my personal journey into the green beauty world began about 5 years ago. i was a grad student with little money and not a whole lot of people i cared to impress. getting the government to approve my human experiment for my thesis and having my cats around was about the extent of what i cared about. the appeal of the crunchy community, to me, at the time, was reversing consumerism trends and getting to the most basic and most healthy alternatives you could. i had $20 to stretch and days between classes to purposefully not wash my hair or adjust to not wearing deodorant.
looking around 5 years later, i’m not sure i’m living in the same green beauty land.
i remember searching far and wide for a low-poo product that was up to my super snubby ingredient requirements (btw – those strict requirements are still in effect today and i have no shame). back then i felt fortunate to have 3 ‘poos to choose from. today, i almost feel bombarded with the sheer amount of organic and “clean” and “green” low-poos, amongst other products, we can choose from.
i try to stay true to my love of d.i.y. green beauty and multi-use ingredients, but if i stop to look around my bathroom, there is a growing stockpile of “buys” versus “d.i.y’s.”
then my brain gets going and starts adding up the costs… four different face oils, three different face masks, three different balms… for what? when did my minimalistic green beauty lifestyle become so engrossed in consumerism? and why? has this community puffed up quickly, only to be left oversaturated?
i say all of this with a confused heart. there are many companies i have fallen in love with. their purpose, their impact on their communities, their beautiful products made with hard work and love, and their ever-growing reach into the larger beauty market… it’s all awesome in the true sense of the word. the excitement i feel for them having a place in the “mainstream” beauty market and for more people to have access to better and healthier choices is unreal. what better way to support them than to purchase their products?
what if these two ideals are simply coexisting? can you call it that? maybe that’s what i’ve embraced. i buy what i know i can’t make, and i make what i know i can. my saving grace is all the time and research i’ve put into learning about this world over the last few years, and i rely on it every day. by reading an ingredient label i can tell you if i’d put it on my body and/or use my hard-earned dollars on it. you sure won’t find me ever spending $20 for a small pot of sugar lip scrub – you are out of your mind. go grab some sugar from your kitchen and i’ll show you a kick-ass recipe for a fraction of the cost. that $100 pot of fancy face mask with the virgin angel tears though… you might be better off buying it, but you know i’ll still help you make a mean dupe if you want.
it all seems to come back to balance, back to doing whatever is best for you, your body, and your family. for example, i buy conditioner and perfume, but i d.i.y. moisturizers and masks. it works for me, but maybe that doesn’t work for someone else.
maybe what’s important is that we can all take a step back every once in awhile and evaluate what works for us and how we can make a better impact.
whatever you do, whatever position you take on the green beauty spectrum, i support you. i support you because you’re out there doing the leg work and putting money into making healthier choices in a world that praises “cheap” and “fast”.
thank you, green beauty community.