TOP 5 tips to make switch from toxic to natural makeup & skincare products easier

Is that even possible? Are these products as good as the ones I am using now? How will I find a good replacement product? What am I gonna do with a bunch of toxic cosmetics I still have in my bathroom? Why even bother? If these are the questions you’re asking yourself, I got a good news for you. I was there not that long time ago. And now, I completely switched to organic beauty and skincare products. How and why did I do this?

Why it is good to switch

First of all, I found many articles about harmful ingredients added to our body/hair/ skincare and makeup products. Some researches shown that many carcinogenic (cancer causing) ingredients are present in most known, popular drugstore and high-end brands (like chanel, dior, YSL). At first I was skeptical, but when I started analyzing I realized that if something is linked to cancer or being toxic it’s really not worth the risk and putting it on skin is just unjustified. Also there are many real testimonies from cancer fighters claiming that breast cancer is caused by toxic deodorants, skin cancer is caused by lotions, perfumes etc. I personally already have hormonal imbalance (thyroid disease), so endoctrine disruptors in cosmetics really are not what I’m looking for. I’m lucky now to live in the US where USDA certified cosmetics are truly safe and more available. If I get to chose – obviously I’d rather buy organic, certified and safe products.

Take it slow

You probably think that you’re used to some brands, they work for you and you are not sure where to start replacement. I suggest: take a deep breath, check the ingredients and do start to switch gradually. It doesn’t happen in one day. Also, some carcinogenic ingredients really have to be used in huge amounts to cause damage (of course I do not recommend to wait for it :D), the point is do not panic and do not throw away all your supplies right away. Start slow, but definitely DO IT.

How to start

  • You may want to download app like Think Dirty and scan your products barecodes to find out how toxic they are from 0 to 10. Over 7 – throw them right away, the rest you can finish before you’ll find a good replacement. Think Dirty app has its own base of products users recommend as a good replacement and the rate is usually not higher than 3 – so non toxic. Even though not all brands are in the data base yet, most of them you can find and eliminate dirty ones. However, there’s a trick! Not all of the brands are associated with the app that means some of them do not have control of what ingredients are put into think dirty app – for example, I checked my favorite ZOYA nail polishes and app says 9 for talc in them. It is not true, because zoya does not add talc to their products (at least that’s what they claimed – I asked the brand directly). Also, some other ingredients has been added to zoya chart in think dirty app, so just letting you know – check after scanning product if the ingredient list is the same in the app and on product before you judge the toxicity. Anyway, I still think that app is useful, since it shows you most of the brand’s correct ingredients list.
    Look at my screens bellow. You may also be quite shocked how some ‘natural’ brands are 9 on the scale just because they added toxic fragrance to the product to smell nice, and ruined whole formulation by that… Very disappointing, but true story.

     

    Only one from these brands is safe to use: Pacifica. St Ives, Kirkland, Almay and Guerlain… you know what I did with them  >>> bye cancer!
  • Research brands that are truly organic and safe. Check if the ingredients are USDA certified! Other ‘certifications’ or vegan labels do not really matter – bran may have bought it. Check out my post for more.
    I really did not realize that there are so many amazing and natural brands available in decent prices. I always post the best products on my instagram account, so you’re more than welcome to check them out!
  • Ask for samples. There’s nothing wrong in asking for samples. If you’re one of those lucky ones who has Whole Foods or other Organic Market around your neighborhood, go and get samples. If not, there are so many brands offering free (or very cheap) samples on their websites.
    Check out for makeup: 14ecosmetics, alimapure, integritybotanicals
    Mapleholistics for shampoos, conditioners and other body care products.
    You can find a really great quality, organic stuff over there! 🙂
  • Check what organic beauty bloggers and clean-living fanatics (like me :D) recommend. Seriously, the brands they follow may be a great choice for you. Be curious, that helped me to find so many brands of which I had no idea before, and now I use them everyday.
  • If you’re not familiar with [toxic] ingredients names, simply research your product ingredients (ulta or particular brand’s web), copy them and go to website like cosdna. Paste list, click analyze and… there you go! From 1 to 9, how toxic your cosmetics are? I love that web, because I have acne prone skin and this shows me how comedogenic (pore clogging) any product is for my skin! I avoid ones over 4 points and … I do not have acne anymore.

