I had horrible acne growing up. Really awful, terrible acne that scarred me far worse emotionally than it did physically. I even had breakouts on my back (still do sometimes, actually) and I remember my grade’s bully calling me “Zit Back” one summer after swim lessons when I was, oh, probably 12. It’s not like it traumatized me or anything.
So for years, my only goal with my beauty routine was NOT to break out. I tried what seemed like every over-the-counter regimen targeted to teenagers before moving on to prescription topical creams, oral antibiotics and hormonal birth control. I eventually took Accutane twice, once during my junior year of high school and again during my freshman year of college. Looking back and knowing what I do now, I can’t believe I put all that stuff on and in my body.
For years after my skin finally cleared up (for the most part), my skincare routine consisted of basically nothing. I used bar soap to wash my face and unscented body lotion to moisturize it. I didn’t think about wrinkles or anti-aging anything. It wasn’t until my early 30s that I even thought about using something like eye cream. Then I became pregnant with my son and gave up on it for a while.
In the spring of 2017, I stumbled across a green beauty blogger’s Instagram account while nursing Caleb. I was surprised to learn that there was a whole industry of boutique natural beauty brands out there that actually worked. I also realized that I knew very little about the ingredients in my personal care products, my food and all sorts of things that I use everyday.
So I started following a bunch of natural beauty bloggers on Instagram and I took a deep dive into all things green and clean. I admit that I went down a rabbit hole and drove myself a bit crazy thinking that I had to change everything all at once. But we didn’t have the money to do it all, so I started with the things I needed to buy anyway: skincare and makeup.
I’ve been able to try some really good products, and I have a list of many more that I want to test. Natural beauty products are understandably more expensive than their conventional counterparts, and I can’t buy everything that I want to. There are a bunch of subscription boxes out there and I highly recommend joining one because they are killer deals. For about a year, I was a Beauty Heroes member and I loved receiving their monthly box. I only cancelled my subscription because we had to remove the extras from our budget and this unfortunately didn’t make the cut.
The good news is that I’m not a skincare junkie so I don’t need a lot of bottles in my bathroom cabinet. I’m also kind of terrible at applying makeup so I use the same products every day and that saves me money, space and time.
Another thing that saves me time is that I chopped off my hair. I currently have an undercut, which means that the sides and back are cut close to my head like a pixie but the top is long like a chin-length bob. It’s so easy and I think it looks good on me (if I do say so myself). I’m still tempted to go full pixie to make my life even easier but I’m not ready for it yet. Maybe one day!
Personal care is so, well, personal. My products aren’t 100 percent natural and I’m okay with that. Some of the green beauty bloggers I follow would probably be horrified to read that sentence, but it’s what works for me. I would drive myself (and others) crazy trying to live a super strict life. It’s just not for me right now. If you’re looking to make a switch to green beauty, learn what you can and what will work with your lifestyle.
Let me know if I can help in any way, or maybe I can steer you to someone who can!