It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with natural products. Once I started researching and writing about them, it was pretty much over for me. Then I discovered the Skin Deep Database, and was horrified to realize the products I had used every day, for years, had ingredients in them that were linked to cancer, hormonal changes, skin irritation and more.
But I was skeptical–was I willing to give up my favorite products to go natural? Wouldn’t that be expensive? Was it really worth it? And wouldn’t my new organic products fall short of my expectations?
I decided to make the switch gradually, so that I’d eventually only use organic products. That way I could still use the products I had grown to love, and I could use up the remaining amounts in my current makeup stash. The results were pretty amazing. I have high expectations of the products I use, and I definitely don’t have a perfect complexion. Dark circles, blemishes, greasy hair…I battle them all.
One of the biggest transformations was with my hair. I have long had a love/hate relationship with my tresses — they grow fast, never do what I want them to do and usually end up in a ponytail. But my hair was often greasy, even the same day it was washed, and I can’t stand that. I’ve tried (and raved) about dry shampoos that I could use at the end of the day before an event, or if I wanted to try going for a day without a shampoo. It worked, but I still hoped someday I’d be able to skip a shampoo without limp, greasy hair.
Turns out, I can: I just needed to switch shampoos. My synthetic shampoos were drying out my hair and scalp (you know the straw-like feeling your hair gets after being shampooed and before you put on conditioner?) — and causing my scalp to overproduce oil to compensate. Which made my hair greasy.
The transition to organic shampoo was not easy or pretty. For about a week, my hair looked and felt like absolute crap. It was limp, it was greasy, it was gross. But then the turning point came, my scalp finally stopped over-producing the greasiness, and my hair was awesome! I can now easily go a couple of days without a shampoo and not look like a homeless person.
A few other things I’ve noticed:
- My skin is happier. I have occasional adult acne, and I have cystic acne (those awful underground blemishes that never quite go away). They’ve faded noticeably. I can credit my Clarisonic for helping, too.
- I’ve developed quite a love affair with organic body lotions; they sink into skin quickly instead of sitting on top of the skin and feeling greasy.
- I have a different approach to makeup/skincare now — it’s always been fun, but now it’s thoughtful and meaningful, too. I’m thinking about whether a product is fair trade or tested on animals, because most of my organic products have stricter requirements about more than just their ingredients.
And here’s a secret: I’m still making the switch. I have an old bottle of Aussie hairspray that I need to use up (I rarely use hairspray, which is why it’s still practically full), and I use a toothpaste that’s better than much of what’s on the shelf, but not really good enough. I’m still working on finding a deodorant that I like. It’s an ongoing process.
What would you like to change about your beauty routine? Share in the comments and let’s work out a plan together!