Not as difficult as it seems

Many people including some of my friends and family are afraid that excluding silicones from their shampoo/hair mask will make their hair dull, or switching from Clinique brand ‘hypoallergenic’ (oho!) foundation won’t be good for their skin. I said that before and I’ll repeat myself – silicones in hair products do not treat your hair condition, they only make them look shiny, that’s it. Foundations – same story. Silicones makes skin look smooth, but they clog pores and cause blackeads. There are plenty of brands that do not add silicones and offer non-toxic alternatives for makeup like: 100%pure, Pacifica, Vapour Beauty, Jane Iredale, Au Naturale and I could point out many more…

It may sound complicated, but it is really not. Just avoid stores like Sephora or popular Drugstore’s brands and try to go to Whole Foods or other organic Store and if not, order online. I did that some time ago and I won’t ever go back to what I used, because these products are not worth it. I use organic and I am aware of what I put on my skin. Skin represents you, so isn’t it worth it?

 

Cruelty free, organic cosmetics or marketing creations? Do not be deceived.

It’s sad to say, but nowadays it is really hard to find a legit brand that does not play with words: organic, vegan and natural in their marketing campaign just for sales growth. There are brands on the market that claim being organic, but when you look closer, the ingredients they use in formulations are toxic (or at least VERY controversial) for your skin. Some brands also claim they are cruelty free (not tested on animals), but it is not completely clear if their products are cruelty free or not: for instance they still sell cosmetics in China, where skin care products testing on animals  is required by the law.

Organic… package

I don’t know how about you, but I find this very disappointing: every time I research a product that seems to meet my expectations according to the label and producer’s promises (+ it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients which I just do not tolerate), it is not cruelty free or it contains silicones, which aren’t considered as toxic by the law, but I do not think they are the best for your skin either. How to recognize real, 100% organic products? You’ll find the response few paragraphs bellow, but first let me explain why I do not think silicones should be considered organic or safe at all.

Why are silicones not the best choice?

First of all, I must emphasize that generally silicones are considered as low hazard for your skin which means “safe”. There is no prove that they cause cancer. However, when used daily, they may accumulate in your body and this is not good news. Also some of them, like siloxanes, according to Health Canada are harmful for the environment. Now, let’s say your cream or lotion contains harmful for environment ingredients and you spread them over your body, and according to most sources they are safe for your skin, but not safe for the environment… Not sure how you feel about it, but I am not willing to experiment on my skin.make-up-1209798_1920
Nowadays silicones become the new normal in most of beauty formulations and you can find them almost everywhere: in skincare products, foundations, primers or even shampoos and hair conditioners. It is also hard to detect them, because they are hidden under many names. You can still do it though: simply read the ingredients list and if the label says any of the words that end:
  • -cone,
  • -siloxane,
  • -conol,
don’t buy or at least reconsider buying such a product.
Examples of silicones: dimethicone, methicone, polydimethylsiloxane, dimethiconol. If you start checking your cosmetics you may be surprised how many of these names you will find. Do not worry if the majority of the bottles on your bathroom shelves contains silicones – it is always hard to start. Eliminate these cosmetics and little by little replace them with a truly organic, natural brands. Soon, your shelves will be full of organic and safe products.

Both sides have a point

There are diverse opinions and I know some people love the layer of silicone on their skin or hair, because it makes skin & hair look smoother. Honestly – and that’s the thing! – the skin or hair only LOOK smoother. Silicones work outwardly and the layer which they built on the surface does not improve condition of your skin or hair, it only builds a water resistant seal on the surface: this is why you struggle to wash off your make up at the end of the day, this is why your hair seems to be very shiny after washing, but oily at the end of the day. And yes, I must admit that silicone makes your hair smooth and good looking, your foundation application smoother, but these things won’t last forever, not even long – just until next hair or face wash. Here is the question: do you want your skin/hair to look better outwardly only or to look and feel better even without layers of makeup or cream on it?

Deceived by marketing campaigns

Here it comes: the hardest part of this post. It basically reveals all the lies we all are fed by. How does it work? You go to the store, choose a nice, green box that says “organic” and you’re probably happy, because you have just switched to natural beauty products. I am sorry to say that, but it may not be true.
Have you asked yourself what big “mother company” owns the “organic” or cruelty free brand you’ve just bought? If the brand is owned by a big corporation, there is a huge chance that the product is not certified organic at all, which means – you have bought campaign and package and nicely designed label, my friend.

