Go Green, Live Rich: Simplify Your Beauty Routine

We are continuing with some tips from David Bach's "Go Green, Live Rich." Did you know that the average U.S. household spends an average of $600 on personal care products.  This includes makeup, hair products, soaps, etc.  Most remain half used in our cabinets.  How much is this costing our health, our environment and our wallets?  The tip to "Go Green, Live Rich" is to Simplify Your Beauty Routine. 

This was the contents of our bathroom cabinet.  Mind you, we have a very small bathroom and small cabinet.  I have since purged most of these items and I am slowly replacing commonly used items with more natural alternatives. 

Inside the Bottle

Many of the beauty products currently in the mainstream market contain ingredients that are bad for us and bad for the environment.  The standard ingredients in beauty products are made of petroleum.  Some of these ingredients can potentially be carcinogenic and hormone disruptors. When I think about this, this means that products being marketed to teenagers and young adults like Victoria Secrets sprays, makeup, etc., could actually be making them sick.  It takes  a lot of chemicals to recreate a scent.  The David Suzuki Foundation listed a dozen bad chemicals that are worth checking out.  The next time you pick up a new product, take a look at the ingredients. Perhaps your allergies or your illness is caused by the beauty products you use.

There is also an interesting thing about these products.  Many strip away your body's natural oils. This removes a layer of protection that is needed to keep your skin or hair protected from the elements.  When it strips the oil, you then put on a new product to synthetically re-create that.  When you see the word or ingredient "Fragrance" in labels, also be weary.  It can be made up of anything.  Because the mixtures of most products are proprietary, the FDA doesn't require mandatory listing of all ingredients.  Most ingredients are bucketed under "Fragrance."

References:

http://www.wellandgood.com/good-looks/ingredient-intelligence-what-you-need-to-know-about-fragrance-inskin-care/
 

http://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/labeling/regulations/ucm126444.htm

 

The Waste

Many of the personal care products we use are rarely used up.  Take a look at your own bathroom cabinets.  How many of those products are full?  How many will you use ever again? How many are in plastic containers?  How many are expired?  There's a lot of waste.  Part of it is because we are constantly being marketed new and better products.  We move on the the next new thing without finishing old products.  We can easily pick up new items at every corner drugstore.  

When you also think about all of the products in your cabinets, how much time are you wasting wading and weeding through them?  If your routine is simplified, you will remove the daily frustration of trying to find products.  You can get ready faster and start enjoying life faster.  

 

Next Steps

Take a look at your medicine cabinet.  Throw away anything that is old or unused.  Look for these graphics in the back of your makeup.  It signals how long it can be kept once it is opened.  There are also plenty of resources out there that provide you certain guidelines on how long to keep certain items.  Remember the longer you keep them, the less effective they will be.  The chemicals can also start to turn over time and you don't want to be putting that on your face.  

This graphic indicates how long your personal care product should be kept once opened.  For this, it's 12 months from open date.  

Once you have cleaned out and minimized your cabinets.  Be conscious of what you are using and what needs to be replaced.  Consider switching to more natural and environmental friendly products.  Consider the ingredients and the packaging.  Organic Bunny has a nice Instagram feed and blog that provides new products, reviews and how-tos.  Sustainably-Chic has some great suggestions as well.  Below are also a list of great companies and products to check out.

I have used JR Liggett's Bar Shampoo and highly recommend Taylor's Natural products.  I've written reviews on Taylor's Natural sunscreen, Taylor's Naturals deodorantAvasol's sunscreen, LUSH Toothy Tabs.