It has been about three years since I first learned that the United States has not passed a major federal law regulating the cosmetics industry since 1938. As of right now, there are only 30 banned ingredients in the US, while there are 1,400 banned in the EU and 600 in Canada. That statistic right there was what opened my eyes. I immediately downloaded the Think Dirty app and scanned everything in my bathroom. To my horror, most of my products ranked an 8 out of 10 or higher. “Clean” products are ranked at a 3 or lower, to give you an idea of how bad an 8 is.
So, I ordered my first clean product, which also happened to be the subject of my very first blog post (which actually features a not-so-clean brand as well 🙈). That product was Beautycounter’s Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer. Beautycounter was the brand that taught me about these issues in the beauty industry, and the first brand that I trusted to give me clean AND well-performing products.
Even knowing this, I still struggled with swapping my products for about two years. I didn’t want to let go of my favorite CC cream, mascara, or the only moisturizer that seemed to work on my extremely dry skin during the winter months. There were moments when I downright REFUSED. “I haven’t had issues yet, why would I have issues now?” Said my naive self. “Not THAT many people have issues, right? These products can’t be THAT bad.” I hear these statements from a lot from others that won’t make the switch.
There is a lot of work that goes into swapping out your beauty products for clean dupes and you will feel defeated at times, but with the right help, you can find the perfect clean products that work just as well (if not better) than those “dirty” products you once loved and trusted. As of June 2019, I can say that all of my makeup and skin care products (with the exception of a couple that I don’t use as regularly) are clean! Here are some tips that I learned along the way.
Figure Out What “Clean” Means To You
I love hearing everyone’s definition of what “clean beauty” means to them. Maybe it’s biodegradable packaging, maybe it’s cruelty free, maybe it’s vegan or organic, or maybe it’s simply safer ingredients (that’s mine). Whatever it is, keep that in mind has you start to look for your new products!
Start With One Product At a Time
If you’re trying to purge all of your dirty products at once and find the perfect clean dupes for everything right away, you are setting yourself up for failure. First of all, just finish out the products you have. It will be okay. Otherwise you’re just wasting money and product. Whichever product you run out of first, that’s what you’ll start with on your clean beauty journey!
Find A Retailer You Trust
Take it from me, if you just try to Google “non-toxic foundation” you are going to find a LOT of options and not enough reviews that you know you can trust. That’s not to say you won’t find something you love that way, but you’re more likely to waste money (and time) on products that don’t work that well for you and you’re going to get more and more frustrated, and then give up.
Do some research. Is there a local clean beauty store in your town? Do you have any friends that are already using some clean products? They can probably help you find someone. Once you run out of your first “dirty” product, you can go to that retailer and they will help you find your first swap!
I knew I could trust the Beautycounter brand, and starting with them was great and extremely helpful, but I wanted to expand and find even more reliable brands to try out. Enter Trellis Beauty. Owner Tracy opened up her clean beauty shop just in time for me. I have been a regular in her store for over a year now because I am able to walk in, tell her my concerns, and walk out with a product I love and continue to purchase on repeat. She even helped me come up with a list of clean beauty dupes for popular “dirty” products that everyone uses!
While Trellis Beauty is local to Raleigh, you can still shop online! She weeds out all of the bad stuff to find the best clean beauty products so you really can’t go wrong with anything in her shop! Make sure you use code EVERSOEMILY at checkout to get a free swag bag full of free clean beauty goodies!
Even with a trusted retailer, it can be hard to find the perfect product in some cases. For me, that was full coverage foundation. I ended up finding a mixture of a cream stick and powder to get the finish I wanted. Some clean beauty products are still perfecting their formulas while dirty products have it easy and can just throw in a few more chemicals. You may need to do your own mixing and matching at first to find what you like, but if I can do it and find what I love you can too! There are some products that even clean beauty experts are having a hard time finding and creating. But keep looking and don’t give up. If you don’t love a product, most places have a return policy that you can utilize to exchange it for something else to try.
Stick To The 80/20 Rule
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, there is still that one product that you can’t find anything better, but it’s higher up on the “dirty” scale. And that’s okay! Maybe one day you’ll find it’s dupe, but you don’t have to right away. Many people talk about the 80/20 rule for eating healthy, but I also use it for my beauty products. As long as at least 80% of my products are clean, I feel like I’m making a difference.
Learn Your Ingredients
As you continue to look for clean products on your own, start recognizing some of those ingredients to look out for. Beautycounter’s The Never List™ is a great place to start looking. Their full list contains over 1,500 banned ingredients that you will never find in their products, but you can find a condensed version here. They even have a pocket-sized downloadable version that you can quickly pull up on your phone or keep in your wallet when you’re out shopping.
I am excited to say that I am officially a Beautycounter consultant. I love their mission so much I just had to be a part of it! That being said, please feel free to reach out to me through my website or through Instagram DMs with questions on getting started, or if you have any skin issues you’d like to try to target with some cleaner products! If Beautycounter doesn’t have it, or if I know of a brand that I think has a better option, I will always recommend you to what I think is best. If I don’t know, I can direct you to someone who can! 🙂
Have you starting making the switch to clean beauty? How did you get your start? What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?