Distinguish organic from fake organic

You already know you should be alerted if willing to buy real, organic cosmetics. How to detect pseudo organic products? I always look for a natural, certified ingredients plus I do not want to support any animal testing, so before I buy anything new, I am checking if the brand is owned by a big company such as L’oreal. They not only use toxic ingredients or at least suspicious, but also test on animals (there’s no doubt about it). Another well known corporation Estee Lauder, sells in China where testing on animals is required by law. This is why I do not buy brands which logo you’ll see bellow.
In general there may be a few exceptions when the brand confirms not selling a particular product line in China, however, if I can find other brands which are certified organic, why should I even consider buying the ones that big companies with suspicious policy owns? I’d rather invest in a better, truly organic brands. 
loreal
source: businessinsider.com
If you really need to buy products from L’oreal or Estee Lauder, but at least looking for better ingredients or cruelty free one, go to the company website and check what the brand says. Like in the case of Too Faced, vegan, cruelty-free brand which now belongs to Estee Lauder – they still have some (not all!) 100% cruelty-free and vegan products available, featured online. If there is the slightest chance that Too Faced sales will grow more than the other non cruelty free brands owned by E.L., maybe the whole company will finally change the policy? This would be a huge step since Estee Lauder owns so many brands:
estee lauder
Source: businessinsider.com
As you see the list is long. Also in some cases, not only the campaign is deceiving, but also the name or brand appearance: green bottles, plants in logo etc.

Organic, but not truly organic

If you still think that if the product label says “organic” it surely is, keep reading. Let’s take brand named Origins with two trees in logo – seems organic, brand assures that they are organic, but even though they made the formulas lighter and more natural I still have some doubts that the products are clean. Most of the formulas seem good (natural oils based), but many products contain silicones and controversial geraniol which is known allergen and toxicant. It has been banned in the European Union (!) and is on the list of restricted fragrances due to the fact that it is known to cause skin and lung irritation. Geraniol is naturally derived fragrance, but still may cause some irritation, so how can the cosmetic still be called natural? As for me, natural’s brand ingredients shouldn’t be questionable at all.
plantscriptionI gave Origins second chance. Right now I am looking for an organic foundation in a decent price, so I went to this category on their website and I found bestseller – Stay Tuned Balancing Face Makeup.
s-l300
origins.com
Neat, green package – nice! List of ingredients? So long. Contains geranium again, and some comedogenic ingredients (pore clogging) silicones: dimethicone, polethylene (which is…the most common plastic!). I do not think this combination will “balance” your skin like producer says. Instead, it may cause more breakouts for sensitive skin. I am not saying all of these ingredients will cause disaster on your skin, but they are more likely to make your skin allergic or irritated, than balanced. This is not natural at all. Also for prices that Origins offers: serum 77$, foundation 26,50$, you can find much better quality, really organic and 100% cruelty free products with no silicones, I assure you.
Another example of marketing misleading may be Pureology hair cosmetics brand. The name “pure” brings high hopes, but since the brand is owned by L’Oreal, products are not certified organic by USDA. Not all of Pureology shampoos are composed of all natural ingredients. Some lines contain Methylisothiazolinone preservative which has been associated with allergic reactions. Lab studies on the brain cells of mammals also suggest that methylisothiazolinone may be neurotoxic. I cannot tell you if the amount of this ingredient in Pureology shampoo is so harmful or not, but I do not understand why even add this ingredient to a product which is suppose to be “clean” and “pure”?
As you can see organic in this cases is more like a marketing image the brand have created. Sadly, there are thousands cases like that. I understand that some of you do not have enough time to check them all, so this is why I wrote this post – to make it a little bit easier for you and to show you that maybe you’ve been a victim of a ‘green’ marketing campaign.

Distinguish organic from non organic brands

To sum up, stores are full of the fake organic brands. What you can do to protect yourself from lies:
  • Pay attention to the labels and if brand is USDA certified: USDA Organic Certification is the ONLY standardized, government-regulated system that exists to ensure the safety of products we put on our bodies. Other certifications or consumer’s prizes labels are not such important (most of them the company can actually purchase). If the brand is not certified yet (it may be awaiting) check if the ingredients they use are. USDA certified brands must contain only certified ingredients.
  • Find 3-4 certified brands and stick to their products. You can always visit my instagram profile for pictures and mini reviews of my favorite, organic cosmetics and green beauty products.
Also, very soon I will have a free sample & product surprise for you. Stay tuned!
If you liked this post, do not hesitate to share it with your friends on Facebook. I feel like so many people have a good intentions of buying organic products, but they just do not know how to recognize the real ones in this cruel world. Raise awareness of natural ingredients.

6 Fall Skin Care Tips

The seasonal change may be a little tough for your skin. Lower temperature, windy or even rainy weather may be shocking for your complexion. Dryness, redness or breakouts are more likely to occur. How to keep you skin healthy and radiant despite cold weather? Check my favorite tips.

