With the new year in full swing, it’s the perfect time to set your intentions for all areas of your life, including your body. One resolution we recommend adopting: being mindful of the products you put in and on your body. Why? Because these days, so many products are filled with toxic ingredients and harmful chemicals.
“Once these chemicals travel through the bloodstream, they can be harmful to our bodies,” says cosmetic dermatologist Michele Green, MD. “Some skin care products can also cause irritation, allergic reactions, breathing problems, reproductive harm, and even cancer. It is important to be aware of the ingredients before you purchase any item, whether that’d be a lotion, face wash, deodorant, etc.”
Lucky for us, there are many clean brands out there in every single product category that are easy to find and just as effective and better for your body. Even still, the process of switching over to natural products can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are three steps that will make the switch a breeze.
How to make the switch to natural products
1. Take baby steps
If you’re anything like us, you probably use tons of personal care products on a day-to-day basis and the mere thought of tossing everything out and starting over will likely induce anxiety. This process, however, doesn’t need to be done overnight.
To avoid getting overwhelmed, take it one product at a time. As something in your arsenal runs out, look for a natural, non-toxic version to replace it with and so on.
If it’s helpful, you can also create a checklist for yourself and tick things off as you replace them. Here’s a list of product categories we recommend swapping out for natural ones but feel free to tweak it according to your needs.
- Skincare (moisturizer, anti-aging serums, face masks, etc.)
- Cosmetics (eyeshadow, mascara, foundation, etc.)
- Period products (tampons, pads, and liners)
- Cleaning supplies (laundry detergent, dish wash soap, all-purpose cleaners)
- Dental hygiene (toothpaste, mouthwash)
If period, skin, and body care products are the categories you want to start your detox with, you’re in luck. To celebrate the new year, we have a special going on for 20% off the first six months of a Rael subscription.
Subscribe to receive organic, non-toxic tampons, pads, liners, face masks, serums, and more at your doorstep on autopilot every month. Bonus: You’ll also receive two free months of online yoga classes via MyYogaWorks. Just enter the code RESET at checkout.
2. Do your research
As they say, knowledge is power. So once you’re ready to swap something out, be sure to do your research first. Don’t worry, though. It’s easy to do. Dr. Green recommends checking the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) SkinDeep Database.
The database features thousands of different products and brands. All you have to do is enter the name of a specific product and it’ll give you a list of the ingredients and a rating based on how clean or toxic the product is. Or, you can see what their clean recommendations are and go from there.
If you want to do this on the go, let’s say, while you’re on a Target run, for example, there’s also an app called Think Dirty you can download that makes it easy to look up products and their ratings while you’re out and about.
3. Keep a list of toxic ingredients handy
There are tons of potentially harmful ingredients out there, but according to Dr. Green, some of the most commonly found ones in skincare and other personal care products include parabens, phthalates, sodium laurel sulfate, propylene, petrolatum, and fragrance. Fragrance, in particular, should be avoided because there’s no way to tell what harmful ingredients are in it. You can even create yourself a little cheat sheet so you know what to avoid when you go shopping.
All in all, switching to natural products doesn’t have to be complicated. Just take it one product at a time and do your research as you go.