As a follow-up to last week’s post about sustainable style, I’d like to share a few other “green tips” as you continue to make purchases that can impact your health and our planet.
Beauty: Did you know that cosmetics sold in the US are not required to have FDA approval for their ingredients? In fact, according to the Environmental Watch Group, cosmetics have fewer regulations than pesticides. The only regulation passed by the FDA (in 1938, no less!) mandates false claims on packaging with no regard to the actual ingredients found in the products.
I take my skincare very seriously and was initially concerned about the effectiveness of products that didn’t contain ingredients created in a laboratory. I had tried products off the shelves of health food stores and wasn’t impressed with their efficacy (nor packaging); however, the clean beauty space has been revolutionized in recent years with even cosmetic retail giants such as Sephora taking notice and starting to shelve clean brands. And, I have noticed a HUGE difference in my skin since I have begun using clean products. In the past, I have struggled with inflammation and rosacea. My nose and cheeks frequently used to be red, requiring makeup to conceal. Since changing to plant-based, all natural products, my skin tone and evenness have dramatically improved. So much so, that I rarely wear makeup. And I haven’t had to sacrifice effective anti-aging products; there are many products that contain powerful ingredients found in natural (fruit acids are one such ingredient), which exfoliate and renew skin cell turn over.
A one-stop beauty resource I trust is Follain. If you are in the Seattle area (also Bethesda, Boston, Dallas and NYC), you can pop-in to Follain’s beautifully designed store to seek a consultation in person from one of their experts. However, Follain also offers an online skin quiz that can help you replace some of your more toxic beauty favorites and/or address your skin concerns. In addition to their rigorous oversight, I also love how Follain curates the best products within each line that they carry (rather than simply carrying an entire line). This way you can be sure that you are getting effective products that have been tried and tested.
clockwise from left: Rahua Leave-In Treatment, Kari Gran Lip Whip, Tata Harper Floral Essence, French Girl Neroli Eye Serum (also found at Delia Skin & Nail Boutique), Well People Mascara, Kjaer Weis Foundation (pictured above)
For those readers shopping in Seattle, I highly recommend several salons and spas that focus on using clean and natural products. The first is Sarah Kahn Hair located in lower Queen Anne. Aside from Sarah’s amazing hair color work (which I obsess over on Instagram), her beautiful boutique also stocks several favorite hair and cosmetic products including Rahua hair products, Kjaer Weiss cosmetics and Herbivore Botanicals skincare.
Looking for an effective yet organic facial? Look no further than Bella Fiore Medical Spa in Queen Anne. I’ve been doing their Infusion Facial for a year now – this is an alternative to a chemical peel and uses only natural fruit acids to gently yet effectively exfoliate and refresh your skin. I’ve also done a number of their medical spa treatments including IPL and, most recently, their Platelet-Rich Plasma facial (check out their video…you may recognize the client!).
If you are concerned about the toxicity of nail polishes and also the cleanliness of the spa, then a trip to Delia Skin & Nail Boutique is in order. With a wide array of colorful non-toxic polishes (including gel polish) and 2 expert technicians who specialize in nail art, your mani doesn’t have to suffer in the name of the environment! Also, their technicians work at ergonomically correct seats and their pedicure bowls don’t have jets or a drain (which can harbor yucky bacteria). Plus their new space is absolutely stunning…beautiful spa plus beautiful nails!
There are many “green” cleaning products on the market. However, I caution you to do your homework as “green washing” is something very popular within this industry. I’ve been surprised to learn that a number of products sold on the shelves of popular grocery store chains and even Target, include harmful chemicals.
One brand I have been really impressed with is Dropps. I’ve been using their felted dryer balls for more than a year. Think: no dryer sheet waste and no synthetic fragrance (one of the greatest chemical offenders!). Instead I put a few drops of lavender essential oil on the balls and my laundry smells fresh! I’ve also been using their laundry detergent pods (both the unscented detergent and the oxi booster pods). Free from fragrance, dyes, chlorine, phosphates, and enzymes, the detergent is an excellent alternative to your grocery store brands. Additionally, all of the products are sent in recyclable cardboard and the pod membranes are made from biodegradable and water soluble polyvinyl alcohol (which is broken down micro-organisms like yeast, fungi and bacteria). Less plastic waste and a cleaner detergent…it’s a win!
Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
This may be a tip only for my fellow Seattlites, but it’s definitely worth looking into a similar service in your city. I’m so excited to have subscribed to Ridwell; a service that offers expanded recycling in the greater Seattle area. What to do with those batteries, light bulbs, and plastic film (this is a biggie!)? Ridwell recycles all of these and far more than our city recycling program offers. How does this work? Ridwell partners with local companies and nonprofits to turn things normally sent to the landfill into new things. Each pick-up, they will take your bags full of plastic film, batteries, light bulbs and old clothes (I reserve the ones that are not fit for donation or consignment – holey socks, camp t-shirts, rags, etc). In addition, each pick-up offers a rotating category; last pick-up was electronic charging cords, up-coming categories include broken jewelry, outdated eye glasses, and corks. There is also an extra charge for recycling styrofoam.
Being mindful of recycling with Ridwell has also brought to my attention just how much we discard each day. With reuse in mind, I have started finding products that will not be trashed after a single use; like these mason jar lids (my metal ones always rust), reusable cosmetic wipes, and washable nylon produce bags.
What are your green tips? I’m constantly learning. Please also share any clean beauty or household products. After all, this is a journey. And when I try any suggestions, I will be sure to share with this community.
Also, please be sure to follow along on Instagram. I tend to be sharing more there these days, with lots of everyday greening tips (among other real life) found both on my feed and in stories.
Thank you for visiting my corner of the internet! ~Jenn