Transition into Clean Beauty

Ever consider making the switch from toxic personal care products to clean beauty then roll your eyes and justify with oh, everything has toxins?

At the end of 2017 I began my transition from new-to-the-market skincare like Fresh sugar lip polishes and Lush facemasks to lesser-known brands. Even Peter Thomas Roth, a high end skincare brand, contains chemicals in its signature 24 karat gold face mask. I researched online and researched in-store only to place products back on the shelves, exasperated at the prevalence of chemicals listed on the ingredients.

These brands, I chose to share with you, gave me back my sanity. My intention is to ease your transition into clean beauty and skincare because it is possible and here is the well-kept secret: the more clean brands you use the better your skin complexion and less cover-up you need. Our skin is highly impacted through the food we ingest and dermal contact it receives, as it bypasses the digestive organs.

Significance of Clean Beauty

What is the relevance of my decision to convert into an avocado-on-my-face goddess? Slow Death by Rubber Duck had a significant influence on my understanding of the effects of toxins in our bodies. Research conducted for the book and hundreds of medical scientists confirmed that exposure to chemicals, in childhood, is linked to serious childhood ailments as well as neurological disorders later in life such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. For the purposes of this article, “modern childhood epidemics [are defined as] asthma, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and obesity, reproductive disorders, among others.”  It is not the exposure of one specific chemical in one instance that causes these detrimental effects; in actually it is the cumulative use of these chemical cocktails on a regular basis.

There is a multitude of information on chemicals and their individual effect on the body, a few of which are listed in my sources. I prefer to keep my focus on three specific types: phthalates, phenoxyethanol, and parabens. My brief description is not meant to be exhaustive but to further instigate thought around personal use of products with the enumerated toxins in their ingredient lists.


Phthalates may show up as Parfum, Fragrance, or any number of derivatives, including but not limited to butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), DBP, DEHP, DEP, DiDP, DnHP on listed ingredients. Phthalates are linked to asthma, increased allergenicity, pregnancy loss, metabolic disorders, as well as reproductive disorders in male adults and children. Phthalates mimic the role of estrogen in our bodies and can also cause behavioral changes in male children. Plenty of products sold in drugstores and supermarkets, like Pantene TRESemmé, and Jergens.


Phenoxyethanol, as listed in the government site National Institute of Health, is toxic via all routes: inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact. The effects on the body include eye and skin irritation, headaches, and tremors. It can also cause cell damage and Central Nervous System depression. Phenoxyethanol is a combustible substance when exposed to a flame or heat.


Parabens are increasingly left out of skincare products due to their known side effects and public awareness. Aside from causing skin and eye irritations, and reproductive disorders, parabens have been correlated with breast cancer. Dr. Phillipa Darbre found higher levels of parabens and aluminum in human breast tissue, where a disproportionate amount of breasts cysts are found. There is strong evidence linking antiperspirant use with dis-ease. Breast cancer should have equal potential of cell malfunction in each quadrant of the breast, whereas now around 50% to 60% of breast cancer cases spread from the upper outer quadrant near the armpit.

Do it Yourself

Edible ingredients are safe for skin contact. Skin is the largest organ in the body and extremely porous; whatever we place on our skin we immediately absorb into the blood stream which gets pumped to the heart.

  • Coffee Grinds after enjoying a cup of coffee can be used as a body scrub

  • Apple cider vinegar is a facial toner

  • Lemon juice is a brightener for the face

  • Honey is a moisturizer

  • Yogurt is anti inflammatory and great for acne prone skin; crushing two aspirin pills with 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt on your face for 20minutes works wonders!

Makeup Brands for Clean Beauty

  • RMS Beauty

  • Poofy Organics

  • Omiana

  • Rosemira Organics

  • Lawless

  • Fat and the Moon

  • 100% Pure

Skincare Brands that Enhance True Beauty

  • Osea skincare

  • Odacite

  • Själ (crystal energy infused)

  • EiR NYC (active lifestyles)

  • Vanessa Megan: Advanced Organic Skincare

  • Juice Beauty

  • Little Barn Apothecary

  • Indian Meadow Herbals

**BONUS Convenient Transitions Household Cleaners:

  • Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap is used for countertop cleaner, floor cleaner, dishwasher soap, body wash

  • Zum (Indigo Wild parent company): laundry detergents, room sprays, house cleaners


Lourie, Bruce and Smith, Rick. Toxin Toxout: Getting Harmful Chemicals Our of Our Bodies and Our World. (St. Martin’s Press: 2014).

Phenoxyethanol, U.S. National Library of Medicine (National Institute of Health: National Center for Biotechnology Information); phenoxyethanol#section=Safety-and-Hazard-Properties

Smith, Rick and Lourie, Bruce. Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Dangers of Everyday Things. (Counterpoint, 2011).