Hi there! My name is Victoria
. I’ve been invited to write a guest post for my good friend and fellow natural beauty enthusiast, Leslie. I met Leslie purely by walking through our local farmer’s market here in Olympia, WA and noticing she was selling natural skincare. It took me a little while before I finally made a purchase from her, and now I’m not sure why I waited so long!
I’m here today to spotlight a little about me and the green beauty world in general. Green, clean, non-toxic beauty and skincare is one of my passions. I’ve always loved the idea of DIYing skincare due to the fact that I could source and choose my ingredients. Fast forward to more recently and I realized after all this time (lazily) making my own face cleanser, face oils, and more, that I am not a professional formulator. And there are a TON of beautiful products out there ready to be tried and loved by my skin.
What prompted you to switch from conventional to green/non-toxic products?
I can pinpoint the exact moment I decided I wanted products made from natural sources: discovering the EWG Skin Deep database
. I was in the bathroom in my apartment I shared with a good friend, and we both started pulling out all of our products - shampoo, conditioner, etc. We read the labels to see what they were made of and compared the ingredients to the EWG Skin Deep database.
We were horrified once we started educating ourselves about what some of these ingredients were capable of. We both decided we would rather invest in things that would take care of our bodies. 100% Pure was one of the very first companies I purchased from knowing that I was buying something totally free from anything that might harm my body. It felt really good not to have to think twice.
What has the process been like for you? Are there still things you’re exploring?
Overall the process has been several years in the making. I became interested at least five years ago and started making small switches - mainly shampoo, conditioner, soaps, and mascara (I literally wore only mascara for a couple years as my makeup routine).
In the last year my passion for green beauty reignited. I started looking up more brands and information online and discovered a huge community on Instagram. Around then I stumbled upon Leslie and Pure Luxe Apothecary at the Olympia Farmer’s Market
. After making several purchases from Pure Luxe I realized I was really missing out out on some amazing products the green beauty world has to offer.
Now, I did the opposite of what everyone says to do (as things run out replace it with a non-toxic version and do things one step at a time). I went ahead and overhauled my entire medicine cabinet and makeup stash all in a matter of three months or so. However, an easier and less drastic way to make the switch would be to get a couple new items a month and change things over as you run out.
What differences have you noticed in your skin?
I was very content with my complexion, my makeup routine, and my simple skincare. However, I never knew what my skin was capable of looking like until I started actually taking care of it. Yes, you need to TAKE CARE of your skin. You can’t just splash some water on there every night and call it good. (I mean you can, but, trust me you don’t want to.)
After switching to green beauty products, I have never loved my skin more - it’s more vibrant and my skin tone is more even. I still get the occasional breakout but they heal twice as fast with no marks left behind. I can confidently say my skin glows underneath my makeup. I regularly go foundation-free on the weekends because I’m so happy with my skin.
I do think there's a small and maybe obvious caveat, though - you have to find what work for YOU. And it takes some trial and error getting to know your own skin. Once you have found the products your skin loves, you will never go back and your skin will never look better!
What resources have you used to educate yourself?
My tried and true resource, and the first place I ever started looking for information, is the Environmental Working Group’s database called Skin Deep
. They have a huge compilation of brands and products that are rated based on how safe they are. And the safety rating is essentially based on the ingredients of the product.
The second resource that’s very similar is the Think Dirty
website and app. There is some overlap between these two, however there are actually a lot of brands that Think Dirty covers but Skin Deep doesn’t, and vice versa. I love cross referencing them because sometimes they have a different rating for the same product. Then it’s up to you to decide if that ingredient is personally acceptable or not for you.
Beyond that, if you want to get into the nitty gritty you can look for studies online and articles other bloggers have put together with research sources. I think the main takeaway is to get a base list of the ingredients you want to avoid and start reading labels!!!
What are your must-haves if you had to pick your Favorite Five green beauty products?
I absolutely cannot live without this stuff. I use it morning and night and it’s the PERFECT toner. Rosewater is obviously a must in a toner, it’s gentle and smells amazing. Witch hazel helps clarify and cleanse which I love because for me, a toner is almost a half-cleanse. I use an organic cotton pad to wipe my face and this helps get every pore clean. This also has aloe which soothes and calms.
I know, another product from Pure Luxe! Seriously though, this oil cleanser is one of my favorites. It’s simple and it works. I’ve oil cleansed for several years now and I will never stop. Leslie’s formula has some top ingredients I appreciate like castor oil and olive oil, and she finishes it off with cedarwood and ylang ylang essential oils for the most incredible aromatherapy while cleansing!
If you’re been looking for that multi-tasker that does a little bit of everything, don’t worry -you’ve found it. This stuff is absolutely incredible. It’s a whipped emulsion in a pump bottle and you can literally use it for so many things - deep moisturizer, overnight hydration mask, makeup primer, eye cream, the list goes on and on. Pro tip: keep it refrigerated for a cool and calming effect to help de-puff eyes or calm redness.
This is the holy grail of mascaras in my opinion. Fitglow just released this a couple months ago and it’s essentially a mascara and lash serum all in one. I've never used a lash serum and have noticed some serious growth since using this mascara. Not to mention that I lose virtually NO eye lashes anymore. I also love the brush and the formula. No other mascara has given me the separation that this wand has, and the formula builds the most va-va-voom volume and length. (My number 2 on mascara would by Lily Lolo’s Black Vegan Mascara.)
This isn’t a green beauty product per se, but it is definitely a dessert island pick for me. This is basically a super soft microfiber cloth stitched into a mitt for easy use and it takes all your makeup off with water - JUST water. I couldn’t live without my Magic Mitt - I think I’m on my fourth one! I use this as my very first step to cleansing my face. I remove 95% of my makeup with this, and then I follow up with the Enrich Daily Face Cleanser to cleanse away all the residue with a warm wash cloth, followed by the Rosewater Hydrating Face Tonic.
Thanks so much Victoria, for sharing your story and experiences with us! To read more, check out her website and Instagram page.