Sense of Aesthetic 5 Products to Swap Now: Lip Products

There are a lot of lists like this one on the internet nowadays. With the rise of green and clean beauty brands, everyone is rushing to give you advice on which conventional beauty products to give up first.

And while I’m not an advocate of dumping everything you own and starting anew (since exposing the environment and thus our food supply means that you’ll eventually be exposed to the toxins in conventional products anyway — possibly with bio-magnification), there are 5 items that I think that you should replace in your routine as soon as you are able to.

Here are those 5 makeup and personal care products I believe you should replace, along with the reasons why these ones are the most urgent:
1. Deodorant and Antiperspirants
Sense of Aesthetic 5 Products to Swap Now: Deodorant and Antiperspirant
The claim that aluminum compounds used in antiperspirants contributes to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s risk has been widely distributed and much debated.
But whether you’re convinced of the dangers of anti-antiperspirants or you can’t live without your clinical strength formulation, you have to know that there are other dangers from antiperspirants that come from their inactive ingredients.
Much of the irritation and harmful side effects come from the fragrance in antiperspirant. Other unnecessary but harmful contents include PPG-18, Talc, and Petrolatum. But if you need an antiperspirant as opposed to a deodorant, there is one brand that contains only two ingredients and rates a 3 out of 10 on Think Dirty. And that’s Biotherm Deo Pure Antiperspirant.

It uses Zinc Aluminum Salts to block sweat, rated a 3 out of 10 on Think Dirty; instead of the Aluminum Zirconium, rated a 4 out of 10 on Think Dirty. The only other ingredient it contains is Ethyl Alcohol which other than having the potential for irritation, is harmless. Although I haven’t been able to find out where to buy this product, so it seems as though a safe antiperspirant without crap additives is currently a bit of a white whale.

In terms of deodorant, the picture is much more positive. I first moved away from using antiperspirant because of the rashes I was experiencing. But when even deodorant caused similar rashes, I knew it was time to go natural.
And unlike years past, toxin-free deo is much more effective, long-lasting, and downright yummy. Don’t fancy smelling like a fresh sport or a fresh baby? Natural deodorants on the market give you the choice of smelling like a herb garden, a farmer’s market, or a pastry shop. Much more up my alley!
Some versions, such as Meow-Meow Tweet’s baking soda free one, has to be applied with your fingers. But others, such as the well-known Schmitt’s, have stick versions. Or there’s the award-winning La Vanilla Sport Luxe deodorant if you’re looking for all-day fail proof scent that’s also delicious.
2. Nail Polish
Sense of Aesthetic 5 Products to Swap Now: Nail Polish
After the New York Times’ expose of unsafe nail salons came out last spring, there’s no denying that nail polish is one of the most toxin products we put on our bodies. But did you know that some so-called “natural” and 5-free brands such as Zoya still receive some of the worst possible scores on Think Dirty?
Thankfully, there is a small but growing group of polish brands that are not only free of the 5 most toxic chemicals found in conventional polish, but also receive scores as low as 3 out of 10 for safety. My favourite of this batch is Priti NYC. They carry a wide range of colours and are great for home manicures.
But what about salons? Unless you are fortunate enough to live in a health-conscious big city that can support the so far niche clean and green beauty markets, it’s likely that your neighbourhood salon still carries the highly toxic Essie or OPI. So what’s a health conscious glamazon to do?

Try talking to the proprietor or your manicurist. Maybe they’d be so kind as to use your polish from home? And if you’re a repeat customer, maybe you can help with this much-needed sea change by introducing your salon to safe brands such as Priti. With any luck, they’ll stock this toxin-free brand alongside (or maybe even instead of) conventional brands.

3. Perfume
Sense of Aesthetic 5 Products to Swap Now: Perfume
We all know that the traditional spots to apply perfumes, our “pulse points”, also correspond with lymph nodes. And considering the amount of toxins that most conventional perfumes contain, coupled with the amount of product that our skin is capable of absorbing, continued use of these products gives me pause. And we all know that perfume allergies are on the rise, as well as perfume-free environments at work and school. So the importance of switching conventional perfumes out for milder substitutes is obvious.

But it’s another method of absorption that really worries me: our noses.

Noses are potentially susceptible to toxins because of their direct connection to our brains. Think about how certain smells will instantly transport you back to a specific time and place. That’s because the sense organ is connected to the memory centers of our brains. But when sniffing conventionally scented perfumes, lotions, and candles, you may be taking in more than just memories.
Luckily, there is a growing number of naturally-based and safe perfumes that you don’t have to worry about. Some of the safest on the market are the roll-on, sprays, and solid perfumes from Pacifica. They come in a wide range of flavours, and unlike conventional perfumes they contain pure scents such as guava, vanilla or amber rather than mixtures of rotting florals, old-lady musk and alcohol.
4. Lip Products
Another delicate area of the face is mouth, especially since it has the potential to transport the toxins placed on lips directly into your digestive system. And since much of what’s in conventional make-up comes with the warning, “it’s safe…as long as you don’t eat it,” this is particularly worrisome.
Lipstick has long been controversial for the inclusion of, at different eras, contents such as whale blubber and lead. But many conventional lip products today still contain harmful ingredients. But there’s no reason for them. If you’re a giant fan of Sephora already, you can Bite Beauty lipsticks for really pigmented and creamy toxin-free options.
If you’re more of a drugstore product user, try Burt’s Bees lip products. While many of the Burt’s Bees products are green-washed and no better than the other options from brands like Cover Girl and Revlon, their lip balms, tints, and crayons are perfectly safe. Just know that they contain beeswax and lanolin, and so are not vegan.
5. Mascara
Sense of Aesthetic 5 Products to Swap Now: Mascara
Another area of the face that’s in danger of exposure and absorption is the eye area. We’re all told to be careful and aware of the age of our mascara, and we’ve all been warned away from sharing eye makeup products. And this is mainly due to the danger of contamination by harmful bacteria that can cause conditions such as pink eye.
But that logic does not extend to the ingredients in products such as mascara. If eyes are particularly susceptible to bacterial and allergens, wouldn’t that also mean that we should be careful about the potentially harmful chemicals that we put around them, as well?
Some conventional mascaras are still chock full of garbage. CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara, for instance, contains three types of parabens, phenoxyethanol, and SLS. Thankfully, natural beauty brands have really stepped up their game when it comes to effective and safe mascaras. I currently use 100% Pure’s Fruit Pigmented Black Tea Mascara, a favourite because of its overall effectiveness and remarkable staying power for a non-waterproof product. Or there’s W3ll People’s award-winning Expressionist Mascara.
But if you’re looking for a budget option, try Pure Anada’s mascara. It’s safe and effective, and while it’s not show stopping — it’s definitely an easy call if you’re looking to stay in the same budget range as a Revlon or L’Oreal product. Or for something already in your drugstore, try Physicians Formula Organic Wear line. Whether you want subtle, boosted or the falsies look, they’ve got a safe mascara for you.
Natural, organic and clean beauty companies have been multiplying like rabbits recently. And all the over-saturation makes it difficult to know where to start your detox, and if it’s even worth it! With any luck, this list helped to demystify some of it with the most important switches for you, and some clean and budget-friendly alternatives!