As you’ve probably noticed, we’re really into taking care of ourselves from the inside-out. Something that is discussed frequently on Zenzy is the way that your skin hair, nails and overall well-being are affected by the foods and products we put intoour body. However, they’re also affected by the products we put onto our body. So much emphasis is put on making sure our food is clean, natural, and organic—but the same kind of emphasis should be put on our beauty products! As someone who has encountered many allergic reactions from beauty products and their harsh chemicals, I completely understand this rapidly growing demand for “green” beauty products that are natural, organic, and free of chemicals that are harmful to our health and our planet.
What exactly are “green” beauty products? There’s no Oxford Dictionary definition, but green or natural beauty products are sourced and made from mostly natural ingredients, and are typically low in synthetic ingredients (fake or chemical ingredients that can be harmful to us and the planet!). Your skin is like a giant sponge that absorbs everything we put on it. We don’t want to poison ourselves everyday with fake Taco Bell ingredients, so why would we want to do that with our beauty products?
In addition, many “green” beauty brands will use packaging in an eco-friendly way so that when you throw away the product and its package, it won’t pollute the Earth as significantly. Take a favourite Zenzy brand, Yes To for example. You’re probably familiar with their face masks (we know we are!), such as Yes To Carrots, Yes To Tomatoes, Yes To Cucumbers, or Yes To Grapefruit. The great thing about this brand is that they are made with 95% natural ingredients and their packaging is totally recyclable. We say Yes To that!
If you take a look around Ulta, Sephora, Target, or any other beauty story, you’re bound to see a surplus of green or eco-friendly beauty products. The public has spoken and they want a green beauty world! So, it’s no surprise that celebs like former Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr are on board with the movement as well. In fact, she started her own beauty line called Kora Organics that is committed to creating natural, vegan and cruelty-free products. By eliminating harsh chemicals such as sulfates, parabens, fragrance, synthetic colors, silicone, formaldehyde and formaldehyde derivatives (which I am personally v allergic to), she’s been able to create a line that uses only natural ingredients like vitamins, essential oils, herbs and aloe vera. If those words freaked you out a little and seem unpronounceable—don’t worry, those are the ingredients you don’t want in your products anyways! Just like with food if it sounds like it’s from chemistry class, it’s probably not something you want to be using on your body.
But, just in case you’re really interested in knowing what these chemicals are and why you should avoid them, check out the breakdown below:
You would think sulfates are our friends since they’re put in products like shampoo, body wash, face wash, toothpaste and laundry detergent. The truth is, they’re a secret ninja. They’re everywhere, but they’re causing you harm. Sulfates can cause eye and skin irritation, and can leave your locks dry and brittle. All we really want is mermaid hair blowing in the wind like Madelaine Petsch???
This word is thrown around so much in the beauty world, but what the heck are they? Parabens are a cheap chemical used to prevent bacteria growth and prolong the expiration date on products like shampoo, scrubs, makeup and lotion. The green beauty movement is saying a big no to parabens, since they’ve been linked to breast cancer and are polluting the oceans where marine animals end up ingesting them L
We all like to smell nice, so what’s wrong with a little perfume? Unfortunately, ‘fragrance’ is not so much your favourite perfume, as it is actually a giant mix of chemicals made ot cover up the smell of product’srealchemical smell (ew). With so many mystery chemicals there really is no knowing what goes into a cucumber melon, fresh linen or rose petal-scented product, which is why fragrance has been so heavily linked to skin rashes, headaches and asthma. We’re just our here trying to smell like the tropical island we imagine Rihanna smells like, ok?
This guy is so fake, you just don’t want to go anywhere near him. Silicone is used in a lot of products to make them feel silky and ~luxurious~, but what they actually do is create a arrier over your skin and trap in dirt, oils and other debris. It would be like putting an oily plastic wrap on your face, which would just be insane. They can cause major skin congestion, dullness, and acne.
Ah yes, a chemical near and dear to my allergy ridden heart. I could write a novel about the effects of this chemical. It is used as a preservative to help products last longer, and can be found in just about every single beauty product on your shelf. While it’s been linked to cancer, the main issue is skin irritation. *Enter Bridget stage right*.I learned this the hard way when my entire body erupted in red, itchy spots and I had red rings around my eyes (it was reallypretty). I then went to my doctor, took numerous tests and then was informed that basically every product I had been using contained formaldehyde and was causing the outbreak. Bonus fact: It’s banned in Europe, Australia, Canada and Brazil. Why can’t we just get on board over here?
And that, my friends, is why I love green beauty. If you’re looking for some amazing green beauty brands to help you transition your shelves into a clean spring, check out some of our favourites below!
COVER IMAGE: @koraorganics