February 28, 2016

#NoFilter: an Aspiring Minimalist’s Take on Beauty.

toxic sick

It is estimated that women use an average of 12 products a day containing more than 168 ingredients.

For men it’s a bit less, with six products a day and 85 ingredients.

Regardless, that’s a lot of products and a lot of time, money and potentially harmful ingredients for our bodies (and the environment) to process.

There was a time in my life that bedtime rituals took nearly half an hour to complete. You could probably double that time for my morning routine.

Honestly, it was exhausting, and I loathed doing it.

Traveling and sleepovers meant multiple bags. A bag for face-washes, serums and lotions, a make-up bag and also a bag to carry my styling tools and supplements. It was just too much.

I remember the exact moment my thoughts began to shift on the matter of “stuff” and just how much of it was really necessary.

It was recently, when a complete stranger approached me and commented that I “occupied space well.” That encounter really struck me, and his words have stayed with me ever since.

It was then that I realized I want everything in my life to have meaning.

Anyone and anything can fill space, but to me—to do so well and purposefully is the key to contentment.

When I’m conflicted about whether I want something, or whether I truly need it, I tell myself this: Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. Assess your true needs and find a simple, healthy and effective way to address those needs.

With that in mind, here are a few things I’ve learned to go without:

Face-wash. Most face-washes on the market are filled with synthetic ingredients that can cause potential danger to our health. Natural products are definitely superior in terms of their impact on our physical body and the environment. That said, they can be pricey—and though made with natural ingredients, I question their potency.

Personally, I don’t use face-wash anymore, even with blemish-prone skin. Simplicity is my new motto and my skin looks better than it ever has. In fact, if I can’t consume it, it doesn’t go on my face. Water, Hemp oil and a little rice water fulfill all my needs. They are gentle toners, that keep my skin moisturized.

Moisturizer. Like face-wash, the products marketed to moisturize our skin are—in my opinion—a waste of money. The hemp oil I use to wash my face keeps my skin hydrated enough to the point that I’ve found I need nothing else.
If my skin is extra dry, I’ll dab on a little extra hemp oil after I’ve cleansed my face and let that settle in.

Hair-styling productsI don’t have any. I wash my hair every few days with a natural shampoo, though I know I can go without that too—it’s next on my list. If my hair is extra dry, a little hemp oil on the ends will do the trick. Any oil will do, but in an attempt to keep things simple I use one oil for just about everything.

So how do I style my hair then? The answer to that is—I don’t, really. A braid and the style my hair takes on post-braid is about it. Nothing too manipulated, just free. This may take a little getting used to, but your hair will be healthier. Our hair—not unlike our skin—responds well when we just leave it alone sometimes.

Styling tools. I use a brush and an occasional hair dryer if I’m in a hurry and don’t want to go out with wet hair. That’s it. 

Come to think of it, it’s been so long since I’ve “done” my hair, any attempt to do so would surely lead to unbearable spasms and cramping of my arms. It’s better I don’t.

Perfume. I’ve never used perfume all that much, but I do remember my Women’s Health professor stating that if we should get rid of just one beauty product, that product should be perfume. Allegedly, perfume and fragrance are loaded with potentially harmful chemicals. More on that here. This doesn’t mean we can’t still smell good—essential oils make wonderful perfumes. I love amber and lavender. Make sure to dilute essential oils in a carrier oil (like jojoba, for example) so as to not irritate the skin.

There’re many more products I could add to this list, and undoubtedly many more I could go without myself, but I’ll save that for another day.

What I want to remind my fellow humans is: Though It can be tempting to buy, accumulate and consume in the name of appearance, there is something to be said for embracing what we have—both literally and physically.

Sure, there’s an element of creativity and fun associated with “doing ourselves up”—that, I’m all for! However, it shouldn’t feel like an obligation. We’ve concluded that beauty and success are interrelated,  therefore we constantly strive to be beautiful every waking moment. Maybe I’m totally off base, but it’s something to reflect on.

If your going to do it, do it for yourself. Period.

But the undeniable truth is—we are messy, dirty, chaotic human beings, and we’re not fooling anyone into thinking we have it all figured out just because we did our hair this morning.

Letting go of just a few things has transcended beyond the physical act of doing so. Letting go of things has equated to letting go of the emotional attachment and ideals associated with them.

Now I have more space—both internally and externally—that can be devoted to more impactful changes.


You may also like:

5 Unnecessary Beauty Products that we could all live Without.

The Ultimate Beauty Regimen for the Eco-Conscious Traveler.

More attractive without make up? {Photos}


Author: Danica Taylor

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Flickr/Chareze Stamatelaky


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