By Amy Loder
As an EcoWoman, you recycle, use reusable shopping bags and bring a water bottle wherever you go. But are you being mindful during your morning routine?
When I took a look at my morning routine, I decided to make some changes that are better for my health and kinder to the environment too.
1. Shower Power
My shower goals: to use less water and choose products that are both good for my body and less harmful to the water supply.
For body: Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap is ethically-sourced and is made with certified fair trade ingredients, plus it’s manufactured in the USA and packaged in a 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottle.
For body: My Salux Beauty Skin Cloth. I’ve used loofahs in the past, but this bad boy really does the trick. Plus, it reaches every spot. The cloth is washable and reusable. I pair the cloth with Dr. Bronner’s soap, and don’t need to use an additional exfoliation product.
For hair: I use Duross and Langel, a Philadelphia-based, independently-owned business. They make all of their products by hand on the second floor of their retail shop. I order online which means packaging and fuel consumption with every purchase, but these impacts are minimal.
Just say no to microbeads! You can learn more on this topic by checking out Robin Garcia’s DC EcoWomen blog post.
Take shorter showers and turn the water off while you soap up and exfoliate. When you’re ready to rinse, turn the water back on.
2. Skin care routine
My skincare goals: Cleanse, moisturize and prevent sun-damage and wrinkles while doing the least harm to my body and the planet.
For gentle cleansing: I’m a devotee of Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash. It is widely available, and it’s fragrance and dye free. (Disclaimer: it’s a Johnson & Johnson product, so manufacturing practices and possible animal testing are something to take into consideration).
For deep cleansing: Glycolic-based products are great pore cleansers, encouraging skin cell turnover and preventing blemishes. I use M-61 brand products, which are created by the D.C.-based entrepreneurial duo that founded Blue Mercury. No parabens, sulfates, fragrances or dyes.
Parabens are preservatives and prevent bacteria growth in products. Sulfates are synthetic ingredients that make products nice and foamy. Most scientists and doctors say both are ok to use, but I prefer to avoid these when possible.
Fragrances and dyes can be irritating to the skin and potentially hazardous to your health. The majority of manufacturers don’t disclose fragrance ingredients on websites or product labels.
For moisturizing: Anything La Roche Posay. This company scores well with cosmetic watch groups when it comes to human-friendly ingredients. This moisturizer allows me to skip foundation entirely; I create my own by mixing the Anthelios tinted and un-tinted SPF mineral moisturizes.
There are many similar products available, these are my favorites, which are yours?
3. The natural deodorant debate
There are conflicting reports about the potential health implications of antiperspirants. I’ve decided to err on the side of caution, so I’m a natural deodorant convert.
Several girlfriends helped me field-test a variety of natural deodorant brands. We compared notes on product effectiveness and scents. Here are my top two recommendations:
Dermalogica Environmental Control Deodorant This is the most effective for when I exercise. This product is gel-based, free of potentially-irritating Aluminum Chlorohydrate and S.D. Alcohol and it lasts forever. I use it regularly, alternating it with my other go-to favorite.
Priya Means Love makes an amazing spray product. Bonus: Priya is based in Baltimore, so your money supports a local woman who creates wonderful, natural products.
Note: It’s important to find a product that works well with your unique body chemistry. It might take multiple attempts to find the brand that works well for you.
Several months ago, I read an article about the number of paper cups consumed by American coffee drinkers each year. Appalling!
I’m a five-day-a-week, coffee on the go consumer. If my buying habits are continually creating waste, then I’m doing more harm than good. Buh-bye paper cups!
KeepCup saved my morning routine. These reusable cups come in recycled plastic or glass and in a variety of standard barista sizes. Now I make coffee at home or take my KeepCup to a local coffee joint for a fill up.
How are you making your morning routine green? Please share your best tips in the comments.
5. The more you know
I like to stay in-the-know about new developments that help keep my morning routine nice and green. Here are my top three favorite websites for eco-friendly style and beauty news.
The Environmental Working Group I’m especially fond of the “skin deep” page – you can look at the ingredients and health scores for your favorite skin care products.
Ecouterre This is my go-to website for the latest info on eco fashion, sustainable style, organic beauty products and ethical apparel.
Mother Nature Network This is a fantastic site focused on environmental news, being socially responsible at home, healthy families, green living and everything in between.
Editor’s note: While DC EcoWomen does not endorse any specific products or services, we do endorse a conscious effort to live with the environment and sustainability in mind.
Amy Loder is a personal stylist and a Business Development Director at Blackboard Inc., a firm specializing in higher education technology and solutions. Amy has extensive experience in both the fashion industry and business development. She is passionate about women creating their most authentic personal style and using human and environmentally friendly clothing and products.