Every time I opened my makeup drawer, I’d catch just a glimpse of it: A little glass pot with a golden lid shoved up into the dark back corner.
A pang of guilt struck me whenever I remembered that it still existed, even though it was practically camouflaged in a sea of clean, natural beauty products. When I started making the transition to all-natural, clean and non-toxic beauty products a few years ago, I tossed out 80 percent of the products in my vanity. Goodbye, toxic lipstick. See yah, drugstore mascara. Later, highly-fragranced deodorant.
But the pricier things on the shelf were harder to part with. I looked at the half-full bottle of designer perfume I’d worked so hard to save up for a few years ago and remembered how just getting a whiff of the scent instantly boosted my confidence and reminded me of my early twenties. Behind the ornate glass bottle was that expensive wrinkle cream that seemed to magically erase any signs of aging the instant it was massaged into my cheeks and forehead — how could I possibly throw it in the garbage, especially knowing that just an ounce of the stuff cost more than what I’d be comfortable spending on a fancy dinner?
And finally, we come to that little glass pot that still rattles around in my makeup bag, long after the perfume has run dry and the wrinkle cream has been used up and replaced with a slightly less miraculous (but certainly more healthful) organic formula. It’s concealer and even though I only use it a couple times a year, I can’t let go.
Although I know it has the worst rating possible on the EWG’s Skin Deep database and that there’s probably not a natural ingredient (other than H2O, which still might be lab-crafted) in the formula, I still keep this concealer around in case of serious emergencies. Truthfully, there’s nothing like it available in the organics market. The texture, the opacity, the efficacy — it just can’t be matched by some coconut-matcha-lavender-broccoli seed product, as much as I wish it could.
But here’s the thing: I’m doing my best.
And really, that’s the point of all this, isn’t it? We’re not choosing natural over conventional products for aesthetics or because it’s “cool.” (Quite the opposite, really!) Most women opt to switch to non-toxic formulas because ditching the chemicals can improve overall health and wellbeing. The act elevates your quality of life.
And really, that’s the point of all this, isn’t it?
You know what doesn’t? Stressing out over that annoying pimple that randomly cropped up the day before the biggest presentation of your career … or worrying that if you don’t “detox” every product in your beauty routine right this instant, then you’re doing something wrong.
Take your time, if you want. Slowly replace your products as you see fit. And you know, if there’s one “toxic” formula that you just can’t quit — don’t.
Are there “toxic” beauty products you can’t live without? How do you find a balance?
Images via Monica Friese