Are you one of the many people who take part in a body detox every year? Whether embarking on a juice cleanse or the Whole 30 program, detoxing is definitely part of many people’s routines. Detoxing, however, shouldn’t stop with what you put in your mouth.
The clean beauty movement has been sweeping the country with increasing awareness as consumers start looking at the ingredients in their skincare products as diligently as they inspect the ingredients in their food. This is a good thing, since your skin absorbs roughly 70% of what you put on it and up to 100% of what’s applied in certain areas, like the underarms. With the increasingly toxic amount of chemicals that our bodies are exposed to, it’s important to lighten the load wherever you can; detoxing your beauty routine is a great step towards long term health and increased wellbeing.
My own personal journey into clean beauty started when I was a senior in highschool in Tennessee. My mom became very sick with an autoimmune disease; and the treatments prescribed by her doctors left her puffy, exhausted, and sick. I started researching everything I could find to help her get better. I learned that mainstream beauty was creating products with a dizzying array of harmful ingredients. As a result of my reading, I switched all of my beauty products to non-toxic alternatives. But with a few simple steps you too can start detoxing your beauty routine today.
Start reading ingredient labels
Ingredients matter. It’s time to start reading the ingredient labels on your skincare, haircare, body care and makeup products just like you read the ingredients on a food label. When you see a long list of complex chemical names, the item is probably filled with some questionable ingredients, including hormone disruptors. When in doubt, look up ingredients on the Environmental Working Group (EWG) database, the nation’s leading authority on ingredient safety.
Product Recommendation: Agent Nateur Holi (Oil) Refining Youth Serum ($122)
Opt for natural and organic ingredients
When you start reading ingredient labels, you’ll begin to notice how few mainstream products actually contain ingredients you can pronounce. Look for natural and organic ingredients that you can recognize, including plant extracts and naturally derived ingredients. When either all or a majority of ingredients come from a natural source, you’ve likely found a high performance, non-toxic product.
Product Recommendation: Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator ($35)
Ditch artificial fragrance
Synthetic fragrance and perfumes are one of the worst offenders for hormone disruption, skin irritation, and general toxicity. If you could quickly eliminate one ingredient, let this be it! Beware if you see “fragrance” or “perfume” on the ingredient list. Instead choose products that are fragrance free or use essential oils and essential oil based fragrances.
Product Recommendation: Sangre De Fruta Essential Oil Roll On Perfume in “Vetiver & Fleur” ($38)
Reassess your make-up collection
Mainstream make-up can be one of the worst offenders for harbouring toxic ingredients. According to a recent study by the University of Notre Dame, more than half of the cosmetics sold in the United States contain high levels of “forever chemicals,” or PFAS which are toxic industrial compounds linked to serious health conditions, including cancer. Some of the highest PFAS levels were found in mascaras and lipsticks.
Shop with dedicated clean beauty retailers
Clean beauty shops like Verde Lusso, which I founded this year in Birmingham, have been popping up all over the country in recent years as consumer demand for clean, safe, and effective products picks up steam. While you can scope out clean beauty boutiques like Detox Market in Los Angeles or CAP Beauty in New York City, Verde Lusso offers a local shopping destination for luxury natural and organic beauty. While many mainstream retailers claim to carry “clean beauty,” they use terms like “natural” and “clean” for marketing purposes only without actually enforcing a strong standard for non-toxic ingredients so beware.
Recommendation: Shop with dedicated clean beauty retailers like Verde Lusso.
Mary Frances Dale is the founder of Verde Lusso, a luxury clean beauty shop based in Birmingham, Alabama offering clean beauty you can feel good about. Verde Lusso, which means “green luxury” in Italian, is your one-stop-shop for the best brands in clean beauty, including skincare, make-up, hair-care and wellness products. For more information, visit verdelusso.com.
Photography: Ambre Amari of Amari Photography