natural beauty

What Is Natural Beauty?

Natural beauty means something different to everyone: it could be going make-up free, but using a natural oil to moisturize. It could be finding an all-natural eye shadow palette and organic lip balm. Or it could just be buying organic shampoo (or making your own shampoo at home!), and springing for a natural deodorant in a scent you love. Whatever it means to you, natural beauty is increasingly becoming a top-of-mind priority. 

According to a 2015 Skin Inc. study, 54% of women said it was important for their beauty and skin care purchases to be “all-natural.” After all, your skin is like a sponge, and it absorbs whatever you put into it. And while your body knows exactly how to break down natural ingredients like coconut or olive oil, the synthetic ones found in most conventional personal care products are another story. “There’s no easy way to break down these non-natural molecules, and so these ingredients can end up in our liver, our fat, our brain, and other parts of the body,” says McLean Sheperd, MD, founder of Sheperd Integrative Dermatology.

It’s no secret: The environmental and health benefits of natural and safe cosmetics are clear. (You can visit the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, as well as the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, for more information.) It boils down to the fact that standard beauty products contain all manner of chemical goo and environment-wrecking petroleum-based slop, not to mention their unethical treatment of the poor animals subjected to cosmetics testing.

But even so, to help manage hectic mornings and busy days, many of us develop a quick-and-easy makeup routine that relied heavily on the kind of take-no-prisoners products that would stay in place through even the most grueling of meetings and greasiest of lunchtime sandwiches. We’ll admit it: we too were skeptical that “all-natural” makeup could compete with our go-to products, but we’ve learned that the independent beauty scene, and major companies, too, are expanding their organic and natural lines more every day. 

Natural Beauty Starts With Small Changes 

Ready to start making some switches and investing in more worry-free natural makeup, DIY tricks, and organic skincare? With the natural brands and DIY recommendations and instructions below, you get complete transparency of all ingredients so you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin. Plus, you’ll find some awesome recycled packaging, amazing home beauty ideas, ways to remove your makeup naturally, and veggie-based colorants for eyeshadows and lipsticks to boot. When we tested each of these methods and products below, we were totally impressed with the high quality of the stuff in the natural beauty marketplace—not to mention enamored with the new DIY tricks we learned (like becoming obsessed with witch hazel)—and we’re sure you will be, too!

The important thing to remember is you don't need to change everything at once. You can start by changing the products that’ll have the biggest impact on your health (or just the ones you can deal with changing!) and add new ones as your wallet—and online shopping schedule—allows. We're here to be your guides and offer tips, as we’ve tried and tested everything from organic deodorant to DIY mascara, and we’ve got the scoop on how to replace your drugstore makeup with organic, natural makeup, how to DIY your own face creams and scrubs, and how to care for your skin naturally. (Here are some of the beauty products we think are most important to buy organic.) And, we're still learning and adding new ideas and the latest in natural products every day. 

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