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Spring Clean your Beauty Routine

Clean out your makeup If you follow me then you know I’m all about green beauty. Out with the old and in with the new. At the start of each new season you should clear out your old makeup. Lipsticks can last over 6 months but just to be sanitary, wipe them off with alcohol just to ensure you’re not applying bacteria to the lips. The biggest health concern is with mascara. You should toss out your mascara after 3 months. If you haven’t switched your mascara out yet here are a few natural alternatives:

100 Percent Pure Black Tea

Red Apple Lipstick Mascara

 

Change your daily moisturizer- The cold winter months leaves your skin needing a rich moisturizer. Since most of us don’t have the same skin care needs all year round you may need to switch to a lighter moisturizer for the spring and summer. Make sure that your sunscreen contains an spf of at least 30. I notice brown girls feel that we don’t need to use sunscreen as much as our other sisters however we do, especially for those who have problem skin or suffer with dark spots. Here are a few non-toxic spf moisturizers I personally like:

100 Percent Pure Green Tea Oil Free Moisturizer

Devita Naturals Solar Protective Moisturizer 

Real Purity Zinc Oxide Sunscreen

 

Increase Hair Hydration- Our hair still needs moisture even in the warmer months. Staying in the sun for long periods of time can actually dry the hair out. Taking long breaks in between washes can leaving your tresses thirty. Try washing your hair at least every 5-7 days. Because our hair contains up to 80 percent water you cannot properly moisturize without water. After washing apply leave-in conditioners that list water as one of the first ingredients. These are creamy water based leave-ins that I keep in my personal stash:

Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia

Soultanicals Knot Sauce

Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk

 

Brighten up your palette- Spring is all about bright beautiful bold colors. Try introducing new nail polish and lipstick colors that match the season. I personally love pinks, purples, and even yellow. Don’t be afraid to venture out and experiment with colors you’ve never used before.

Real Purity Dew Berry Lipstick

100 Percent Pure Primrose Fruit Pigmented Lipstick

Au Naturale Organic Lipstick in Wild Lotus

 

Exfoliate, Exfoliate-Our skin can accumulate a lot of dead skin during the winter. Of course we all like to show some skin come spring and summer. Show off your beautiful glowing skin by regular exfoliation. You can exfoliate up to 3 times weekly. Opt for a natural body scrub that contains sea salts and sugars with natural oils that slough off the dead skin to reveal a smooth bright complexion. Try these gentle yet effective body scrubs:

100 Percent Pure Lavender Body Scrub

Shea Moisture  Super Fruit Hand & Body Scrub 

 

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Why Women of Color Should Opt for Non-Toxic Cosmetics

When I refer to women of color I don’t just mean those of Black or African decent. The term includes women from a wide variety of backgrounds including Latina, Native American, Asian, and Indian. As a fellow brown girl my passion and drive for creating this blog is to serve as a resource and motivation to chose organic and all natural options when it comes to cosmetics. My goal with this blog is to at least get women to consider their health when purchasing beauty products and to show that there are safer alternatives.

 

Cosmetics are a $71 billion industry. Of that number women of color spend close to three times as much than any other group. Cosmetic products marketed to women of color have improved in providing safer ingredients. The natural hair care industry has grown from only a select few companies to several; most of which are now offered in local beauty supply stores and big box retailers. I remember a time when there were only a select few available exclusively online.

 

According to the Environmental Working Group many ingredients used in traditional personal care products are known carcinogens, which have been linked to breast cancer. Unfortunately in the United States there is no system in place to regulate potentially toxic ingredients in cosmetics. Cosmetic companies are not required to have their products tested for safety by the FDA or any other agency. This means we as consumers have to be careful to read our labels and understand the ingredients in the products we use in and on our bodies daily.

 

The average US woman uses beauty products that contain nearly 200 different chemicals. Of these chemicals many include parabens, mercury, artificial dye, phthalates, formaldehyde, and toluene. All of these substances have been proven to cause many adverse health risks with prolonged use. Some of these health concerns are fibroid tumors, infertility, birth defects, hair loss, cancer, and this is just to name a few! Women of color are at a greater risk for these fibroids, breast cancer, and other diseases.

