As you’ve might recognized, there is more & more about natural & organic beauty on The Sparkling Blueberry. This is because since I’ve got pregnant, my mindset drastically changed, and however I was always conscious on other fields of my life (like food, or household) I got easily carried away by nice packaging and high-end labels when it comes to makeup and skincare.
But since the summer of 2015 this has been changed and as I’m changing and learning a new approach to beauty the same thing happening with my blog too. As part of my transition I’d like to introduce a new series on the blog which is a kind of step-by-step guide to healthy beauty and more. If you’ve ever felt the urge to make healthier and more conscious choices when it comes to beauty, this series can be very helpful to push you to the right direction. Join me!
I’m not a “Purist” ( a person who only using strictly non-toxic, 100% organic, sustainable, cruelty free products) but I try my best to live a healthier life. I’m still transitioning, so if you also recently started the “big lifestyle change” you are more than welcome to join me.
I easily waved goodbye to all my shower gels, shampoos and so on and switched to healthy beauty alternatives, but there is no way that I’d never use my favourite perfumes again, or not to put on my Chanel lipstick until I find an organic alternative with the matching shade.
I love green beauty, but I also think lot of people can fall into extremities with it. I’m trying to keep it real and as healthy as possible, finding a balanced and happy medium.
If you don’t know yet what I’m talking about when mentioning toxins and unhealthy beauty products this can help open your eyes. This is a video which really really worth to watch. I found it accidentally while browsing beauty tutorials on Youtube, and after watching it, everything changed.
As a start I find it important to clear the meaning of the most used words in green beauty; organic, natural, sustainable, non-toxic, vegan and cruelty free. You have to be aware; since there are no clear rules & regulations on how to use the following labels on packaging, some companies are misusing them and scamming the customers who don’t know what to look for. As a little additional help I tried to collect all the authorized “stamps” that can help you choose the right products!
NATURAL: When you see “Natural” written on the packaging it refers to the origin of the ingredients used in the particular product. It means that the ingredients (some or all) are from a natural source with no synthetic compounds.
ORGANIC: Same as in case of “Natural” Organic also refers to the source of the ingredients found in your beauty products. They supposed to contain only plant-sourced ingredients that are cultivated without the use of synthetic chemicals, irradiation, or pesticides. You can often see signs on packaging like: “100% organic”, “organic” or “made with organic ingredients” they all mark different regulated percentages of ingredients.
The following list is quoted from the website of the brand Paula’s Choice:
- “100% Organic”—The product must contain (excluding water and salt) only organically produced ingredients. Products may display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent’s name and address.
- “Organic”—The product must contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt). The remaining product ingredients must consist of nonagricultural substances approved on the National List of non-organically produced agricultural products that are not commercially available in organic form. Products may display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent’s name and address.
- “Made with organic ingredients”—The product must contain at least 70% organic ingredients and the label can list up to three of the organic ingredients or “food” groups on the principal display panel. For example, body lotion made with at least 70% organic ingredients (excluding water and salt) and only organic herbs may be labeled either “body lotion made with organic lavender, rosemary, and chamomile,” or “body lotion made with organic herbs.” These products are not permitted to display the USDA Organic Seal, but they must display the certifying agent’s name and address.
SUSTAINABLE: In this case we are referring to the manufacturing process of the products (sustainable is the same as green). But what is sustainability? I borrowed this description from the website of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
“Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.”
A lot of thing can be sustainable when it comes to a beauty product, from the energy usage of the manufacturing process, the environmental friendliness of the packaging and even the shipping method. If you live a conscious life you might want to consider this to be a priority when picking your personal care products.
NON-TOXIC: When companies claim to be non-toxic, they are specifically referring to leaving out ingredients that have been linked to toxic responses in humans: development problems, neuro-disruption, hormone disruption, cancer, etc. However, there are no specific standards for the “non-toxic” claim, so you’d better always keep an eye on the ingredients list!
CRUELTY FREE: A cruelty-free company is one that does not test their products or ingredients on animals. If you are against animal testing you should always look for one of the following three logos: (Don’t forget that there could be other logos as well, but those are not authorized and probably only used for marketing reasons 🙁 Terrible isn’t it?)
VEGAN: When you are living a life that’s completely free of anything with animal origin, it can be extremely important to choose vegan when it comes to beauty products too. Lipbalms with beeswax, goat fur brushes or makeup with carmine is simply not an option. Always look for the following stamps, and read the ingredients list; the following components are the most common beauty ingridients with an animal origin: (information via: gentleworld.com)
- Beeswax: (aka cera alba, cera lava) This is the wax from a bee’s hive. Common in all kind of beauty products in different forms.
- Carmine: (aka cochineal, cochineal extract, crimson lake, natural red 4, C.I. 75470, E120, carminic acid) This deep red color is taken from crushed cochineal insects. Common in lipsticks and blushes.
- Collagen: This is a protein that is naturally produced in the bodies of animals. Common in creams and lotions.
- Guanine: (aka CI 75170) Guanine is fish scales that have been scraped off dead fish to provide sparkly effect in makeup. Common in eyeshadows and nail polishes.
- Keratin: This is another protein found in mammals. It comes from hair, nails and horns of animals. Common in hair products.
- Lanolin: This fat is derived from the grease in a sheep’s hair, and is a product of the wool industry. Common in lotions and lip balms.
Here is a great article from the organicbeautyblogger.com which explains the logos on the labels in even more depth, definitely worth a look!
Stay tuned because next month I’ll continue the Healthy Beauty Series, and I’ll show you the 12 Toxic ingredients you should avoid in your beauty products!
Featured image via: deathtostockphoto.com