You may be used to reading food labels, checking for calories, fat, and sensitive ingredients. But what about product labels? Are you checking for lead in your lipstick, or formaldehyde in your hair gel? These are just two threatening yet common fillers often found in today’s beauty products.
There are thousands of lethal additives that find their way into your everyday routine, and can cause havoc on the body, as they stay in your bloodstream for unpredictable periods of time. They may be the reason for cancer, hormone imbalances, weight gain, abnormal pain–the list goes on. Switching to vegan, plant-based products helps to eliminate ingredients that may do more damage than good. Here are our 10 go-to essentials this season.
1. Face cleanser
Washing away the day’s stress and pollution starts with a great cleanser. Safe for sensitive skin, Acure Orangics Seriously Soothing Cleansing Creme ($10), is a calming yet powerful blend of organ oil, peony extracts, and sunflower amino acids. A little goes a long way, even for stubborn makeup.
2. Lip balm
You may be used to rubbing jelly-like salves on dry lips thinking it will soak up the moisture. These types of formulas are often made of petrolatum, a semisolid mixture derived from processed petroleum (aka the gas you put in your car), and can trap your skin to cause more irritation instead of hydration. Mineral Oil, Paraffin Wax, Liquid Paraffin, and several other ingredients are also petroleum distillation byproducts.
If you’re looking for truly luscious lips, try Pacifica’s Bali Coconut Lip Balm ($5). This pocket-sized stick fills in the cracks with coconut, almond, and jojoba oils. It is also free of petroleum, carmine, phthalates, and petroleum.
If you dye your hair, your colorist may have told you to stay away from shampoos with sulfates, which can strip away those hard-earned highlights. Sulfates are the degreasers that make your beauty products foamy, giving you that squeaky clean sound. They’re found in car wash formulas and other household cleaners. They can cause everything from hives to diarrhea to organ failure.
For a sulfate-free shampoo that still gets out the dirt, try Not Your Mother’s Naturals Coconut Milk & African Marula Tree Oil High Moisture Shampoo ($9). The bottle is huge and you’ll get soft, smooth strands without harsh chemicals.
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind™ Kale + Apple Replenishing Superfood Conditioner ($28) tackles tangles, whether you have straight, wavy, or curly hair. Let your locks drink up this pretty spin on your normal green juice, with just as many fruit and vegetables to promote strong, shiny tresses.
5. Body lotion
If you’re feeding your skin organic ingredients, makes sense to pick up your lotion alongside your produce, right? Trader Joe’s latest launch includes a Cucumber Avocado Body Butter ($5) that’s not only cruelty-free, but also free of parabens and phthalates. Hold on to summer legs with this luxe mix of avocado oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter.
6. Face lotion
Good for all skin types, Juice Beauty’s Oil Free Moisturizer ($30) is great for everyday use to help retain and restore skin’s moisture with vegetable glycerin and plant-derived sodium hyaluronate. Embrace nutrient-rich hydration with grape, algae, pomegranate and aloe, and the calming power of cucumber and sea algae.
The fight is real–you want to keep it “natural” without welcoming an au natural smell. Kopari makes a heavy-duty Coconut Deodorant ($14) that glides on clear and fights odor and bacteria with sage and coconut oils.
Certain phthalates (like Dibutyl Phthalate, aka DBP, or DEHP, and DEP) appear on product labels, but most typically remain unlisted, hiding under the term “fragrance.” Some phthalates have been linked to hormone disruption, so it’s best to avoid them when you can.
If you have a customary #scent, starting over with a new perfume or fragrance can feel daunting and unnatural. Take your time picking with The 7 Virtues Peace Blend Box ($30). Made from organic cane sugar alcohol, each of the seven fragrances is vegan, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and promote clarity, balance, and feelings of love. Their fair trade ingredients also benefit communities recovering from violence or conflict.
9. Body wash
No more parabens, phthalates, or petrolatum in your loofah. Lather up with Burt’s Bees Citrus & Ginger Body Wash ($9) for thorough cleansing and naturally moisturized skin.
Keep your smile fresh, clean and bright with Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint All-One Toothpaste ($6). This fluoride-free toothpaste is made with 70% organic ingredients, for a product you share with the whole family. You can flash those pearly whites, knowing this cult favorite is aluminum-free, paraben-free, Sulfate-free, artificial color-free, vegan, phthalate-free, fluoride-free, formaldehyde donor-free, formaldehyde-free, propylparaben-free, butylparaben-free, and nonylphenol ethoxylate free.