Purging Your Beauty Bag

Instead of relying on hazardous, chemical-packed beauty products, make the switch to their safer, plant-based alternatives.

Photo by Getty Images/Jacob Wackerhausen

The organic natural beauty market is booming. Brands with natural or botanically derived ingredients represent the largest share of high-end skin care sales, valued in the billions. More than ever, we’re hyper-aware of what we put into and onto our bodies, and, as a result, we’re demanding more transparency from beauty brands. This is such an exciting time to clean your beauty routine! Using plant-based skin care products allows you to align your outer appearance with your inner beliefs for overall wellness. It’s also a chance to use your purchasing power to support brands that empower their employees and care for the environment.

If our lives are the reflection of our actions and beliefs, then each time we make the choice to purchase another product, we’re voting for that product — for the manufacturing methods, for the ingredients, for the packaging. We’re placing our trust in that skin care company. When examining and revamping your beauty bag, look at every aspect of the products that you welcome into your home. In addition to the purity of the product, other factors may play a role in your decision to purchase with intention. As you build your own unique plant-based beauty routine, consider these questions:

  • Is the packaging recyclable or biodegradable?
  • Are the products cruelty-free?
  • Who founded the line?
  • Are the ingredients sustainably sourced or wild-harvested?
  • Does the company give any portion of proceeds to charity?

Cleaning your routine is an orientation toward a more intentional lifestyle, and creating your own personal set of standards will help guide you to the products that are just right for you.

Reading Ingredient Labels

It’s important to understand how to read an ingredient label to know exactly what you’re putting into your body. This little bit of know-how will save you time and money. You’ll be able to skim quickly through an ingredients list like a pro, and know when to bypass products that market a few key ingredients, but in reality bury them at the bottom of the ingredients list and hardly use them in their formulas.

Order matters, especially when it comes to deciphering skin care ingredient labels. Each list, or “deck,” is compiled by order of concentration. The most highly concentrated ingredients are listed first, and everything that follows is listed in descending order. For example, if a product claims to be packed with antioxidant-rich green tea, and you look at the label to see green tea leaf extract (Camellia sinensis) listed at the bottom of the list, then there isn’t much of this ingredient in the product at all. Even though it was the active antioxidant ingredient that drew you to the product in the first place, there’s not enough concentration to justify the misleading marketing.

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