So, skincare and I haven’t always been the best of friends — and I’m sure a lot of you can relate. I spent years of my life trying to manage melasma and acne by grabbing things off of the shelves without paying ANY sort of attention to their ingredient lists. I would just slather them all over my face in hopes that those big-promising labels would fix it all.
In a surprise to LITERALLY no one, they did not fix all of my skin issues. In fact, they usually made them worse.
Paying attention to the toxins in my products
After I started using a hormonal ointment a while ago that I would rub directly on my skin, it finally clicked: the stuff you rub on your skin is kind of a big deal. I mean, as we all learned in high school bio, your skin is your largest organ. It absorbs whatever’s on it, and at the same time tries to rid your body of toxins through things like sweat and even acne.
It makes sense that the products you put on your skin can affect your body in a huge way, so why wasn’t I paying attention to what was in those products I was just grabbing off of the shelves?
After dealing with fertility problems and not being able to give a good answer when the doctor asked me about the products and ingredients I consume and use, I decided it was time to clean up my skincare act.
Enter: a product detox. (One that I was WAY overdue for.)
The ultimate guide to detoxing your skincare
When I came home ready to detox my medicine cabinet full of chemical-filled moisturizers, harsh toners, and moisture-stripping cleansers, I realized that there’s kind of a lot to the whole process. Here are the survival tips that you need, so you don’t get overwhelmed by the process and can actually make the switch with ease:
01. Take it slow
While you might be gung-ho about immediately throwing away everything in your bathroom, that can be really overwhelming and even more expensive to restock all your goods from scratch. Instead of immediately chunking all of your products in the trash, start with one or two products to clean up. If it’s easier, just replace the old with new when you run out of something. That way, it’s a gradual transition.
One of the first things I did was ditch my harsh cleanser (you know the type, microbeads and all) for an oil cleanser. As someone who was always reaching for oil-free cleansers at the store and running away when anyone mentioned oily skin, I was a little nervous. But, the whole oil cleansing shebang? It changed my skin for GOOD.
Once I stopped massaging chemicals into my face and traded them in for a natural oil blend, I saw almost instant results. I realized the impact that one natural skincare product could have, and I was even more ready to throw the chemical-laden guys out of my house.
02. Keep an eye out on those ingredient lists
I’m a big fan of enjoying everything in moderation, and that definitely includes my skincare. Instead of panicking about an immediate detox of your favorite serums and products, just start focusing on certain ingredients. Things that you should look to avoid?
- Parabens (look for things ending in -yl, like methyl or butyl): These guys act as a preservative in a lot of skincare and body products, and can disrupt your hormones. Nope!
- Phthalates (look for the term fragrance): These sneaky chemicals strengthen plastic, and really have no place on your body. In fact, you should avoid added scents and fragrances in your skincare whenever possible. Unless your products are scented with pure essential oils, there’s no telling what’s really in there.
- MEA, DEA, and TEA: These chemicals act as foaming agents and emulsifiers in things like cleansers and moisturizers, and have been linked to hormone disruption, birth defects, and toxicity. No thank you.
There are lots of good resources on the web about ingredients to keep out of your skincare, but focusing first on avoiding the big chemicals in your products can make a huge difference. Instead of worrying about each thing you can’t pronounce, trust yourself, do the research (I love the Think Dirty app!), and empower yourself to make the best decisions for you and your skin.
03. Trust the process
Just like when starting any new habit or regimen, trial and error is your best friend. It’s going to take some time to find the products you LOVE and live for. Some things will work for you, and some might not. That’s okay!
On another level, your body catches up fast when you take out those toxins and chemicals from your skincare products. Whether you’re dealing with some stinky pits when you first transition to a natural deo or you’re seeing some breakouts while the moisture barrier on your face heals, trust the process.
I’m certainly not going to say that everything in our lives has to be chemical-free (I’m all for the “do what you can” approach here), but the more you focus on detoxing your skincare collection, the better. With little steps and small tweaks, you can completely overhaul your skin and save bucks once you find what works for you.
My love for everything Primally Pure is no secret, and PP products have been a massive game changer when it comes to the products I put everywhere from my pits to my face. If you’re ready to start detoxing your products, I curated a Primally Pure x Jenna Kutcher bundle that might just change your life. With ingredients you can pronounce and products that WORK, these babies are the first step to a nontoxic routine that’ll make you the happiest.