A very happy hippie.
The beauty industry is a lot of bullshit and you should check up on who you’re letting fuck your pores.
I’m a big fan of science and there’s lot of science innovations that are totally awesome for health and happiness and I don’t want to dismiss anything outright but one thing that’s important to remember about the word “industry” is that it usually means that money flows up to the top of a hierarchy that is usually a lot of rich white dudes whose motivations are to make more money, not to help you on your path to happiness. What they shill might be helpful or beneficial but when push comes to shove, the dollar they can make means more than you.
People in sex world know that phthalates are really bad for your health. We’ve smelled out gassing jelly toys and some of us may have felt the hot burning poker effect of a cheap shitty toy that apparently just expired by becoming an agent of chemical toxicity rather than an instrument of pleasure.
Well, phthalates are also in a lot of cosmetics. This is because phthalates esters of phthalic acid that create a “plasticized” effect. They make the jelly toys bendy and soft, they make your foundation smooth. They allow for flexibility or transparency. Phthalates are actually in TONS of our products and in many ways I’m really glad that the sex toy activists started raising alarms about them in toys before the sex toy industry really grew to a monolith like the cosmetics industry. Sex toys were considered novelties with really limited runs and few retail outlets because they were pretty much illegal (and are still treated as tenuously legal in a handful of American states). When I think of tangible things achieved by sex positivity, it was really strong messaging about phthalates that I would say has been much more successful than similar campaigns in other industries.
You would still be considered a “hippie” if you started asking for phthalate free cosmetics but you would be considered an uninformed consumer if this wasn’t on your mind while strap-on dildo shopping and you would run into a chorus of voices to pass on the good word.
It really was thing like self-melting toys, experiencing acute pain with dildos that someone went chemically rotten, or stocking toys that outgassed so much that entire rooms would be cleared from the stench that really made me ask, “am I putting this shit into my pores and my mouth?” Hey, that long lasting lipcolor that is still bold for your “walk of shame” the morning after is fucking amazing but when I think of those melted dildos I start to wonder if it’s really a good idea. The way that phthalates bind to human tissues make them very popular ingredients in nail polish, hair products, perfumes, mascaras, deodorants, and so many more.
If you’re going to go to all the trouble to torture helpless animals with cosmetics to determine whether or not they’re safe for human use you should stop and consider the lab results rather than working to suppress them otherwise people might think that they major objective of this testing is just the torture rather than the human safety it allegedly protects. There’s a lot more slime to the biz from toxic runoff and pollution, chemicals that contribute to drying and “the aging process”, landfill waste from packaging, body shaming advertising, connections to bad politics, and more. In general, reducing your dependency on companies and realizing that a spa day CAN be a must for mental and physical rejuvenation but you don’t have to buy a particular product to indulge yourself.
At any rate, there are lots of products you can buy that have made it a point not to include phthalates. Sometimes these products cost more because they have to find new ways to create the binding actions we take for granted as signs of a “good product.”
You can also adopt some of these tricks! Remember, if something isn’t working for you, then stop. Allergies, sensitivities, and individual differences mean that not everything will work.
- For a face toner that will help moisturize your skin, reduce the redness of blemishes, and soften your face mix 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar and (at least) 2 parts water. Put into a spritz bottle or gently dab onto your face with a cotton ball after a good cleaning. If you have sensitive skin, dilute to your comfort or skip if it isn’t working for you. In fact, you can totally replace the ACV with distilled water if you have super sensitive skin and add in a touch of herbs such as witch hazel, drops of peppermint, tea tree, or rose oil. The vinegar smell will dissipate after a few moments, don’t worry.There are TONS of facial toner recipes online so getting yourself a spritz bottle for a few dollars can be a great investment when many pre-made organic products can run on the high end.
