How to Shop for Natural Makeup and Skincare Products

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Natural skincare and makeup has been on my radar for the last few years.  Terms like “paraben free” and “sulfate free” have become buzzwords.  These terms are also an opportunity for brands to highlight the movement towards gentle, simple and safer beauty, and increase sales.  I’ve been incorporating these types of products into my life gradually.  While it would be nice to throw out all my lotions, potions and makeup and start fresh, I am also realistic.  I, like many women, have found loyalty to products and brands that have become part of my daily life.  I wear a certain eyeshadow all the time and favor skincare that I’ve used for years.  That said, as I’ve used up my products I’ve tried to replace them with others that have fewer ingredients that I can actually pronounce and understand.

When I shop for items like shampoo, I often turn the bottle over to look at the ingredients.  First, I scan for obvious parabens.  You can find paraben ingredients by looking for “paraben” at the end of a word.  Examples are methylparaben and propylparaben.  They are preservatives often used in cosmetics and fragrance.  Those get placed back on the shelf.  Another way I find more natural products is by looking right on the front of the item.  Like I mentioned before, brands that are centered around a natural focus often highlight it.  “Free of parabens, sulfates and dyes” are seen more frequently now.  This is a benefit for shoppers because it’s easier to find products to feel good about.

Stores sometimes have dedicated areas for natural beauty.  Often, they’re placed right with everything else in the same category.  You simply need to take a few moments to seek them out.  Fortunately, more mainstream stores are stocking their shelves with natural skincare and makeup.  It’s not just for tree huggers anymore.  In fact, I think more people are giving love to Mother Earth and their own care when making purchasing decisions.

If you want to start incorporating better-for-you products into your beauty routine, there are a few ways to get started without being overwhelmed.

  • Scan store shelves for natural beauty buzzwords such as “Sulfate Free” and “Paraben Free”.
  • Do a quick online search for “Natural Makeup” or “Organic Makeup”.
  • Start by trying one or two products and see how they perform for you.
  • The Environmental Working Group website is a great resource – http://www.ewg.org.  EWG’s Skin Deep Guide to Cosmetics is something I reference often.  You can search by ingredient, product or brand.  They use a numerical scale to rate the safety of ingredients and products.

Remember to do your research, as there are often natural ingredients alongside ones that require a chemistry degree to read and understand.  Trying new beauty products is fun, and knowing that you’re putting natural ingredients on your body is a bonus.  The next time you shop for skincare or makeup, read the bottle.  And find the good stuff.

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