Everyone wants to look good and feel good, especially in summer, but the cost and the time it takes to shop for the right beauty and personal care items can be overwhelming. What’s actually inside those products that we put in and on our bodies? What’s right for me? And what should a summer medicine cabinet makeover include?
Sophie Uliano, New York Times bestselling author of the Gorgeously Green series, is on a mission to make it easier for us by decoding the natural products.
Q. Why is it so important to clean out our medicine cabinets and what are some healthy swaps we can make?
A. Well it’s important that we purge our bathroom cabinet because a lot of the products in them may not be as healthy as you think. And I think that it’s really important because our skin is the largest organ of our body, it does absorb over 60% of what we put on it so we want to look for products that are going to be really healthy for us from the inside out. The other reason why you want to purge your bathroom cabinet is because some of the products might be older and they should be thrown out. Start looking for expiration dates and if there aren’t dates on your products then that’s a little bit of a worry. But, there are certain products that if they are more than six months old they might have to go. This would be the case for serums and maybe moisturizers. Serums because they have active ingredients in them like vitamin C and if you want them to obtain their efficacy then serums really must be as fresh as possible. So, the first things you’re going to is go through and see what needs to go.
The second thing, when you’re considering what to purge, is to really look at the ingredients in your personal care products because some of they might not be as healthy as they could be for you. In the case of your oral care products, things like mouthwash and toothpaste, it’s very important that these contain healthy ingredients. Now when I say healthy, I would suggest that you avoid artificial flavoring, dyes and sweeteners. These ingredients are actually in a lot of oral care products. So consider alternatives like Tom’s of Maine. I know that I can trust them and I know that their products are not going to contain ingredients that aren’t really good for me.
And here’s another tip, make sure your mouthwash is alcohol free and dye free. And finally, when you’re ready to go shopping for products to replace the one’s you’ve gotten rid of, remember to check out the products online before heading to the store. Instead of squinting at a small ingredient label you can visit the website and pull up the full ingredient list. I’m not necessarily happy when a label just says key ingredients because it makes me wonder what else is lurking in the bottle. But more than that, I like to look at the company as a whole.
Q. Do you think shopping habits are changing for the better when it comes to buying natural products?
A. They actually really are changing their shopping patterns. Actually, this is interesting cause a survey was done recently Where 100 people were surveyed and it was found that 40% of them were inspired to buy products if they were healthy for themselves, their families or the environment. This is a big, big change that I’ve seen. I would say about six or seven years ago this absolutely wasn’t the case. There is a big change and big consumer demand for healthier products.
Q. When is it appropriate to try DIY beauty products versus just buying them?
A. You know, I love to make as many of my own products as I can. It’s fun and it’s even better when I can save money and cut corners. Yes, there are some products that I would make and many that I would not attempt to make. So obviously in the case of makeup, cosmetics and toothpaste and complicated moisturizers I will always buy them. As good example of what I would make would be a body scrub. They’re really easy to make. I make them with salt and sugar and beautiful natural plant oils such as; sweet almond oil, olive oil and grape seed oil. Sometimes I make my own body oils as well and body scrubs because I can add scent to them the way I like. I like to use pure essential oils because they’re healthy, they’re clean and they don’t have anything synthetic in there that could disrupt my hormones.
Q. What do you suggest for serums and shampoos?
A. You know, for shampoos I like to use shampoos that are free of Parabens and that have a lot of healthy ingredients. A good example would be SkiKai. They also have some ready good body moisturizers as well. For serums and anti-aging products, a company I love is Mad Hippie. They have a beautiful vitamin C serum that’s very clean and they use a stable form of vitamin C. And since it’s summer, bug repellants and sun screens are on the top of everyone’s minds. It’s very important you go for non-toxic bug repellent. I also prefer a mineral sunscreen as opposed to a chemical sunscreen.
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