 

I often hear women of color especially in the black community stay away from certain ingredients in their hair care products but why not extend that to your makeup, skincare, and other beauty products. While it may sound overwhelming at first you can make small changes one product at a time. As a woman of color I understand where the challenge comes to finding cosmetics that are a perfect match. Hopefully this blog will introduce you to some natural alternatives that won’t compromise your health in the name of beauty.

 

Here are some resources if you want to do more research:

Story of cosmetics

Safe Cosmetics.org

Environmental Working Group

 

 

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How to Go Green with your Beauty Routine

If you’re new to the green beauty community and not sure where to start then this post is for you. Here are a few tips that I’ve learned along the way in transforming my beauty routine to toxic free.

First things first…….Don’t throw everything out going on a rampage tossing everything in sight!

 

You don’t have to go cold turkey. If you’re new to the all-natural game take baby steps. When I first started I was so excited and ready to just throw all my toxic beauty products in the trash. Wean yourself off chemical dependency slowly. For example if your normal facial has not so safe ingredients only use it once a day instead of twice. On the alternate days try using a natural alternative instead.

 

Replace products as you run out– One at a time with healthier choices each time. Go for the biggest impact. Body wash , lotion, shampoo, and hair products are the easiest to swap out. If you are a woman with natural hair then you probably already use natural hair products. Although some toxic ingredients are starting to show up in those too as manufactures are getting smarter about using the word “natural” on labels. So be cautious and read the ingredient list before you buy.

 

Learn to read labels. Know your ingredients. If you’re not sure what something means do your research to understand before you apply it to your skin. There are tons of resources like this blog for instance J Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and EWG Skin Deep are also good resources for information. I like using the Thinkdirty app, which allows you to scan the barcode of products while you are in the store. It scans for toxic chemicals and ingredients in beauty products then rates their safety so you can know before you buy. You can find this in the Apple App store or Google Play.

 

Makeup will probably be the hardest and take the longest to replace honestly. Especially if you are a makeup girl whose put in time and money to build up your makeup stash. With makeup start replacing your foundations first. Ask for samples or try smaller sizes. Especially us brown girls who have a hard enough time already finding our perfect shade. Nowadays many companies have a 30 day return policy so even if you buy a full size and it doesn’t work for you, you can get your money back.

 

Sign up for some organic beauty subscription boxes. Here are a few that I personally have tried.

Sometimes you even get full size products to try. The great thing about subscription boxes is they allow you test out multiple products at a fraction of the cost to purchase them individually.

 

Important points to remember: It can be scary and overwhelming especially when you start learning about the dangers in many beauty products. Remember why you are doing this in the first place. Don’t sacrifice your health for beauty. Yes you can still be glamorous and healthy at the same time.

 

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DIY Cocoa Body Butter Recipe

Since we are right in the heart of winter our skin can get a little on the dry side. I know this cold wind and snow here in NYC has kept my skin thirsty for extra moisture. I decided to whip up some homemade body butter. I’m a simple girl so I need something without a long list of ingredients that I would need to order from offline. If you’re like me then this recipe is for you!

 

All I used were 2 simple ingredients cocoa butter and coconut oil. Growing up my Granny (RIP, Love you!) always used those cocoa butter sticks on our skin and it always stayed moisturized. So I thought why not stick to what worked. If it’s not broke don’t fix it right.

DIY Body Butter Collage

Cocoa butter has some amazing health benefits and properties known for it’s maximum hydration and gentleness on the skin. Coconut Oil has the amazing ability to deep penetrate the skin so the moisture gets locked in.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Raw Unprocessed Cocoa Butter

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Optional: essential oils like Tea Tree and Lavender.

 

Directions:

Using a double boiler method melt the cocoa butter until it becomes a liquid.

Add coconut oil and mix until it is well combined with the cocoa butter

Place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes

Using an electric mixer, whip mixture until it turned into a fluffy almost whipped cream texture.

Place in a mason jar or air tight container

Rub into skin and enjoy soft supple goodness!