Easy, Eco-Friendly Finds for Everyone. Shop Brightly!

5 Sustainable Swaps For Clean Skincare

We have so much power to transform our skin, just by what we put on it.

Written by
Caitlyn Nygaard

Switching to clean skincare can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve been using the same products for years! Your skin is your largest organ and makes up more than 10% of body mass! We have so much power to transform our skin (our entire body, actually), just by what we put ON it. This all starts with ditching the skincare products with harsh chemicals and switching to ones with clean, natural, and nourishing ingredients!

When it comes to clean skincare, it’s important to know what we’re looking for on the ingredients list. It’s hard to remember every single ingredient to avoid, but being able to recognize just a few of the “dirty” ingredients can help us know what to stay away from. I’ve become familiar with 4 chemicals I know to stay away from: parabens, phthalates, parfums/fragrance, or polyethylene glycols (PEGs). If I see any of these ingredients on the bottle, it's going back on the shelf!

I started swapping out my “dirty” skincare products about 5 years ago. I used to be the Bath and Body Works lotion hoarder, Chanel perfume spritzer, and the Jergens Natural Glow girl. I then realized that products like these are drying out my skin, causing acne, and potentially even disrupting the overall functions of my body! One by one I started swapping out these toxic products for cleaner and more natural products. I am now almost 100% chemical-free in my beauty and skincare products! Below I’ll share with you some of my favorite skincare swaps.

1. Opt for Unscented Deodorant Creams

Many will say switching to a clean natural deodorant is one of the toughest swaps. I agree! I’ve tried 9 different natural deodorants in 4 years. I used Secret deodorant previously, which has harmful ingredients such as aluminum salts, synthetic fragrance, and talc-- just plug these ingredients into Google and you’ll quickly learn how harmful these are to our skin.

A clean deodorant will have gentle natural ingredients and essential oils for scent. If you’re on the natural deodorant journey, don’t give up after trying just one deodorant that doesn’t work. Explore different brands and scents to learn how your body reacts to them.  Only recently did I commit to a favorite-- a lavender deodorant cream from Little Seed Farm.

2. Invest in Natural Facial Moisturizer

Finding the right moisturizer for your face can also be a long journey. I can’t even count how many moisturizers I’ve tried in my life! Many have different effects, such as enhancing your skin’s appearance or glow, hydrating, fighting wrinkles, etc..

My skin is prone to acne so I use a moisturizer from Little Seed Farm that has goat milk as the main ingredient. Goat milk is a natural lightweight ingredient and is known to reduce inflammation which is why I like it for my acne-prone skin. Prior to this, I used Yes to Tomatoes facial moisturizer, which I swapped out because it has parfum/fragrance ingredients in it. 

3. Explore Activated Charcoal Soap

Like me, I am sure you see charcoal products almost everywhere you look! I'm seeing charcoal soaps, toothpastes, face masks, deodorants, bath bombs, and even dry shampoo!

Activated charcoal is used as a natural ingredient in clean beauty to absorb toxins, brighten the skin, remove dirt and oil, and it is also antibacterial. If you’re looking to bring an activated charcoal product into your skincare routine, I recommend starting with a charcoal bar soap as it can serve a variety of uses! Try a charcoal bar soap as body wash, hand soap, and/or a facial cleanser. Check out Schmidt’s or Shea Moisture for a simple and affordable charcoal bar soap! 

4. Look for Mineral Sunscreen

I know, nothing smells like summer more than Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen, am I right? Sunscreen is one of my more recent swaps, and I do it for the health of my skin. We protect our skin from the sun by using sunscreen, but what if our sunscreen is harming our skin and body in a different way?

You will find two different types of sunscreen when shopping: chemical and mineral. A chemical sunscreen absorbs UV rays and is more likely to irritate our skin because it contains synthetic chemical ingredients. A mineral sunscreen will act as a shield and prevent UV rays from damaging our skin. Although mineral sunscreens are not waterproof and need to be applied m ore often, the ingredients are much gentler on our skin. I use Young Living mineral sunscreen for my face, but also looking forward to trying Beautycounter sunscreen for the rest of my body this summer!  

5. Say Goodbye to Synthetic Laundry Detergents (and Hello to Essential Oils and Vinegar)

Yes, I consider laundry detergent a skincare product! Whatever detergent you use to wash your clothes is then transferred directly to your skin. If you aren’t using clean, fragrance-free laundry detergent, a synthetic fragrance is likely harming your skin. I swapped out my Tide detergent for a chemical-free, plant-based laundry soap that utilizes essential oils for scent! Another laundry swap would be to use vinegar instead of fabric softener. Not sure how or why, but it works like a charm. (Vinegar is also a deodorizer!)