When cleaning up your skincare routine, it can be hard to part with your most beloved creams, serums, and potions. It may have taken you years to find something you love, but now that you’ve learned more about the lurking ingredients in many of these products, you realize they are no longer up to your standards. What to do? Where to start?
Instead of tossing everything out all at once, phase out a few products at a time. I always recommend starting with the things that you smear over large parts of your body, or more sensitive areas.
Here are the first few steps you can take to start your skincare detox.
1. Change that body lotion or oil ASAP!
Body lotions and oils are an easy and relatively inexpensive place to start. The skin is your largest organ and will absorb whatever you lather onto it. The skin’s other job is to secrete toxins through its pores. Because you apply lotion to your whole body, this is the one product I would really make sure is free of parabens, fragrance, and other nasties. Replacing it with a simple oil like olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil is both affordable and effective.
2. Don’t sweat it
There are a lot of really nasty ingredients in antiperspirant deodorants, including aluminum, which clogs the pores so that no moisture can come out. Aluminum can build up in the body over time. There are also lymph nodes in our armpits whose job is to get rid of toxins, so it’s kind of a double whammy when we both block the sweat and add on more toxins at the same time. Try out some natural deodorants, and rest assured that when you eat a clean diet, your sweat won’t smell. And sure, if it’s for that once-in-a-while big work presentation or your wedding day, bring out the antiperspirant and call it a day. It’s what we do most days that accumulates and matters most.
3. Sunscreen safely
Sunscreen is a product category that is very overwhelming and full of confusing terminology and numbers. Chemical sunscreens and all the other fillers and fragrances in these creams can turn them into harmful cocktails for your skin and body, not to mention for coral reefs and the environment. Look instead for mineral sunscreen with a physical barrier such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. We love Beautycounter’s line of sunscreens that are both good for you and the coral reefs and have the added protection from blue light (that’s the light coming from the screen you’re looking at right now.) Their Dew Skin is a great everyday solution for the face. Other clean options include Badger, Babo, and Raw Elements, just to name a few.
4. Get educated
Lastly, get familiar with the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Guide. You can search for many of the most common skincare products and read about their ingredients, as well as the EWG’s ratings and reviews. It’s a great tool for both reviewing the current contents of your bathroom cabinet and for browsing the cosmetics aisles for new and cleaner options.