Smart Swaps, The Series
Thanks for stopping by the first Smart Swaps Series on The Eco Hub.
Smart Swaps are healthy, effective non-toxic alternatives to common store bought items that you and your family use every day.
I created this series to help you and your family live healthier, non-toxic lives. We are inundated with so many toxic products every single day, in these guides, I will give you tried and tested alternatives to common store-bought items.
I promise you all of these items are just as effective as the ones you are accustomed to using, only better and healthier!
This series is meant to give you the tools you need to make the change, but I want you to keep in mind that it’s impossible to be 100% toxin free. Our society is just simply not set up that way. I also don’t want you to stress about it. Change takes time. My mission is to help make you, me and the planet a healthier one, by being aware of the things we are exposed to every day and making informed decisions.
Today it’s about getting back to basics when it comes to your makeup and skincare routine. This is probably the MOST IMPORTANT of the Smart Swap Series.
Since most of us use 9-12 products daily, our toxic burden is adding up, so switching to a clean beauty routine is more important than ever.
I’m not only sharing my top Smart Swaps, I am also going to share my easy, effective, HEALTHY DIY recipes for radiant, glowing skin.
Like food and fashion, the skincare and cosmetics industry is going through a major overhaul, never before have consumers been as savvy as they are today. We have access to more information and the good news is, it’s facilitating change.
Like what you eat and what you wear, what you put on your body doesn’t need to be filled with a concoction of toxins.
Simplifying your beauty regime is the best thing you can do for your skin. You really don’t need more than a few key products.
THE 4 STEP DAILY REGIME
Your skin is a reflection of your overall health and good skin is not a luxury to those who can afford the high price of skincare products. Radiant skin comes with a good diet and a simplified skincare regime. Being in my 40’s has taught me a lot about how to properly take care of my skin and aside from a few wrinkles here and there, I think I have pretty good skin. I’ve always followed a simple regime and have seen the benefits when others follow this advice.
This is an important step and one a lot of women forgo. A good cleanser should be used on a daily basis to get rid of makeup build-up and grime and it should leave your skin feeling clean and firm but not too dry. It’s a good habit to cleanse twice a day. I do it in the morning in the shower and before bed when removing my makeup.
Smart Swap: Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser, $90 (high end)
I love this oil because you can use it on dry skin. Applied directly it leaves the skin refreshed but not greasy, which is a plus right? It’s the ideal first step cleanser to prime the skin for exfoliation and gives a smoother surface for makeup application. If you are into ingredients, like I am, you’ll love the sacha inchi oil, a concentrated source of omega 3 fatty acids that provide superior moisture for a healthier, hydrated appearance.
Smart Swap: Consonant Natural Foaming Face Wash, $12 (cost efficient)
This is a fabulous foaming cleanser that works as a makeup remover, and pH balanced toner replacement. I do like the idea of using a toner, but if you don’t have the time, this is a great double duty product. This trio of supernatural ingredients is another reason to try it. I normally don’t recommend tea tree oil, but this one is too good not to try.
A toner is another good habit to get into. Toners can traditionally be very drying, after use your skin should feel fresh, but not stripped of moisture. Like the cleanser, you can use this twice a day, am and pm for best results.
Smart Swap: Province Apothecary Invigorating + Balancing Toner, $18
This toner is an obsession. The directions say to use 1-3 sprays but you’ll want to use more, it’s that good! I LOVE it. I didn’t really use toner until I tried this one. The Rose and Geranium make it feel like a garden in a bottle, they have other benefits too like aiding congested skin, toning and purifying. But really it’s the smell and overall wow factor that keeps me coming back. I even keep a bottle at my desk and use it when I feel I need a little pick me up.
A good serum will provide your skin with nutrients and anti-aging properties. They penetrate the skin more deeply than a moisturizer and are absorbed quite quickly. It’s best to apply before you moisturize.
Smart Swap: Laurel Whole Plant Organics Facial Serum: Anti-Inflammatory, $88 US (high end)
A fellow beauty blogger, Sarita Coren, said in a review that this is “the one serum to rule them all” and I have to agree. This is a miracle in a bottle. What I love most about Laurel Whole Plant Organics is that every product in her lineup feels clean, you can feel the botanicals working, and the smell , well that brings it up a notch. It’s a transformative serum in many ways thanks to its powerhouse lineup of ingredients.
Put 2-3 drops onto fingertips and apply to clean face and neck. First apply to the drier part of skin and work inward.
Smart Swap: Graydon Clinical Luxury Detox + Renew Serum, $55 (cost efficient)
Canadian raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries, mostly grown in The Fraser Valley and Northern Canada, go into this silky, potent concoction. How can you not love that?!
The cold pressed oil from these berries offers your face a rich source of antioxidants. If that’s not enough, they are also naturally high in linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid, carotenoids, tocotrienols and tocopherols (the natural isomers of Vitamin E) and a rich source of Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.
If you are young and not too worried about anti-aging just yet – honestly the best anti-aging step is to STAY OUT OF THE SUN and use a good SUNSCREEN – choose a moisturizer that’s light and suits your skin type.
If you are worried about aging (Ugh! I am) then I want you to make sure you use a moisturizer that has collagen-boosting properties. As we age the skin gets more delicate so a little extra TLC goes a long way and this extra step in your skin care regime will be so beneficial in the long haul.
When looking for anti-aging products choose ones that are high in vitamins A and E, omega fatty acids, peptides, and antioxidants. All of this help to reduce wrinkles and boost collagen.
Smart Swap: Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer, $36
If you are looking for a deep, thick moisturizer then you will love this. It’s pretty thick, you have to warm it up in your hands before you apply it. I apply it at night and there is a noticeable difference in the morning. I call it my nighttime miracle. It’s lives up to its name!
