(This awesome guest post is by Natalie Soud of a Dose of the Delightful.)
Hello, lovely readers of A Blog About Love! I’m so thrilled to contribute and I’m grateful to Mara for sharing her audience with me. I struck up a conversation with Mara when I commented on one of her posts with my favorite sunscreen recommendation. Also, last week, I had the pleasure of experiencing Mara & Danny’s class on How to Choose Happiness – I can’t recommend it enough for a dose of positive thinking! I simply adore the message of this blog, and I’m really excited to be part of it.
Now, let’s get down to it: what’s the big deal with cleaning up the ol’ beauty routine? For me, a light bulb went on a few years ago after I’d started changing the way I ate. When I made the switch to eating mostly whole, natural and organic foods, it was pretty clear to me after about a week of eating this way that I felt healthier in every way! Because of my success with this change, I started to get really interested in what’s in not just foods, but everything we buy, from cosmetics to electronics, and spent a lot of my free time looking into it. I’d also noticed that my skin wasn’t as blemish-free, moisturized, or refreshed-looking as it used to be.
A fantastic short film called The Story of Cosmetics finally convinced me it was time to start paying a lot more attention to those long labels on the side of the bottle.
It was actually really empowering arming myself with enough information to make an informed decision about what to buy! I’m definitely a much savvier consumer than I used to be. There’s that age-old adage: You get what you pay for. It rings true in pretty much any industry, from food to beauty products. With cosmetics, what’s tricky is that you might be paying for the super fancy, well-designed packaging, and come to realize that one of the primary ingredients in a cheap filler like water or mineral oil.
I try to choose cosmetics made with natural ingredients that work with my body’s processes rather than against it. Mineral oil and petroleum, for example, are common petrochemicals in cosmetics. There’s a lot of debate about them, but what makes me want to avoid them is that they make skin more sensitive to the sun (hello, aging!) and they create a layer on top of skin that doesn’t allow it to breathe naturally (hello, blemishes!). They’re also made from non-renewable petroleum, which I a) don’t think belongs in cosmetics and b) want to help preserve. The argument has been made that many products laden with synthetics and petrochemicals actually speed up the aging process – no one wants that!
The bottom line for me was that I at least wanted to know enough to make my own decision rather than falling for pretty packaging or alluring marketing claims. I’m much more willing to pay $25 for a product made with food-grade organic oils that I know are safe than I am for a gorgeous lipstick tube with questionable content.
I’ve seen a big improvement in my skin overall since making the switch: fewer blemishes, fewer fine lines, and more of a glow. For me, the proof is in the pudding!
Here’s what I use in my daily routine:
Juice Beauty Blemish-Clearing Cleanser and Organic Treatment Oil. This totally organic brand is my absolute favorite natural beauty brand. The cleanser smells yummy and works without being too
drying; the organic oil-based serum moisturizes without being heavy. My skin’s never looked better!
MyChelle SunShield Coconut SPF 28. Chemical sunscreens (like you’d find in most drugstores) are full of all sorts of synthetics, and worse, there’s been a lot of debate lately about whether
they actually contribute to skin cancer. This one blocks the sun naturally using zinc, genuinely goes on clear, and smells coconutty!
Bare Minerals foundation in Light and blush in Golden Gate. Though this brand isn’t organic, its mineral-based formulas earn safe, low scores on the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database. I
haven’t found any makeup that covers as well or looks as natural.
Ilia Beauty Lipstick in Wild Child, Neon Angel, Voilà. Red, hot pink, and coral are my three favorite colors – I love brights! They’re ultra-hydrating and 85% organic. Hooray! After all, haven’t we all heard that gross statistic that we eat 8 pounds of lipstick over a lifetime? Bonus: the packaging is simple & elegant!
THE ALL PURPOSE WONDER:
Nutiva Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. We’ve gotten so used to there being a product invented for every little thing; it’s refreshing to know that one amazing item like this can be used for so many things. For starters, I cook with it. But because it’s very high quality, I also use it as a deep-conditioning
treatment, body moisturizer, and I recently read it can be used for shaving legs! Fun fact: coconut oil is actually a common ingredient in many acne treatments because it’s anti-microbial and doesn’t clog pores.
100% Pure Mascara. Conventional mascara is the one item that is notorious among natural beauty mavens for being hard to beat. This one performs & has a super-clean ingredient list, even cleaner than most other natural mascaras.
Some of my favorite resources for learning more about safe, natural cosmetics are:
Whew! I have tons to say on this topic (as I’m sure you can tell), but I hope what I’ve said is a helpful start to cleaning up your routines! If anyone wants to talk about natural beauty further, feel free to email me at doseofdelightful @ gmail.com or visit my blog.
(Photo and round-up by Natalie Soud)
P.S. from Mara….Isn’t this info. fantastic? I’m so into this. I’m so glad she shared so many great resources with us.
Also, a few pages I recommend from Natalie’s blog:
The “About” Page (There is a tender story behind her blog…and it will make you melt.)
How to Make Kale Chips
DIY Peanut Butter (peanuts, salt, coconut oil, maple syrup) – I’m totally going to try this and surprise Danny (you know we are addicted to freshly ground peanut butter around here. 🙂
***AND, if any of you readers would like to pitch an idea for a guest post, um….we’d love it. Truly, we welcome it and love sharing your ideas, stories, wisdom and experiences. We really think we have the best readers ever. 🙂
***Also, I will be speaking to a group of women this Sunday, at a Mormon church in Brooklyn at 12:00 pm. The topic I’ll be speaking on is “Feeling Peace in the Midst of Our Trials”. All are welcome to attend. Send me an email and I’ll give you the location, etc.
Facebook (We so appreciate all the “likes”! thank you.)
ABAL Book Club (Discussion about Man’s Search for Meaning started Aug. 1. Buy the book here.)
Babble Voices & The Equals Record