Green Beauty Products: A Secret Weapon Against Health Risks
By Emily Folk
Going green is always beneficial, especially when it comes to your beauty routine. Using more eco-friendly products will not only protect you, but it will also help you protect the environment, and a polluted and dangerous environment is a health risk for everyone.
While the task at hand may seem daunting and overwhelming, you don’t have to make the total switch right away. Eliminate unnatural products one at a time — or as many as you can until you get into your new routine. It can be expensive to use all natural makeup products, moisturizers and other beauty products, but even the smallest changes are effective ones and can decrease health risks.
Preventing these risks and other possible illnesses that may be related to the parabens, synthetic colors and other unsafe preservatives found in conventional beauty products is important. Take action now that you’re aware of these risks, because if you don’t, your own health may suffer as a result. If you’ve already thought about going green, but don’t know where to start, not to worry. Read on for six tips you can easily incorporate into your daily routine to improve your health.
Start With Your Hair
You probably wash your hair more than you’re supposed to — most everyone does. Don’t wash your hair every single day then subject it to heat tools and an overwhelming amount of product. Your hair will dry out and break without its natural oils to protect and keep it healthy.
Wash your hair every other day and wait even longer if you can. This will reduce damage, the use of products and will save you time and money in the long-term. Learn different ways you can style your hair when it’s a bit oily — it is possible, it just takes technique. Find a good dry shampoo you can use during those days in between washes or stick to the proven natural method of baby powder.
For those days you do wash and style your hair, swap out your usual conventional products for those that are green, and use natural ingredients that won’t harm your hair or the environment. Do wash your hair at least once a week or risk the chance of dandruff buildup, which can become entirely another issue.
Lose Packaging When You Can
Plastic pollution is a huge problem for the environment because we use too much of it — especially beauty products and their packaging. Purchase shampoos, conditioners and other beauty products in bulk to eliminate the overuse of plastic bottles, then refill reusable bottles. Buying in bulk will also save you money.
Buy beauty products with eco-friendly packaging if you can’t buy in bulk. Ninety-one percent of plastic isn’t recycled, so this will stop wrappers, boxes and tubes from crowding landfills and threatening the planet. You alone can make a difference in the health of the planet.
Use Up What You Already Have
Don’t throw out the beauty products you currently have so that you can go green. This will waste money and resources. Patiently use up what you have, then slowly integrate yourself into your new routine.
After you’ve used up what you have, consider whether you need more of that product or not. Many have beauty products that they rarely use and don’t ultimately need. Having fewer, higher quality possessions, has been shown to make people more thankful for what they own, so consider reducing your beauty routine to just what you need.
Use Less Water
Take fewer baths and shorter showers to conserve water. While baths are attractive due to bath bombs and other fun accessories that have become popular, they also waste a ton of water and can overexpose your skin to products and chemicals.
Excess baths and showers aren’t doing your skin any favors. The overuse of products can dry out your skin and leave it craving the moisture that it needs to be healthy. Keep it short, especially if you’re using hot water, which strips away natural oils and damages the skin faster than lukewarm or cooler water.
Pay Attention To Ingredients
Just because something says natural on the label doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for you. In fact, cosmetic manufacturers have no legal obligation to report health problems that come from their products to the FDA. Pay close attention to the ingredients list to ensure they are high-quality chemicals. A good rule of thumb is to look for products with ingredients you can also eat.
Unsafe ingredients can increase your risk of breast cancer, respiratory distress, reproductive congenital disabilities and more. Not only do these ingredients have negative effects on those who use it, but they can also have negative and sometimes fatal effects on aquatic life and even entire ecosystems. Stay away from ingredients that harm the environment and yourself.
Whiten Your Teeth Naturally
Say goodbye to harsh whitening strips and other chemically induced methods, and do it the all-natural and safe way. Eat foods that have whitening properties and avoid the ones that cause discoloration. Strawberries, seeds and nuts are among those foods which have whitening benefits. Coffee, red sauce and wine will stain your teeth. Know the difference, and improve your smile without subjecting your teeth and gums to harsh chemicals.
Keep Yourself And The Environment Healthy
It’s important that you use more environmentally friendly beauty products. You will not only decrease your own health risks, but you will also keep the environment healthy, which affects everyone on the planet. Slowly switch over your conventional beauty products for those with natural ingredients, packaging and manufacturing, and also strive to make your entire beauty routine greener to improve your life. After all, your body is your temple.
Emily Folk is the editor of Conservation Folks. She writes on topics of sustainability, conservation and green technology.