October 20, 2011

Some Tips for Making the Switch


Nobody likes change. I don't, I never have. My mom tells me I cried the day my older sister went to kindergarten. But my aversion to change never reared its ugly head when I transitioned into a healthy beauty routine. Let me tell you why.

It's because clean beauty products perform. I have found almost all my new green paraphernalia to work effectively, and usually even better than its run-of-the mill, chemical laden counterpart. The transition has been full of pleasant surprises and some really fun treasure hunts, but I still want to give you a road map.

The first thing you have to realize is: this is a lifestyle change, and lifestyle changes don't happen overnight. You won't always replace like for like; sometimes new alternatives will emerge and surprise you. Now, armed with that awareness, I give you my 8 pearls of wisdom on easing the transition:

1. Start small. I think the best place to start is your lip balm. It's a small tube that you can polish off easily, and it costs less than a cup of coffee. Commitaphobes begin here!

2. Don't replace everything at once. While it seems like a nice rip-the-bandaid-off-in-one-go solution, you don't want to rush through this because: a) it's too fun to rush through, and b) you are going to learn more about your skin, hair and effective ingredients as your knowledge grows.

3. Start thinking about replacing a product when it begins to run low. This will give you some time to investigate clean options so that when you finally finish off your bottle, you will know what to replenish it with.

4. Try them first! Many natural beauty shops have samples of almost all their personal care products in the store. If this option isn't available, pay attention to return policies. Sometimes it's possible to return a product even after opening it. Also, if you have any buddies that are making the switch with you, see if you can sample a few of their faves.

5. Take advantage of free samples! So many green beauty sites, like Spirit Beauty Lounge, the Nature of Beauty, Bubble and Bee, Marie Veroniques and Vapour Organic Beauty have great sampling offers. They understand the need for a test run. Some of them have free samples, and others have miniature sizes at cheap prices.

6. Don't buy into marketing hype. Many companies slap the word "natural" on their bottle and jack up the price in attempts to pull the wool over your eyes. Don't believe claims on the front of the bottle like: "green," "organic," or "natural." Only trust what's on the back of the bottle: the ingredients listing.

7. Read reviews. I can't emphasize this one enough. So many of the products I now live by were found through rave reviews. Generally someone without a bias is going to tell it like it is. A great place to start is green beauty blogs, like this one! Also check out my Favorite Links tab to navigate some other great green blogs full of product reviews.

8. Be adventurous.

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