It’s time, friends. Open up those makeup bags, dump out the contents, and let’s get started. If you’ve been putting off detoxing your makeup for fear it will be too difficult, I’ve got your back.
Here are 3 simple steps that will have you wearing clean, green makeup in no time.
1. Take Stock
The current value of the global cosmetic industry is estimated to be $250 billion and I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly contributed more than my fair share of hard earned pennies buying the ‘latest’ and ‘greatest’ cosmetic products.
So to start, the first and most important step to greening your beauty routine is to take inventory of the products you use and to assess their ingredients. As tedious as it may seem, it’s important to familiarize yourself with ingredients and to find helpful tools to guide you along the way. Check out resources like the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetic database for ratings on specific products, and get to know the David Suzuki cosmetic chemicals “Dirty Dozen”—read Joy’s post about it here.
I’m not a fan of extremes and so when it comes to a makeup detox I never recommend trying to make it happen overnight. First, it can be extremely wasteful and environmentally unfriendly. Second, it can be very costly! And third, just like extreme diets, it often doesn’t work.
Just a note: I am focusing specifically on makeup bag contents here but the same process can be applied to body and hair care products.
Once you have taken stock of all your makeup, have a good idea of what ingredients they contain and their ratings based on the Skin Deep database, I recommend that you sort the products into three piles:
Keep: Hang on to all products that are rated 2 and below (but 0 is best!).
Keep for now: These are your transition products. They may contain some toxic ingredients, but you aren’t quite ready to part with them until they are all used up.
Ditch: Toss any products that are due to expire, have high ratings on the Skin Deep database (7-10), and anything that is used on the mouth. If the statistic is true that the average woman consumes 4 lbs of lipstick in her lifetime, then that means she is also consuming countless toxic chemicals. Talk about a dirty mouth!
Before ditching anything, of course, check your city’s household hazardous waste classification and dispose responsibly.
This is the fun part! You may even find that some products don’t need to be replaced because they’d only found their way into your makeup bag because of gimmicky advertising.
Watch out for green-washing, do your research, and get to know local retailers. Since not all natural products are available in ‘big box stores,’ there is a strong focus on local shops and producers. Shopping local is a fantastic way to educate yourself about new products and to avoid getting duped by clever marketing.
Need recommendations? Ask me! Comment below! I am always trying a new product (or two or three) at any given time and can definitely offer advice about products and brands. And when possible, make it yourself! Some things are better left to the professionals, but try your hand at DIY beauty recipes, you’ll be surprised at what you can do!