3 Easy & Affordable Green Beauty Swaps

5 easy green beauty swaps to make: lip balm, lip/cheek colour, deodorant, body lotion, sunscreen

So you've decided 2019 is the year you're going to convert to natural beauty—good for you! Switching to natural beauty has been a positive and rewarding change in my life, and while I still test and use some conventional products, I feel better knowing the product swaps that I have made are limiting my exposure to parabens, phthalates and other endocrine-disrupting ingredients. Of course, I have to acknowledge my privilege here and state that being a beauty blogger has helped me on this green beauty journey, particularly when it comes to free samples of what are often expensive products.

But if you're a normal person with a normal beauty/grooming budget, and you're starting from scratch with replacing products, where should you start? What would get you the most bang for your buck in terms of making changes with maximum impact? And should you really spring for that $80+ natural face cleanser, especially when you're also trying to keep that New Year's resolution of saving more money?! Here are 3 easy green beauty swaps you can make right away, often with products that cost $20 or less.

1. Body lotion

Why: As I've explained before, the oft-repeated statement that skin absorbs everything you apply and sends it straight into your bloodstream is a myth. As an organ, skin functions as a barrier between your insides and all the harmful dirt and germs and injury-inducing stuff in the outside world, and it does a remarkably good job of keeping that bad stuff out. That being said, exposure still matters. Your skin sheds all the time, which means the skincare products you've applied topically are now coating the shed skin cells that ultimately end up in household dust; this dust circulates in the air you breathe and lands on things you might ingest. And since the skin covering your body comprises about 90% of the skin on your body, the easiest, most impactful switch you can make is swapping your conventional body lotion for a natural version. You'll have reduced your exposure instantly and dramatically, even if you're still using conventional facial skincare.

Recommendations: I'm a repeat user of Rocky Mountain Soap Company's body butters ($15.95 and under for the full size), which come in a variety of all-natural scents. The Ordinary has 100% organic argan oil in a dropper bottle for $6.80. I'm also a huge fan of Trader Joe's 100% organic argan oil in a dropper bottle, which I pick up for less than $10 US whenever I go on a cross-border TJ's run.

5 easy green beauty swaps to make: lip balm, lip/cheek colour, deodorant, body lotion, sunscreen

2. Deodorant

Why: As I wrote in this natural deodorant round-up from 2017: "In a nutshell, this is one of those "better safe than sorry" green beauty swaps. The underarms are a remarkably sensitive area filled with sweat glands and lymph nodes. What's more, underarm skin is prone to being abraded, nicked, or scraped if you shave your armpits, which means skin is less intact and more likely to absorb what you apply on it. Now imagine that on top of broken skin you're slathering on ingredients like parabens, which are known endocrine disruptors; fragrance, which is considered a trade secret and therefore could be made up of any number of undisclosed chemicals; and perhaps most controversially, aluminum. Aluminum compounds in antiperspirants work by being small enough to physically block your pores from sweating, and they've been blamed for everything from breast cancer to Alzheimer's disease and endocrine disruption. Although there is no conclusive evidence that aluminum-based compounds cause breast cancer, there have been studies that have identified a correlation between the two."

Recommendations: My love of Schmidt's natural deodorant ($12.99 at Welk's on Main) is well-documented, and I love that they have a sensitive skin formula that doesn't contain baking soda, an ingredient in natural deodorants that's often responsible for skin irritation.

3. Lip balm

Why: Are you one of those people who re-apply lip balm a dozen or more times a day, or someone who's constantly licking your lips? Then you might want to consider a natural version to limit your exposure to and ingestion of potentially harmful ingredients like parabens, phthalates, BHA/BHT, and artificial fragrance.

Recommendations: This is probably one of the easiest and most affordable green beauty swaps you can make! EOS and Burt's Bees (which I've previously featured here and here, respectively) have all-natural lip balms widely available at drugstores for under $5 a pop.

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