By Claire Moshenberg
With the seasons changing, many magazines want to help you create your new look for fall with a smorgasbord of trends. Beauty trends are fun; toxic chemical exposures are not. Did you know that the average woman is exposed to 125 chemicals from cosmetics before she walks out the door in the morning?
Try the new trends, but curb the chemical chaos by applying these top 5 nontoxic tips to your Fall beauty routine:
Thicker moisturizers: That cool autumn air might feel great on your skin; unfortunately, it can also be incredibly drying. As we get closer to winter, it's time to up the ante on your moisturizer. This is the world's easiest DIY, because you can ditch your commercial product for a one-ingredient, non-toxic alternative. Coconut oil and olive oil make great body moisturizers. You can add a drop or two of essential oil for scent (though coconut oil in particular smells great on its own). If you want to purchase a moisturizer, look it up on the Good Guide or the Skin Deep database, or read the label and watch out for any of the chemicals on this list from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Homemade Scrubs: Exfoliating goes hand in hand with moisturizing. Ward off dry skin by regularly exfoliating with a simple scrub. Again, this is a super simple DIY, and I've had better results with homemade exfoliaters than their commerical counterparts. Not only is it better for your skin, but it's better for your budget: Whip up a cheap and easy DIY scrub by combining two part sugar or salt with one part olive oil. For a creamy scrub, replace olive oil with coconut oil. Here's a great tip from a Tips Tuesday reader: To create finer exfoliating particles, grind your sugar or salt in a coffee grinder.
Skip the lipstick: Beauty magazines are touting bright lips as one of the season's hottest trends. Unfortunately, the urban legend of lead in lipstick was no legend, since recent studies have found high levels of lead in several commercial lipsticks. And while the CDC doesn't have much to say about your makeup routine, they do say this: "When it comes to lead, "No safe blood lead level has been identified." Check the Skin Deep database or the Good Guide before you make any new lipstick purchases. Or switch to lipgloss and whip up a safer, homemade version with these recipes from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Keep your sunscreen: Sun safety shouldn't disappear from your routine once summer is over. Stay protected from dangerous UVA and UVB rays year-round by incorporating a safe sunscreen into your daily routine. Our guide to safer sunscreens will help you select an effective, and less toxic, sunscreen lotion.
Wash your makeup brushes: While you're taking toxic chemicals out of your cosmetics, make sure you're not leaving them in your makeup brushes. Unwashed brushes attract bacteria. If you upgrade your makeup but don't wash your brushes, you're still spreading particles of past toxic cosmetics on your face each time you apply makeup. Wash your brushes every one to two weeks with warm water and a basic, non-toxic soap, like castille soap. Look up soaps on Skin Deep to find safer, less toxic soaps.