I’m particularly excited about today’s post with Jessica who pens the Clean beauty blog, Bare Beauty. Not only is Jessica a gem in real life — but I love her mission. I attempted to only use Clean products while pregnant and have been trying to do the same for Piper now (but I know I can do much better + will now thanks to Jess’ know how). Jessica is pregnant with her second child and is sharing her favorite Clean picks for pregnancy and the little ones in your life. I love her advice!
After a traumatic miscarriage five years ago, I took a good hard look at the “healthy” lifestyle I thought I was living. My OBGYN suggested prescription drugs, but I just wasn’t ready for that (although I totally would have gone down that road if the natural route didn’t work for me). I was already occasionally seeing a naturopath, so together we dug deeper. I was tested for food allergies and hormonal imbalances, I started seeing an acupuncturist regularly, and I started researching the chemicals present in my home. Once I realized that just about every single beauty and personal care product I was using contained endocrine (hormone) disruptors, I fell down the Clean beauty rabbit hole; I was willing to do anything to improve my chances of conceiving naturally. I often shared my findings with friends and family, and a few suggested that I should be documenting what I learned, and Bare Beauty was born. While the site has evolved, the intention is still to help people navigate Clean beauty and safer options.
I’ve successfully replaced every product in my makeup bag, medicine cabinet and shower with a clean, effective alternative that I truly enjoy using. I’m a girly-girl, a luxury lover and a product junkie – if I can make the switch, anyone can! Five years ago, it wasn’t as easy, and there was a lot of trial and error when I was testing out products. These days, there are so many amazing choices; many of my friends who’ve made the swtich say that they don’t even miss their old standbys. The only two things still on my wish list are a clean aerosol dry shampoo, (although, that in itself is not exactly clean, is it?!) and a clean waterproof mascara (there is no such thing – yet).
Whether I am pregnant, or not, my beauty routine is always 95% clean and natural; just like eating healthfully, it becomes second nature. The number one thing pregnant women should avoid is synthetic fragrance. It’s in everything; shampoo, laundry detergent, perfume, lotion, candles, and so on. Synthetic fragrance contains thousands of unknown chemicals that will not be disclosed on ingredient labels due to trade secret laws, and they almost always contain phthalates, which mess with our hormones and the hormones of unborn babies. My advice would be to switch to truly clean, natural versions, or at least buy only fragrance-free products during pregnancy and nursing.
Be patient! You may go through a few mascaras until you find your match, and just because one isn’t good doesn’t mean the whole batch is bad. And keep in mind that there are some things that natural cosmetics just cannot do. That mascara, for example, is going to be safer and can even be smudge-resistant, but it won’t be waterproof. Ever. That’s nature trying to tell you that you shouldn’t be wearing the same makeup for 24 hours straight!
It can be tempting to purge your entire makeup bag or vanity all at once, but it can also be very overwhelming. Instead, switch out a few products at a time, or as you run out of your old stand-bys. You actually end up saving time, money and your sanity by making the switch “slowly”.
Of course you should always do your own research—when you can. But sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. To save yourself some time, you can find a list of trusted green beauty retailers on my Where to Shop page. These independently owned e-commerce sites have the highest standards when it comes to safer beauty because they do not tolerate green-washing, and you can shop worry-free. Many of them even have sample programs, so you can try a few options before making a commitment.
If you’re looking for a place to start, the most important products to switch out are body lotion, personal fragrance, shampoo and conditioner, hand soap and sanitizer, sunscreen, toothpaste, deodorant and whatever you use on your lips regularly. These are the products we use most often, and unfortunately, the ingredients in the conventional versions of these products are some of the most dangerous to our health. Remember, this isn’t about perfection! Making the switch is about being aware of the environmental toxins around us, and doing what you can, when you can to limit your exposure to them. Go easy on yourself. We are all doing the best we can.
Due to their thin, fragile skin barrier, children are even more susceptible than we are to the chemicals in bath and body products. It is so important to use clean, natural products on your children. I’ve seen eczema and various allergic reactions disappear overnight on children who make the switch; it’s incredible.
My favorites for babies:
My favorites for toddlers:
Images by Kirk Chambers