"Simple ingredients that I can recognize."
These are the standards we expect of the products we put into our bodies. As for what we put onto our bodies - the standard should be no different. Like the food products we consume, the ways in which our skincare products are created, packaged, and disposed of have an effect on our environment.
"Woodlot Skincare was born out of the idea that the products we put on our skin should contain clean and quality ingredients by default. I want to live in a world where the products I buy are safe for our people and our planet simply because they're available." - Sonia Chhinji , Woodlot Co-Founder
Our mission at Woodlot is to help make The Clean Beauty Industry, simply, The Beauty Industry. Today, we’re sharing some quick tips on how you can begin the process of detoxing your beauty cabinet - one step at a time.
We intentionally use the wording begin the process of because let’s face it - no one wants to toss out every product they own and break the bank buying replacements for everything all at once - nor is this necessary. Read on for a slow, and thoughtful approach to transforming your beauty cabinet into the clean beauty haven you’ve always dreamed of.
Step One: Learn how to determine what’s toxic and what’s not.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to ingredients, is that if you don’t recognize it, you should avoid it. But this isn’t always the case. An ingredient like GeoGard may not be commonly known to everyone but it’s just a mild, non-toxic acid that acts as a natural preservative.
If the product comes from a brand you typically trust and the other ingredients seem sound, but one or two are unrecognizable, it might be worth the effort look them up before you toss the product out or leave it on the shelf.
We love The MADE SAFE Hazard List which covers multiple product categories, including cosmetics. In just a short paragraph, you can learn what the ingredient is, why it’s used and in which products, and why it is or might be harmful.
See the MADE SAFE Hazard List here.
We asked you last month about what kind of research you do before making a purchase, and many of you answered that you either trust specific brands, stores, or beauty influencers.
Because social media has such a powerful impact on our buying habits, being cautious of who you’re following can be another important piece of the puzzle. Unfollowing content that is not aligned with your values can help you be less vulnerable to making impulse purchases you may regret later.
Step Two: Figure out which products you use daily and which products you use sometimes.
After reviewing the ingredients of your products, you might have two categories: products you need to replace eventually, and products that are already in the trash.
Once you’ve cleared away the products you definitely don’t want to use again, take a look at your not great, but not detrimental products, and ask, What do I use every day?
Products you use every day that contain harmful ingredients are obviously going to have a worse impact on your health than something you use once in a while. If you use a daily cleanser or deodorant, these are likely products you’re going to want to find clean replacements for immediately. If you have a lipstick that’s maybe not made of the cleanest of ingredients, but you only wear it from time to time, you may decide to use it up and just choose something cleaner next time. Alternatively, you might decide you no longer want to use it, but that you also don’t need a replacement immediately - as you can easily live without it.
The products you use most often are also going to come in containers that you need to dispose of the most often, so you’ll want to keep this in mind when prioritizing your replacements. What am I throwing away often? Is there a replacement for this product that comes in something I can reuse or recycle? What replacement comes with the least amount of packaging?
Which leads us to...
Step Three: If it’s not good for you, it’s not good for the planet.
What to do with products you’ve learnt are toxic? Anything you’ve determined is too toxic to put onto or into your own body is probably something you don’t want to send down the drain either.
When getting rid of products that contain hazardous ingredients, your instinct may be to scrape the containers clean and then rinse them out in the sink so that you can recycle them - like you would typically do with a clean beauty product. However, toxic chemicals going down the drain can contaminate our water supply.
The best solution is to locate a nearby household hazardous waste facility that will accept these types of products and dispose of them properly, preventing them from ending up in our water supply and landfills. That said, this option is not always easily accessible, which is all the more reason to avoid buying toxic products in the first place. Turn that frustration into motivation to make wiser purchases in the future.
Step Four: Search for product replacements that are multi-purpose and multi-use.
Going forward, an excellent way to keep your products to a minimum, meaning less cost, less packaging, and less consumption is to find products that do more than one thing. For example, find a cleanser that gently removes makeup instead of purchasing both a cleanser and a makeup remover. Cleansing Balms are great for this! Traditional makeup removers that contain alcohol can dry out your skin - particularly the delicate skin around your eyes. An oil-based Cleansing Balm moisturizes and nourishes skin as it gently clears away makeup and other pollutants.
Be sure to also swap out single-use products like sheet masks for a dry mask that you can customize based on your skin’s changing needs. Add raw honey to our Rejuvenating Green Tea Clay Mask for an extra dose of antioxidants or full fat yogurt to feed your skin some probiotics. Check out this recipe that uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
Step Five: Go slow.
Take your time and be mindful of your purchases. We get it. Beauty and skincare is fun and exciting, and as an extension of those things - easy to over consume. But beyond over stretching your budget, you don’t want to end up with products that are clean and green, but completely useless to you. Therefore the ingredients, materials, and labour that went into creating them still end up being a waste.
With skincare, we always recommend trying out 1-2 new products at a time. It’s helpful to know which product is making a difference for your skin and also which product is addressing which issue. Does your skin respond well to a Facial Oil? Or does it do better with a water-based Moisturizer? Do you need to cleanse your skin daily? Or does your skin just require plenty of hydration and hyaluronic acid?
Start with just one or two basics, and observe for 1-3 months, and then reassess your needs before deciding on an additional or different product. For women, our skin might behave differently during each phase of our cycle, which is why a minimum of 1 month allows for us to get a full idea of whether a product is working for us.
Eventually you’ll end up with a small batch of products you love and nothing that you don’t.
If you're reading this before midnight on April 23rd, head on over to our instagram feed and enter our giveaway with Beekeeper's Naturals! Female Founder + CEO, Carly Stein, is on a mission to reinvent the medicine cabinet. Discover the therapeutic nature of bee products, with not one, but TWO of their Hive Pharmacy kits, plus a bundle of your favourite Woodlot products. Check out our post for all the details. To learn more about Carly's story, check out her recent appearance on the Expanded Podcast!
Wishing you a happy Earth, today, and every day!
All images included are by Jennifer Scott @agoodchicktoknow)