine lines. I love this Business Insider Review of this line.
REAL TALK- with makeup, it has been extremely hard for me to ditch my tried and true products that I absolutely love. Like I said before, I allowed myself and encourage you to process item by item. I purchased Beautycounter’s Flawless in Five which gave me 6 products for under $150 and I thought this was an awesome way to start and test a variety of clean products.
Not to mention the 60 day return policy. If it doesn’t work- thats okay, I can return the un-used product!
Mac Studio Fix Powder -YUP, you heard it right. I almost cringe but I was working on covering complexion instead of working on the complexion in itself. All better now!
This has been my go-to gloss for years. The colors are awesome and it’s super hydrating but guess what? It has so many ingredients that are NOT okay. UGH! When I think of lip products, I do NOT think toxic, do you? So – thank goodness I found the best lippies that compare 100% at an even better price point. SCORE!
Shower/Bath – Adult and Baby
Charcoal Bar – I use for body cleansing & cleansing all of my makeup crushes.
Body Wash – Citrus Mimosa
Baby Bundle- Gentle All Over Wash, Nourishing Oil, Protective Balm
These are just a few items/categories to get you started. I love chatting about clean swaps- if you have any questions, please feel free to connect with me.
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