Oh Behave: The 7 Ultimate Beauty Sins


Have you ever bought shampoo without (steel yourself) reading the label? Or have you ever gotten home from the gym, thought about washing your face, and then collapsed on the couch in front of the TV, maybe to watch bad reality television? If you’ve answered “yes” or “dear God woman, get out of my brain” to either of these questions, you have committed a green beauty sin.

And just what are the seven deadly (okay, not really) green beauty sins?

Not using Skin Deep to research our products.
Skin Deep is a lifesaver. The safety guide to cosmetics, brought to us by the Environmental Working Group, is the standard resource in what is non-toxic and safe in the cosmetics industry, traditional or green washed. Uncertain about the chemicals in a shampoo? Run it through their database. Shampoo not in the database? Take a look at its ingredients, pick the most “chemically-sounding” and run those through. What you learn will change your buying habits forever. (And want 15 green  beauty products under $15? Find em’ here.)

Not taking care of our skin.
I was once a young scamp, running through fields of sun with nary a sunscreen thought in my head. Now I won’t get the mail without using non-toxic sunscreen – like this! Be sure to wear sunscreen, but make sure it is non-toxic. Moisturize using organic products (Here’s a good one.) Use a scrub at least once a week. And be sure to washing your face after exercise or travel.

Not eating healthy foods.
Want acne? Like dull skin? Indulge in sugar and fried foods. Mary Sullivan is a nurse and nutritional expert. According to Sullivan, “There is a lot of important new research showing tremendous power of antioxidants in general, and in some specific nutrients in particular that can make an important difference in the way your skin looks and feels – and even in how well it ages.” Spinach, broccoli, blueberries – all good for your body and beauty!

Not exercising – outdoors.
Exercise gets the blood flowing and the toxins sweating out of our bodies. Exercising outdoors gives our minds an extra chance to unwind and take in some of the sights that don’t involve a TV screen with images we can’t control flashing across it. I have seen more True Hollywood Stories at the gym than I can count. Is it relaxing or healthy to see crime scenes from OJ Simpsons’ murder trial? Not for this runner.

Not taking cooler showers.
Some of us enjoy a hot shower. And by some of us, I mean people who recycle, drive hybrids, talk to the Greenpeace activists on the street corner, and may or may not write for green online publications. I know, we’re supposed to be conserving water (which we do) and keeping electricity bills down (which we do). But also think of this next time you’re ready to blast away the day with a steam – hot showers can strip away our skin protective oils, drying out our skin. Plus they are bad for the Earth.

Not washing our hands.
You would never NOT wash your hands after using a gas station bathroom, right? Well think about all the times your may or may not have washed your hands after going to the grocery store, holding the door for someone, or even using your own cell phone. Transferring germs and dirt to your face is easy when you touch your face without washing your hands. And consider giving your cell phone an anti-bacterial swipe while you are at it.

Not considering our inner beauty.
I know, this seems like a no-brainer. But stressing out, not getting enough sleep, sweating all the small stuff is going to reflect to the outside world. Meditate. Read. Go for a walk and dance when no one can see you. (Or do it when they can, just embrace the looks.) Act like a general goof. Know what? You’ll feel better – and will feel better about shortening that hot shower. (Setting my timer right now”¦.)

Image: Esparta

Katherine Butler

Katherine Butler is the Beauty Editor of EcoSalon and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.