The thing I like most about reading health and beauty blogs is that it’s kind of like getting a sneak peak inside the author’s medicine cabinet; or their purse - wherever they prefer to stash their secrets. Since it’s not totally acceptable to approach strangers and demand answers to questions like: What’s in your smoothie? How do you keep your hair so shiny? and Do you prefer Essie or OPI? I do most of my research online. The term research is used very loosely, and typically consists of me cruising various social media outlets and blogs looking for hot tips that we now collectively refer to as “hacks.” When an advertisement catches my eye, I’ll typically cross reference the product information through blog posts and customer reviews to determine whether or not it lives up to its promises. Provided it’s not too costly, I’ll try anything once. (Warning: This attitude results in a drawer full of dramatic, not-for-daily-use lip colors, and nail stickers that you’ve only ever successfully applied to your left hand.)
If you’re anything like me, you’re not just on the hunt for the next best thing in terms of ease or effectiveness; you’re mindful of your health and the environment, too. It’s not breaking news, but I do try and practice reading product labels - the fewer the ingredients (and the more you can identify and pronounce) the better. There are some things you might not be willing to replace (dry shampoo, I’m looking at you), but for every one mildly terrifying ingredient list, I try and use 2 more natural products. Here’s a look at some of my favorites…
Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Pure Castile Soap - Made with certified organic ingredients, this liquid soap comes in a variety of pretty scents. Among its many uses are toothpaste and fruit and veggie wash. While I haven’t tried either, this is my motto: If it’s safe to put on your teeth, it’s safe to put on your loofah.
Coconut Oil - I know that at this point coconut oil has become, like, the Kardashian sister of the health and beauty aisle, and we just wish people would stop talking about it, but give me a second. The brand is less important than the variety; I look for organic and unrefined. I have replaced all of my body lotions and the lip balm I would normally apply before bed with coconut oil. If you’re worried about it being greasy - it’s not! And, if you like a smell reminiscent of sunscreen, then you are in for a sweet dream.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil - This is a tea tree oil blend that you can apply directly to the skin without having to dilute. Tea tree oil helps to heal many types of skin irritation. I typically apply it at night time when I feel a pimple coming on; but the possibilities are (almost) endless. Don’t look up it’s uses on Pintrest unless you’re free for the next hour.
Tom’s Of Maine Toothpaste - To be honest, this toothpaste takes some getting used to. It doesn’t provide the same tingly refreshment as my old brand, but it doesn't contain any of the questionable ingredients either. The first visit to my dentist post-switch erased any doubt I had about its effectiveness. My hygienest said I was the easiest patient she had seen all day. Shout out to Tom!
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics - The Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics line is 100% Vegan and Cruelty-Free. Have you tried their Lip Tar? These liquid lipsticks contain high intensity pigments in an organic oil base, and come in more shades than you can count. This is definitely one of those products that I regret not purchasing sooner.
Once you’ve showered, brushed, and made-up with all of your new, greener products, you’ll probably find yourself seeking out replacements for things you use daily…Or maybe you already have! Ladies, please feel free to give us a sneak peek of what’s in your purse by sharing some of your most trusted health and beauty brands in the comment section below!
Catherine Kwolek was born and raised in Rhode Island, where she works as an accountant by day and blogger by night. She loves nothing more than a tall iced coffee and a good laugh. When she’s not busy exploring what’s new around Providence, she can be found crafting, perusing the makeup aisle, or binge watching House Hunters.