I'll admit it. I like to experiment. When a friend tells me about a new vegan mascara or my neighbor raves about deodorant that keeps her feeling fresh during yoga class, I listen. Then, I put the product to the test for myself.
As I've worked to green my beauty routine over the years, I've tried multiple natural products (even men's deodorant) based on recommendations from trusted sources. Are you switching to natural products, too? I have some insider tips to share!
Why Switching to Natural Products Might Be Right for You
I focus on buying products made with ingredients that are naturally derived. This means I skip personal care products featuring artificial fragrances and dyes. Why? Because they tend to irritate my sensitive skin. As a gal managing multiple skin conditions including eczema and erythema multiforme, I'm hyperaware of what I put on my body. Simple ingredients that I can feel good about have given me the best results over the years.
A 2018 report in the Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery Journal explains that allergic contact dermatitis (an itchy skin condition) triggered by personal care product usage is on the rise, especially in women. The irritating culprits? Typically, fragrances and preservatives.
Here are a few additional reasons to consider switching to natural products:
- To align with your environmental views on sustainable manufacturing processes and naturally sourced ingredients
- To adhere to medical suggestions from your doctor to manage a health condition
- To take one more step in greening your lifestyle
So, are you ready to give a new-to-you natural product a try? I tend to test a new body soap, lotion, or makeup at least once every few months, so I've become a pro at assessing the effectiveness and longevity of promising products.
How to Switch to Natural Products in 6 Steps
Before you pop the top or press the pump, give yourself ample time to try the new product. My time frame is generally two weeks for a daily-use product, such as toothpaste or deodorant. Remember: your body needs to adjust to the way the natural product interacts with your chemistry.
1. Shop for Products that Align with Your Lifestyle
Flip those tubes and bottles over to read the fine print. Be sure you're selecting products that mirror your personal values, such as buying items made from naturally sourced ingredients or not tested on animals. Do they use eco-friendly manufacturing methods, such as sustainable wind-powered factories and recyclable packaging?
2. Choose Options that Meet Your Needs
Once you know the company and product match your standards, make sure it actually claims to do what you need. For example, if you're hoping to try a new product to reduce underarm wetness when you go for a run, you'll need an antiperspirant, not a deodorant.
3. Select Products at a Manageable Price Point
Now that you've found the potentially perfect product, can you afford it? Sure, a one-time splurge is great during the trial period, but if you love the product, does it fit into your monthly budget? Cosmetics and skin creams can easily be priced in the double digits and get expensive quickly.
4. Give the Product a Try
Now, it's time to dive in and see what you think. Two tips: only try one new product at a time, and apply it to clean skin. Once I tried a new body wash in the shower, followed by a new deodorant afterward, and I wasn't sure which one made my skin irritated.
5. Let Your Body Adjust
When you first try a new product, you might expect it to work instantly. For some products, such as skin creams, it may take a few days for the effects of your previous product to wear down and for the benefits of a new product to be noticeable. Again, give a new product two weeks before you choose to love it or dismiss it.
6. Assess the Effectiveness of the Product
So, does the product do what you want? More? Less? Are you happy with the results—even if they vary from what you anticipated? What works for a friend may not work for you. Or, it might work even better! We are all unique in how our skin, hair, nails, and teeth respond to personal care products. If you notice any skin irritation or uncommon side effects, stop using the product immediately.
Over the years, I've transitioned to several new-to-me natural products. Some worked well after a few tries, others, not so much. If you have high hopes for a new deodorant or a toothpaste made with naturally derived ingredients, and they simply don't meet your needs, keep trying! It can take time to find the perfect match with your body chemistry, budget, and preferences.
Visit the @tomsofmaine Naturally Good Products board on Pinterest for more ideas on switching to natural!
The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.
Why It's Good
When it comes to adding natural products to your personal care routine, you can shop with your environmental ideals in mind and really decide what your body needs. It may take a week or more to see the full benefits of a new product made with naturally derived ingredients, but a little time and effort will help you find just what you're looking for. Happy sampling!