5 Natural Beauty Swaps
We all know the natural, green beauty industry is making a play for major cosmetics territory—and for good reason! Since about 60 percent of what we put ON our skin (including makeup, lotions, fragrances, oils and balms) makes its way into our bodies, it’s smart to pick products with ingredients that aren’t potentially harmful. In the largely unregulated cosmetics industry—there hasn’t been federal legislation regarding beauty and personal care products since 1938, and the United States only bans or restricts 11 ingredients while the European Union has restrictions on 1,328—we have to be our own advocates by reading labels, asking questions and being informed.
But with all the time that it takes to be informed and all the effort you’ve already put into finding take-to-your-grave faves, it can be hard to say "sayonara" to your holy-grail lipstick, face wash or blush without something spectacular waiting in the wings. Thankfully, more and more natural (read: toxin-free) lines are introducing products that rival even the most trusted formulas. Think you’re ready to make the switch? Check out these 5 natural beauty swaps that will help make the au naturale transition a little smoother.
1. If you like NARS The Multiple in Orgasm, try W3LL PEOPLE's Universalist Colorstick 1.
The Austin-based W3LL PEOPLE’s answer to NARS’ cult-favorite Orgasm flatters practically every skin tone and its peachy-pink finish gives your skin (or lips or eyes) a glow that can’t be rivaled. Plus, it actually improves your skin while you’re wearing it because the Universalist is packed with hydrating and anti-aging ingredients like grapeseed oil, vitamin E, aloe and green tea.
2. If you like Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara, try Kjaer Wies’ Organic Mascara.
Mascara is one of the hardest beauty products to swap. I can’t count the number of conversations I’ve had about the difficulty of switching to a clean mascara, and the clean beauty community concurs. Thankfully, natural-beauty powerhouse Kjaer Wies’ formula plumps, lengthens and boosts while not smudging, flaking or smearing. It has a little brush that at first made me skeptical, but one swipe on my long, light lashes made me a believer.
3. If you like Dove Advanced Care Deodorant, try Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant.
Let’s get one thing straight—no natural deodorant is going to be an antiperspirant. Aluminum, the ingredient that blocks your pores to keep sweating to a minimum, is regarded in the natural beauty world as a danger to armpit (and lymph nodes) health, so natural alternatives are only going to keep stinkiness at bay. And that’s hard, especially if you’re prone to long runs or hot yoga classes. Of the multitude of brands available, Schmidt’s (my favorite is the Ylang-Ylang + Calendula scent) ranks at the top of the list for reducing B.O., keeping you fresh all day. Its list of skin-soothing ingredients can be your own personal open letter to your pits.
4. If you like Lancome Rouge in Love Me Lip Color in Roses in Love, try ILIA Beauty Tinted Lip Conditioner in Blossom Lady.
Finding the perfect neutral rose lip color was one of my life-long beauty battles, until I discovered ILIA Beauty’s Tinted Lip Conditioner in Blossom Lady. It’s a prettier-than-my-natural-lips color that enhances without being too bold, and it conditions lips like a balm with jojoba oil, sesame seed oil, vitamin E and cocoa butter. No scary, lead-based ingredients here.
5. If you like Essie Nail Polish in Mademoiselle, try RGB Cosmetics Nail Polish in Punch.
Nails and nail beds are very porous, meaning they absorb much of what we swipe atop them. So why brush on toxic chemicals that can cause nail weakening, yellowing and splitting? Many polishes today are “3-free,” meaning they no longer contain dibutyl phthalate, toluene or formaldehyde (which are considered toxic or cancer-causing), but RGB Cosmetics polishes are 5-free, meaning they’re also sans formaldehyde resin and camphor (which are considered skin irritants). RGB’s Punch is a peachy-pink nude that’s neutral enough to wear anywhere, and, well, punchy enough to stand out.
We know there are lots of other great swaps out there, so we want your thoughts: What natural beauty products do you use?
Nicolle Mackinnon is a magazine editor and freelance writer, editor and social media consultant with an affinity for clean beauty, yoga and puppies. She blogs for No More Dirty Looks, and is the social media manager behind the brand. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for more beauty-related insight.