So I thought I’d give a quick guide/tip to encourage anyone contemplating letting go of toxic/harsh chemical products and choosing organic skin care & beauty and organic food.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted this picture on twitter with caption “Getting rid of all toxic chemicals lying around. 99% of these I bought but never used. Oh well. #toxicfree, #greenbeauty, #minimalism”.
The responses were interesting. I had people who wanted me to send the items to them rather than throw them away; I also had people who thought I was just ridiculous for wanting to throw those away. I wasn’t particularly sure why those who thought I was ridiculous thought so. Was it the fact that I was throwing away something I purchased with my money or the fact that I was throwing it away in the name of switching to green beauty? I didn’t bother asking really, I just pondered to myself and moved on.
That was just batch 1 of the many items I have discarded. Like the caption says, I had rarely or never used many of the products in that photo (as well as the ones I discarded but never took pictures of). That was probably one of the most painful parts of throwing those items away. Some of you are probably reading this and wondering why the heck I did that. Well in case you’re wondering Why you should read my post on Why I Switched to organic. The decision to switch to organic didn’t come easy. I didn’t just wake up one morning and decided that “today is the day”. The decision was even harder when I realized I would have to let go of a lot of things I had purchased. I mean, that was my hard-earned money. Sometimes it felt like I went to the ATM, withdrew cash and then walked right to the trash can and dumped the fresh mint cash in there. Despite it being hard, I knew I needed to do it. I’ve had questions about how I made the switch so I thought I’d put this post together as a quick guide to help you switch as well as encourage you to do so gladly.
So here’re 5 things I did to help me switch
1. Know Why you’re doing it
I can’t stress enough how important this is.
It’s so important to know why you are doing what you are doing. This is typically what keeps most people grounded-purpose. For me, it was knowing that many beauty, skincare, and hair products contained hormone disruptors such as parabens and phthalates. And so when I go into stores to buy my favorite hair conditioner, I read labels and remind myself that if my hormones go out of whack, I won’t feel good enjoy that fleeky hair or makeup look. Knowing why you do what you do and being convinced about it is such a major key. There’s probably a psychology behind that (if you find out, let me know). Same goes for understanding the purpose of switching to clean beauty, organic skincare and/or organic lifestyle. You can read up on my post linked above to get you started.
2. Read! Read! Read!
Or if you’d rather, Watch! Watch! Watch!: This is just as important as the first step. The more you read and learn, the more you find reasons to switch. Reading will also shape your perspective on beauty and life in general. There are so many resources out there to read and learn from. A major benefit of reading is learning more about the ingredients in the products you use. The more you learn about these ingredients, the more you look out for them when you go to stores. Till date, I still stand in store aisles to go through product ingredients before buying (I loathe returning items). Or if you’re an online shopper, you’re able to scan through these ingredients and delete items from your cart if they contain those toxic ingredients.
3. Understand that It is a lifelong commitment
Switching to organic and toxin-free skincare/beauty is not a one-time event. It is a lifelong commitment. The same goes for organic food and making the decision to eat healthily. It is a journey and that is what you should focus on while keeping your eyes on the bigger picture. For me, it’s been 4 years since I started consciously making the effort yet I am not even 100% where I want to be. I still find myself giving a pass to conventional products here and there even though I cringe while at it. Knowing that this is a journey meant I allowed myself to fail. There have been times when I went to the store and chose not to buy organic because it just didn’t fit my budget or because the conventional items were more accessible in that season. So, don’t rush it. Do the best you can one step/day at a time. There’ll hopefully be many opportunities to right your wrongs especially as you learn more and find more concrete reasons to choose organic. Please know that this journey will take time, (and lots of conscious effort) and that’s okay! Don’t compare your journey with other people’s.
4. Let go gradually
It’s so important to remember baby steps are major steps. I read somewhere that “the number one secret to success is baby steps” and I can’t tell you just how close to the truth that is. I knew that simply getting rid of everything that’s not sustainable, green beauty or organic at the same time would be a major disaster. So I started switching one item at a time. I found many effective ways to do this. one of them was making a note to not repurchase items that weren’t organic but to find alternatives instead. So for example, when I ran out of my favorite conventional mascara, even though it was my favorite one, I encouraged myself not to repurchase it. Instead, I bought an organic one. In switching one item at a time, I found out that I was beginning to have more and more organic beauty/skincare products and more organic foods in my pantry.This meant the number of conventional items I owned began to decrease. So didn’t hurt so much. You have lots of makeup especially if you’re a makeup enthusiast, I honestly won’t advise you to package everything into the garbage (unless you are someone who functions better that way- I am that way sometimes). My advice would be to eliminate one item at a time or choose one category at a time. E.g, you might decide to switch all mascaras and then eye shadow palettes, then lipsticks etc. Find out what works best for you and implement that
5. Surround yourself with the right info
This sorta goes hand in hand with #2. When I started switching, I started reading lots of blog posts about green beauty, organic skincare, organic food options etc. I am not really into makeup but I enjoy watching makeup tutorials, so I started watching more green beauty YouTubers. Even though I’m not a big fan or excessive haul videos, watching some haul videos by organic makeup YouTubers was also helpful. I enjoyed seeing how different products worked on different and skin types. Seeing the organic makeup YouTubers made me realize that this organic journey is possible. Thankfully today, there are so many resources online to read, lots of Instagram accounts to follow for inspiration and quite a number of videos available on youtube to watch.
I hope these help anyone considering switching or currently on the journey. I am still working on myself and will update this as I find out more ways! Also, I am working on a post to show you how I shop affordable for the many of us on a tight budget! I’d love to know what has worked for you if you’ve tried making major life changes.
Love and Hearts, Aasake!