Natural Beauty: Doing Your Research

Here's a fun fact: the "natural" label on beauty products doesn't actually mean anything! Surprised? Well, turns out that the term natural isn't regulated by anyone. This means that any brand can call any product they want natural. Although typically this means that they actually use some natural ingredients in the product, this isn't a huge help if you're looking for actual natural products. So what do you do in the face of confusing labels?

  1. Always read ingredient lists and know what you're trying to avoid: The fundamental list of ingredients to avoid will vary from person to person and article to article. Some people will only use ingredients they can pronounce (i.e. plants and other natural products), and that's a totally fine, but quite restrictive rule of thumb. The basics to avoid, and that you'll often see in "made without" lists include parabens, sulfates, alcohol, synthetic colors, fragrance, phthalates, formaldehyde, and triclosan. You can also add to that list anything you find that you personally are sensitive to!
  2. When in doubt check Skin DeepThis crazy helpful database allows you to search products, brands, and individual ingredients and gives you toxicity ratings based on data. A 1 is the best possible rating and means there's little to no risk to your health.
  3. Take what people on the internet say with a grain of salt: Some ingredients become popular to hate on, some with good reason, some...not so much. Always fact check people, no matter how much you trust their opinion.
  4. Be wary of the natural sections of beauty stores: This goes for big stores like Sephora and Ulta especially. The products advertised in their beauty sections will not necessarily fit everyone's definition of natural. So I recommend you don't just blindly purchase from these sections of stores, still do your research.
  5. If you really, really can't be bothered to do your research: Check out some of the wonderful small natural beauty companies out there. I personally have been stalking The Stell and The Detox Market, but there are other great options like Cap Beauty and Credo Beauty. All of these stores focus on bringing the best of the best of natural beauty together.

These are basically all of the steps I'm following while transitioning my routine. My first priority is getting all of those ingredients from #1 out of my daily routine. And so far so good! I've found several products that I'm already loving, and will be talking about soon! Plus, I'm not joking when I say I'm totally obsessed with The Stell - do yourself a favor and go bask in the aesthetic loveliness.