This is part of our new weekly series called Test Drive, where our team of beauty experts demystify products and tools, as well as explore new techniques IRL.
There was once a time when I didn’t care too much about what ingredients went into my beauty products. Fast forward to my twenties and that’s all I hear people talk about. The truth is, clean, organic, natural or vegan beauty all seemed like a good idea, but putting it into practice and swapping out all of my beloved beauty products sounded daunting…and expensive!
I’m a budget-lover and I wasn’t ready to commit a large chunk of money to everyday beauty items. Thankfully, these days, drugstore beauty is booming with natural and organic products, so I knew it was possible for me to make this change.
I decided to start small. And that’s exactly what Dr. Keira Barr, Founder and Chief Wellness Officer of Resilient Health Institute, says: “Start slow and do what feels comfortable." (Sources like EWG’s Skin Deep and Think Dirty can help users navigate ingredient lists, Barr says.) Deodorant was one of those products I’ve wanted to change. After trying a dozen formulas, I landed on one that worked for me and didn’t cause me to glue my arms to my sides when I was in public (more on that later).
Next up, I took another product that I use day-in and day-out: lip balm. I never leave my house without lip balm. After trying two or three formulas, I found one that was a keeper. (Don’t worry, you’ll find out about my favorite products down below.)
Fast forward a year later and I’ve switched out more than 10 of my favorite products for cleaner, more natural formulas. Though I must admit, I have a long way to go before my beauty routine is 100% natural (that’s a lot of products), I am proud of the small but significant changes I’ve made. “Remember, if you can’t replace a product right away, make a note to find a cleaner option next time you replace it,” Barr says. “The more you know, the more you can do.” And it’s no rush or race.
That was the greatest lesson I learned on this journey to adopting a cleaner lifestyle. You don’t have to be pressured by society, social media, or even news outlets to instantly change to clean beauty formulas. But if the desire is there and you want to, start small and start with products that you are most comfortable with changing. There really is no right or wrong way to do it. If you need a little encouragement, I've rounded up seven of my favorite natural beauty drugstore options. Perhaps you’ll find one you feel inspired to try.
W3ll People Bio Correct Multi-Action Concealer
Concealer is a must-have in my itty-bitty, relatively simple makeup routine. This one has a whipped, mousse-like consistency and glides on like butter. I love that it brightens my under-eye area without looking too pink or too brown. Plus, it’s formulated with caffeine to keep puffy peepers at bay.
Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap in Lavender
Call me old-school, but bar soaps trump body wash, in my opinion. And although my go-to bar soap does make me feel really clean, sometimes it can make my skin feel dry and tight. Thankfully, this natural soap is made with organic oils so I don’t have to worry about any dryness. And I can be confident that all of the ingredients I’m lathering over my body are natural and clean.
Native Deodorant Pumpkin Spice Latte
If you love all things pumpkin come fall, you’ll absolutely fall in love with this deodorant. Disclaimer: I sweat and I tend to be pretty active, but this deodorant keeps me smelling fresh all day long. The scents are subtle and the formulas are super clean. You’ll be hooked after your first use.
Pacifica Highest Def Hemp Fiber Brow Set
Brows can truly transform your face. That’s why it’s one of the steps in my makeup routine that I try not to skip (emphasis on try). This vegan and cruelty-free brow gel uses natural hemp fibers to boost and fill out brows without making them look penciled on.
Love Beauty and Planet Murumuru Butter & Rose Dry Shampoo
When you’re short on time or your strands need a quick refresh, dry shampoo comes to the rescue. Unlike most formulas, this one is waterless and made with 97% naturally derived ingredients. I like to spritz it on after a workout to avoid any odor issues.
Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Tinted Lip Balm
Again, beauty minimalist here, but I’m a sucker for lip balms that give my pout a hint of color. I’m not committed enough to sport lipstick, but this tinted balm gives me just enough color that I look more done up than usual. Plus, these balms are super hydrating, so I don’t have to worry about layering on any moisturizing products underneath.
Physicians Formula Killer Curves Voluptuous Curling Mascara
Converting to a natural mascara was probably the hardest move for me. I’m dedicated to my favorite formula and I’ve heard too many stories about natural options flaking and peeling while you wear. But this curling mascara impressed me. It gives my lashes just enough curl, length, and color to amp up my flutter, and it’s formulated with peptides and amino acids to help strengthen my lashes over time.
Buy It: Physicians Formula Killer Curves Voluptuous Curling Mascara ($11, Ulta)