Another favorite for very sensitive skin is rose water + witch hazel. Grab 10-13 rose petals and put them in a saucepan with a heat resistant bowl right on top of them to flatten them. Then pour in distilled water and bring only to a simmer on low heat for about 30-45 minutes. You’ll start to see little droplets of rose oil begin to rise. At the end of the simmering, strain out the rose petals. If you have a plain coffee filter, toss the leftover rose petals in it and squeeze the remaining oil out into your water mix. You can either extract just the rose oil at this point for another project or pour your rose water with oil into your spritz bottle and add in the touch of witch hazel.
To extend the shelf life of your toner in your spritzer bottle, add in some vodka. This might be anything from just a teaspoon in a small container or a tablespoon for a larger one.
Wash and clean your face, dab on some toner, then moisturize! Keep out of your eyes.
- For hair cleaning mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 1 part water. Massage into scalp for a few minutes to clean your head and hair. Then rinse! Some hair types don’t need to condition (especially fine straight hair) and the ACV will help keep fly-aways at bay without weighing down the hair.Other hair types might need something more than just a rinse. There are lots of oils to try! A fine mist of olive oil can help with shine, style, and flow. A friend advises warming about 2 tablespoons of olive, avocado, or coconut oil and massaging it into the hair and then wrapping it up in a warm towel and sitting somewhere steamy like a bath for about 30 minutes and then washing the hair afterwards to help with brittle hair. She also claims that drinking a glass of wine will help it soak in better.
- To make your own toothpaste grab a jar and mix 50/50 coconut oil and baking soda. Coconut oil is antibacterial, antifungal, and also antiviral so it will make a great binding agent as well as a cleaning agent. Baking soda is a great way to scrub off strains and keep teeth bright and white. Baking soda is actually less abrasive than the scrubbing agents in commercial toothpaste. There is some interesting science around fluoride coming out despite how totally whack job the anti-fluoriders have been for years. Even if you’re on the fence, remember that fluoride is still in tap water and available for quick supplemental mouth rinses. Oddly enough, baking soda used twice a day for toothpaste often works ways better for individuals looking to de-stain their teeth than the much more expensive whitening formulas.Mix in a small amount of very finely ground sea salt for extra cleaning and a few drops of peppermint or spearmint essential oil. Yes, this will even tackle onion and garlic as well as a commercial toothpaste.
- If you’re in need of makeup remover, use some coconut oil.
- Need some deodorant? Mix 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup tapioca starch, 1/4 cup coconut oil, several drops of your FAVE essential oil that makes you feel fancy. Keep in a jar and apply a smidgen to your underarms with your fingers. Not going to lie: this works better on shaved arms than hairy ones. I’ve moved onto to mineral crystals, personally. But if you’re shaved, this will work like a dandy.
- For a gourmet organic body scrub, mix 1/4 cup olive/coconut oil and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Mix these two ingredients together and use them in the shower as an exfoliator but rubbing them in circles for about a minute before rinsing off. Great for cheeks on the face and the butt! You can also throw walnuts into a food processor to grind them up finely and then mix with some almond or oat milk to use as a scrub on your face or body as well.
- Want a facial (that isn’t semen)? You can make your own “peel off” treatment with one tablespoon of egg white and a few drops of tea tree oil (2-5, depending on your sensitivity.) Let it sit on your face until dry which will take 10-15 minutes. Then you can either peel off like a face strip or use a warm and moist washcloth. I totally recommend looking around the web for great face mask recipes. Here’s an AWESOME one for green tea avocado. There are blueberry facials and chocolate facials. I don’t care what your gender is or how old you are: it’s been way to long since you got your friends together and used the blender for a facial party. Get to it!
I think that sometimes we cross streams with rhetoric. Being able to treat yourself is self care and our skin is the biggest organ on our body. It’s our first line of defense from bacteria and invasion. It contains nerve endings that help us navigate the world. You totally deserve to destress and schluff off the weight of the world from time to time and it shouldn’t come at an inflated cost that only benefits some rich dudes in an office and not your local community or you.
The cool thing is, the core ingredients for your new fancy awesome products are cheap!