I’ve added one more step here for those of us who are worried about wrinkles, age spots and all the other fun stuff that comes with getting older.
5. A GOOD NIGHT CREAM OR OIL
Smart Swap: Goop’s Replenishing Night Cream, $140
I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about this entire lineup of products, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the overall effectiveness of this them and their bang-on ingredients. It’s an investment, but a good one. The texture is amazing, it feels like cake frosting but for the face. It very light and whipped like any good cream should be. I’ve been using this for a while now and have noticed smoother more hydrated skin. I know it’s on the pricey side, but I figure every woman should have one really good anti-aging product that works and those are hard to come by!
If you have mature skin, I don’t recommend using a scrub on your face at home, rather I recommend rejuvenating facials. Province Apothecary is the BEST. I do think a using a mask once a week is a great way to nourish and cleanse the skin.
Smart Swap: Tata Harper Purifying Mask, $87
This is a deep-cleansing detox treatment that is ideal for any skin type, but really good for mature skin thanks to the following (to die for) ingredients:
Brown Algae: Helps energize the skin for a firm, lifted appearance.
Prickly Pear Seed Oil: An excellent source of antioxidant vitamin E; improves elasticity for a youthful look.
White Clay: Helps cut through and remove buildup.
Smart Swap: One Love Organics Brand New Day, $39
The One Love Brand New Day is simply divine. It’s a micro derma scrub and masque that will smooth the skin. This superfine, water-activated exfoliator combines organic sweet pea flour, pineapple enzymes and mineral rich kaolin clay to remove impurities, clarify, and smooth skin for a luminous, baby-soft complexion. It smells like Hawaii thanks to the pineapple. I could literally eat the stuff.
Ingredients To Avoid
|INGREDIENT||FOUND IN||HEALTH CONCERNS||ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS||HOW IT APPEARS ON A LABEL|
|Dibutyl Phthalates||Nail polish; air spray; lipstick; Perfume.||Possible endocrine disruptor and reproductive toxicant.||Harmful to fish and other wildlife.||Benzylbutyl phthalate (BzBP); Di-n-butyl phthalate or Dibutyl phthalate (DBP); Diethyl phthalate (DEP); and sometimes Fragrance.|
|Parfum (also know as synthetic fragrances)||Perfume; hair products; moisturizers; makeup; body care.||Can cause allergies and asthma. Linked to cancer and neurotoxicity.||Harmful to fish and other wildlife.||Fragrance; parfum.|
|Parabens (preservatives)||Toothpaste; deodorant; soap; body care; hair products||Possible endocrine disruptors||Interferes with male reproductive functions in aquatic life||Aalkyl parahydroxybenzoate; butylparaben; methylparaben; ethylparaben; propylparaben; isobutylparabens.|
Petrolatum (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
|lip balm; makeup; skin; body care products.||Possible link to cancer.||Effects eggs of certain aquatic species.||mineral oil; petrolatum; petroleum jelly.|
BHA and BHT.
|preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers.||possible human carcinogen.||toxicity to aquatic organisms and potential to bioaccumulate.||Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene.|
Sodium Laureth sulfate or SLES.
|shampoos; cleansers; gels; bubble bath.||may contain 1;4 dioxine a possible cancer causing agent.||it doesn't degrade and remains in the environment after it is rinsed down the drain.||Sodium Laureth Sulfate; Sodium Lauryl Sulfate; Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate; Anhydrous Sodium Lauryl Sulfate; Irium; PEG;’ ‘–eth–;’ ‘Polyethylene;’ ‘Polyethylene glycol’ ‘Polyoxyethylene;’ or ‘–oxynol–’.|
|releasing preservatives found in nail polish; deodorant; shampoo and many more.||know human carcinogen; can mess with kidneys; neurotoxin.||adds to poor indoor air quality and can be persistent in the enviro.||DMDM hydantoin; Diazolidinyl urea; imidazolidinyl urea; methenamine; quarternium-15 and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate|
DEA; cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA.
|Used in some creamy and foaming products; such as moisturizers and shampoos; also found in makeup.||Harmful to fish and other wildlife.||May cause cancer||DEA; Diethanolamine; TEA; Triethanolamine.|
Coal Tar Dyes
|hair dyes||High risk of cancer||very toxic to aquatic organisms; may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment||identified by a five-digit Colour Index (C.I.) number; P-phenylenediamine.|
|some antibacterial cosmetics; such as toothpastes; cleansers and antiperspirants||Suspected endocrine disruptor and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria||Harmful to fish and other wildlife||Triclosan/triclocarban|
|lipstick; nail polish and hair products||Linked to brain damage and fetal issues||aquatic concerns||C.I. 77575; Glover; Ks-4|
Propylene Glycol and Butylene Glycol
|skincare; hair care; body care; makeup; baby care products; contact lens cleaner; moisturizers; foundations; sunscreens; eye creams; mascara and more||Toxic to the human brain and organs||Glycerol; a byproduct of bio-diesel production is harmful to water ways and aquatic life||Propylene Glycol; Proptylene Glycol; 1;2-Propanediol. Related synthetics: PEG (polyethylene glycol) and PPG (polypropylene glycol)|
Oxybenzone (BP-3/ benzophenone) and octinoxate (octyl methoxycinnamate)
|sunscreens and sun care products||may disrupt our hormone system and that can trigger allergic reactions; associated with endometriosis in women||alters sperm production in animals||BP-3/ benzophenone) and octinoxate (octyl methoxycinnamate).|
References [click me]