I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must be to step into the world of non-toxic, clean products for the first time. One of the major obstacles is “greenwashing”, which is when companies purport their products to be “natural” when they are not.
Another obstacle in switching to clean products is cost. Clean products are often more expensive because they contain much higher quality ingredients. This can be a hard pill to swallow – let’s say you’re used to spending $6 on conventional mascara and find that an all-natural alternative costs double or triple. It’s about choosing quality ingredients that may cost a bit more, but are far better for your body and the planet. Better quality generally will equal higher costs. I for one am willing to pay a little more for quality.
It also takes time and patience to understand why certain chemicals are unsafe and toxic, and to understand which chemicals are safer. Then once you figure that out, you have to actually start purchasing the safer products, but they can be expensive and difficult to find.
That doesn’t mean that clean, safe products have to be expensive and elitist. On the contrary. It is actually getting much, much easier to find clean products at reasonable prices.
Over the years, I’ve found stores, websites, and brands that are the most cost-effective. This is not an exhaustive list – these are merely some of my personal suggestions for finding the best prices on clean products for beauty, health, and home.
Brick & Mortar –
- Whole Foods – I know a lot of people who humorously refer to Whole Foods as Whole Paycheck (I might be one of those people…), but they offer high quality products and their home and beauty section lets you test/sample a huge assortment of products…this is great because I love to sample products before I purchase. Their website also has a Quality Standards page, with links to lists of ingredients that they have banned in their products as well as info on their quality practices. Definitely a worthy read if you are researching ingredients and want to learn more.
- Ulta – Not a clean beauty store per se, but Ulta carries a few clean brands that I have used and enjoy. Good brands I’ve seen at my local Ulta include 100% Pure, Zoya nail polish and Pacifica.
- Sephora – Again, not necessarily seen as a clean beauty store, Sephora does offer some brands that have decent products. Tarte and Josie Maran are two brands they carry that, while not necessarily the “cleanest” makeup brands out there, are still far better than many other conventional brands. They also carry Bite Beauty, which have some amazing non-toxic lip products.
- Target – Definitely helping clean brands break-through into the mainstream is Target. They have begun to carry amazing non-toxic brands such as Acure and S.W. Basics, both phenomenal clean brands. They also carry all-natural home and health products.
- Small local health stores – Most cities have at least one health store. The one I go to is small but carries health food, vitamins and supplements, pet food, makeup, essential oils, and more. It’s a great resource for asking questions about what products to purchase for certain issues, or which homeopathic approaches are best for things like insect bites, colds, sinus conditions, etc. Often they can be a bit more expensive than online stores, but not always. Also, they offer in-person feedback/info on their products, which can prove to be invaluable.
What are your favorite brick & mortar stores for all-natural, clean products?