The Going Green tag was created by the lovely Rachel from All Natural Aspirations, one of the very first green beauty bloggers I “met” via Twitter.
I’m very excited to tackle these questions, so I must give my thanks and appreciation to not only Rachel, but also to Louise from Kinder Health and Beauty for tagging me!
- Link back to the tag creator and the person who tagged you
- Answer the questions
- Spread the love by tagging a few other green bloggers
Q: What started it all off for you?
A: Back in 2010, I was searching for facial care products that wouldn’t aggravate my already screwy hormonal skin. I stumbled upon EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database and realized how many additional chemicals I was adding to an already chemical-laden life just by using mainstream beauty goods. I must admit that I am a compulsive researcher by nature, so I spent countless hours educating myself about horrifying environmental toxins. Even after roughly 4 years, I in no way claim to be a purist (just an optimist) because there are so many brands and products to explore! Some things work for me and some do not. Not everything I use is perfectly clean, and not everything I recommend will be completely organic. I know that what each person can do is contingent upon time, resources, and finances, which I why I am a strong advocate of the “every little action is a step in the right direction” mentality.
Q: What was the first thing to go? (ingredient or product)
A: There wasn’t really a first thing for me, but more like a first three things. I basically switched facial cleansers, shampoos, and shaving creams all at the same time. I quit my old face cleansers cold turkey (I couldn’t even tell you which toxic ones I used to buy) and bought the Kiss My Face Potent and Pure Exfoliating Face Wash at my local Whole Foods. I no longer use KMF, but I can give you my two cents on Bubble and Bee, DeVita, and Tastyface, to name a few. Like Rachel and Louise, I didn’t want SLS anywhere near my scalp any longer, as I was battling what I call the itch and flake (itchy head and dandruff). The first natural shampoo I bought was by Aubrey Organics, but lately I’ve been rotating between Acure Organics and Shikai.
Shaving cream may seem like a strange product to be addicted to, but I can say that I currently own more shave creams than I know what to do with. I used to use Barbasol and am now loving three natural alternatives. Those of you that follow me on Twitter may have an idea as to which creams these are :) However, I will refrain from divulging these products and save the big reveals for my upcoming shave series!
Q: What are you struggling/did you struggle to let go of?
A: Previous to my “going green,” I was never really a big beauty buff, so I probably used a minimal number of products as compared to my friends. I wasn’t particularly attached to the majority of products I had, so replacing everything just gave me a good reason to go shopping online. Currently, I still struggle to let go of my Old Spice—not because I love it, just because I sweat a lot. As a tomboy, I play a lot of sports and start many a workout program. I know that a little body odor is expected while playing sports, and since I play with guys who probably sweat just as much, or even more than I do, I shouldn’t care—but is it too much to ask for a deodorant formula that suitably prevents me from being able to smell my own stink?
Recently, I have stopped using antiperspirant and usually switch back and forth between the natural stuff and “regular” deodorant, depending on my agenda for the day. I have tried a bunch of natural deodorants that just haven’t worked for me at all, so right now I am still on a quest for something better. Salubritas, Schmidt’s, and Moody Sisters are on my radar.
Q: What has been your best find or change? (a green product or a tip that you are really glad you found/learned)
A: Product-wise, I have to say exfoliating scrubs and cleansers. I don’t use them every day, but have found some that are so mild that I could—and I love that.
As for tips, I have to mention the fabulous natural remedies that I now swear by. The first: Peppermint essential oil. Peppermint has been a lifesaver to me for headaches and migraines. I keep a small bottle of peppermint essential oil with me (although it seems I always leave it at home when I really need it) just in case a headache strikes. I take three long wafts of the oil and after about a half hour, the peppermint kicks in to lessen the pressure and ease the pain.
The second: Ginger/peppermint tea. I have a very temperamental stomach and intestines, so when I need something to calm my digestive system, ginger/peppermint tea does the trick. All it takes is one cup for my system to begin its detox. Drinking a cup each morning, even if I have no pain, helps keep it under control for the rest of the day.
Last: Ground clove. I was having some gum pain a few weeks ago and Liz from Smells Like A Green Spirit recommended clove. I found a bag of ground clove at my local Fresh Market and figured it was worth a try. I washed my mouth with salt water and packed the clove powder onto the painful area. It looked (and felt) a bit like dirt, but it mixed with my saliva and numbed the area. I did this every 4 or 5 hours and all was healed within 3 days :) This is a great remedy for gum pain, cold sores, and toothache.
Q: What has been the worst thing about going green? What has been the hardest thing to transition or find an adequate green replacement for?
A: For me, the worst thing about going green is admitting to myself that everything I use and EVERYTHING I EAT eventually needs to be transitioned. Beauty products are one thing, but cleaning up my diet is extremely difficult. Natural products and organic food are more expensive and availability in retail and grocery stores is lacking. I am very lucky to live in an area where stores like Whole Foods and Fresh Market have opened. I could spend hours roaming the aisles of these shops, looking for interesting brands and new (healthier) snack foods. Unfortunately, I love snacking a little too much and don’t always make the best choices, especially when stress kicks in. I have been trying to make an effort to find products with ingredients I can pronounce, and without high fructose corn syrup and tons of sugar. When I can, I look for organic fruits and veggies and lunch meats without hormones. It is not always possible for me to eat clean, but I am working on it and with baby steps, I will get there!
As I mentioned above, one of the hardest to transition products is deodorant. Toothpaste is another product I have yet to switch over. It seems that many natural toothpastes contain fennel or anise, which I can’t use unless I want to have a mouth full of blisters :/ I also do not like the taste of cinnamon paste, and have to stay away from wintergreen and spearmint. So, if anyone can recommend a nice natural peppermint option, I’d be happy to give it a go.
Q: Anything else to add? Tips or tricks to pass on?
A: Start small—no need to throw everything out at once. Read ingredients because not everything that claims to be natural actually is. Learn from all of the great green beauty bloggers. Reach out to small business owners. Ask questions.
Always find and try a natural remedy before taking OTC medication. Sometimes you will need both, but natural remedies are worth a shot.
Don’t feel limited to products made in your country. I have a long list of companies based outside of the US that I’d like to try, but unfortunately not all of them ship here (Kris D’Amour, I’m eagerly awaiting international shipping!). I am currently testing the Hey Gorgeous Skincare line (the company is based in South Africa) and the customer service has been exceptional (thanks Pheebs). I’ll be doing a haul/first impressions post on them soon!
And last, if you have a naysaying friend—for a birthday or holiday, give an organic beauty product and when that friend tells you how awesome the product is, you can just smile and say it’s organic!
My turn to tag!
Hope you enjoyed reading my answers and of course feel free to comment below! Do you have any product recommendations for me?