Five Tips for Starting a Natural Beauty Routine
by Katharine Paljug
Are you ready to start a natural beauty routine by aren’t sure where to start?
When you’ve already got a medicine cabinet full of products, paring down can seem overwhelming. What should you get rid of? What ingredients should you avoid? Will you ever be able to wear makeup again?
Start with the following 5 small changes that will make a big impact on your road to natural beauty.
1. Adjust your expectations.
First things first: be reasonable about what you expect.
Like any other positive change, switching to a natural beauty regimen involves a little extra work. Be prepared for your routine to change along with the products you use.
If you start washing your hair with baking soda and avoiding hair spray, you won’t be able to achieve pageant girl volume with your next updo. If you pick a mascara without chemical adherents, it won’t stay on your lashes as long.
2. Avoid fragrances.
Everything these days—from soap to shampoo to laundry detergent—seems to have some kind of fragrance in it.
If you check the product labels, they never actually say what these fragrances are. That’s because companies are not legally obligated to reveal what “fragrances” they’re using. Usually they’re a combination of irritating chemicals or pthalates, which have been linked to liver damage and birth defects.
Cut these dubious ingredients out of your life by buying products that are fragrance free, or scented with natural ingredients like real lavender or tea tree oil.
3. Look in your pantry.
A lot of common kitchen items can be used to replace chemical-filled beauty products at very little cost.
Coconut oil makes an excellent moisturizer for your whole body and is great for removing eye makeup. Apple cider vinegar can be used as a hair rinse instead of conditioner. Olive oil will heal dry elbows and rough cuticles. Chilled tea bags reduce puffiness under your eyes.
If you can put it in your stomach, it’s safe enough to put on your skin. So keep your natural beauty costs low by raiding your kitchen instead of the drug store.
4. Check the database.
You don’t have to give up all the products you love! The Environmental Working Group runs a detailed database of cosmetics and their ingredients, rating them based on their toxicity.
Use it to check a whole brand, a single product, or a questionable ingredient. The ranks are 0-10, with 0 being the least toxic and 10 the most toxic. Just try to stick with items that are rated 3 or lower.
5. Take your time.
You don’t have to throw out the entire contents of your makeup bag today. Not only will that be incredibly frustrating, you’ll also find yourself spending way too much money trying to replace everything at once.
Instead, start with one or two changes. Maybe you want to switch to rosehip seed oil instead of moisturizer for your face. Or replace your foundation and mascara with chemical-free versions.
Go slowly as you make changes and find products that work for you and your body. Remember, a natural beauty regimen won’t look the same for every person. The key is to find the products that help you look and feel your best while also keeping your body healthy and chemical-free.
Katharine Paljug is a freelance writer and blogger who loves the Oxford comma, drinks far too much tea, and lurks on Twitter as @kpaljug. You can learn more about her work at Katharine Writes, or start your own freelance adventure with her free guide Hot, Warm & Cold: Three Templates for Emailing Clients.