1. Sunscreen is your best friend

It may seem like sunscreen is useful in the summer only. Nothing more deceiving. The fact that the temperature is lower in autumn, does not mean that the sun is not there. Sunscreen protects your skin against UVA and UVB radiation and helps to keep your skin healthy and young. Choose organic sunscreen like this one from Beauty by earth or Coola.frond-1101434_640

2. Exfoliate

Exfoliation involves the removal of the oldest dead skin cells on the skin’s outermost surface helping to expose your “new” skin. Dependently of your skin condition you may want to try natural scrubs available in organic stores or you can make your own sea salt scrub with essential oil or coffee scrub. If your skin needs more than that, go to a professional salon and have microdermabrasion or chemical peels done. Ask dermatologist what is better for you.  coffee-206142_640

3. Hydration is the key

When it is colder, you may not feel an urgent need of drinking much water. However, proper body hydration can support your skin look. It won’t be too dry, it will glow instead. You can also try to hook up the humidifier in your room – it’ll moisture the air, preventing your skin from drying out. You can add natural, essential oil, so your room will smell nice and fresh. My favorite is lemongrass or peppermint scent. drops-of-water-578897_640

4. Moisturize

If you drink enough but still have this feeling of tightness of your skin, invest in a good moisturizer. If you are planning to use sunscreen during the day, you may want to buy serum or cream to use at night. We do not want to create unnecessary layers of cosmetics on your face if you wear makeup during the day, right? I do recommend checking out Instanatural brand – they do have both serums and creams. Good quality, decent price and natural. You may also make your own moisturizing avocado mask: blend half of avocado with 2-3 olive oil drops, put on your face for 30 minutes and rinse off. Your skin will be satin-soft! alternative-906138_640

5. Supplement 

You may be already taking some supplements, but if you want your skin to be radiant especially in autumn/winter season, you should make sure that you are taking collagen. After age of 25 collagen production in your body decreases causing your skin to be less elastic and eventually become wrinkled… Add some collagen to your daily routine to delay this process! You can get collagen in capsules or powder and add it to your smoothie or soup. It has no taste, but it will make your skin beautiful, strengthen your nails and hair. img_20161126_104126

6. Apples

Yes, I mean it! Apples are not only delicious (especially in Autumn season) but also they contain alpha hydroxy acids like malic acid. In cosmetology, these acids are used in chemical peels to treat acne, rosacea, scarring and other skin conditions. By eating apples you deliver yourself skin-friendly nutrients, including vitamin C, copper and fiber which also helps to keep your skin healthy & radiant.apple-496977_1920-e1507066617658.jpg
Do you know other skin care tips? Share in the comment.

 

First month with Curology – does it work for acne?

Today I want to share a short update about Curology custom formula cream. If you are not sure what I am talking about, you are more than welcome to read previous article about curology.
A month ago, I was desperate to do something with my stubborn acne. I’ve always had a clear skin as a teenager, although my problems started when my thyroid stopped working. I developed a hormonal imbalance at the age of 22. When a doctor put me on levothyroxine, acne improved only for a few months.
As a person who tried all of the brands available on both European & American market, I was skeptical and afraid that curology is a scam or another bad working product. After a month of using curology formula I can tell you – my skin has never been in such a good condition since I’ve became acne fighter few years ago!
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After first 2 weeks of using my customized cream formula I did actually notice more redness on my face. New pimples and hurting, bloody zits (ugh!). I got so discouraged. However, after I contacted my online provider, she told me it was normal, because skin has been clearing out. I gave this formula another week and wow! Less clogged pores, no new zits, less red spots. Currently I do not need to wear any make up, just BB cream or something lightly covering my small (luckily small) scars. Isn’t it what we all want, especially for hot summer?
I’ve read a lot of testimonies in the past, but none of them applied to me. Until now. No more describing, simply look at the pictures bellow.
You can see progress from day 1-10 (gosh, cannot believe it’s my skin…)

SmartSelectImage_2017-05-31-19-22-38

After 5 weeks of daily usingSmartSelectImage_2017-05-31-19-22-19
Bellow with VERY little makeup (liquid concealer on red scars only)

 

Also, the bottle which was suppose to be a month supply lasted for more than a month already. Maybe because my acne was on sides of my face – jaw line mostly, so I did not have to put too much of it. I was able to move my next formula delivery with no problems via my curology dashboard (if you log in, yo’ll see yours). I need maybe a few weeks more and I’ll have absolutely perfect skin with no scars! ❤
What do you think about it? Would you give it a try?
See you soon,
B.