Green Beauty Advice from Abby

Since I’ve started down this natural, healthy eating/living path, I’ve learned tons about what NOT to put in your body.  Chemicals, colours, genetically modified anythings and more.  In the last few months I’ve slowly started to extend this way of living into my beauty routine.  I’ve been using naturally based products for a while, but I’ve recently taken things to another level.

Last month my tried-and-true JASON deodorant ran out.  This was the only natural deodorant I’d ever tried and had it work (and I was never a particularly smelly gal anyways).  Standing in the health food store, I noticed a couple of crystal deodorants.  I’d heard a few girls in school talking about them, but in my head I always just assumed that was “taking things too far”.  Come on, who wants to risk being the smelly one at the outdoor wedding this summer?  But I decided to give it a shot.  The label even said, “Yes… It works!” (I got the Northern Harmony brand).

I was shocked – it really does!  I put it on right after a shower and very rarely do I need to reapply later in the day (maybe after a day in the sun, or walking around downtown for a few hours).  Plus one stick is supposed to last up to a year ($7 on deodorant all year? Amazing!)  It’s important that I also stress how when you eat clean, you don’t smell as bad ;).  You can find it at your local health food store and even Shoppers Drug Mart! Because it’s obviously chemical free, you’ll see some with the “Breast Cancer Society Approved” label on it.  It doesn’t end here.

A few months ago I started to get breakouts around my neck and hairline, and determined it must be my new Aveda shampoo and conditioner.  So I switched to ones by Giovanni, a natural organic line that’s been around for years.  I was pretty happy with them.  That is until a few of weeks ago when my friend Emily told me she’d stopped using these products all together.  This friend of mine is not the hippie/”natural” type that I thought would stop using shampoo.  It’s summer, there are events to go to and humidity to battle!  But she insisted that her hair didn’t feel greasy, have that “dirty hair smell”, or feel weighed down – it actually had the natural volume she’d spent tons of money on buying products for, and took less effort than ever.  Okay, I thought, I’ll give it a shot.  The benefits are huge – fewer chemicals in our water system, fewer bottles to fill with hair product, plus the whole idea of shampoo and conditioner is simply supply and demand (I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a stone age Pantene Pro-V line).  By washing our hair all of the time, we’re stripping our scalp of its natural oils.  These oils are there to moisturize our hair and give it pliability (that’s why your hair is always easier to style the day after you wash it).  It’s also why you need conditioner if you use shampoo – to add moisture back into your hair after stripping it all away.  Shampoo is basically just detergent for your hair.

And if I wouldn’t put it IN my body, why is it going ON my body?

It’s been about two weeks now.  I’m still kind of in the initial gross period while my scalp is figuring out to how much oil it should be producing.  I’ll wait as long as I can to use 1 tablespoon of baking soda (my new “shampoo”) followed by 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (my new “conditioner”)  on my hair in the shower.  Let me tell you – this stuff works!  I was skeptical.  I had my little Dixie cups in the kitchen, measuring out my “shampoo” and “conditioner”, wondering when I’d turned into such a granola.  I mean I still sport form-fitting Lululemon shorts, wear bras and shave my armpits, but here I am, turning into a green beauty ambassador.  I work out 5-6 days a week, sweat, go out at night, and work 2.5 jobs, and I’m confident enough to tell you all that these natural remedies really do the job.

Update: try using coconut vinegar instead, and use a little less than a tablespoon!

If I’m being honest, I still have one green-beauty faux pas – my make up.  I am making some good steps though.  I found this awesome lip balm line called Crazy Rumors.  They make vegan lip balm in fun, Bonne Bell-type flavours like Black Cherry Soda Pop and Gumball.  I haven’t seen it in Canada, but I order from iHerb.com (use RUL924 to get $5 off your purchase).  Do you guys have any tips or product suggestions to help ease the transition to natural makeup?  Have you tried going without your favourite chemical beauty product – deodorant, shampoo, whatever?  Comment below!

Abby