Decoding the Beauty Aisle: Sophie Uliano Talks 'Green' Beauty Products

Sophie Uliano, NY Times bestselling author and natural lifestyle/beauty expert knows all there is about how to crack the 'go green' beauty code. With celebrity fans like Julia Roberts, Sophie has become the go-to "green guru" to Hollywood stars on living a greener life while looking great. Check out what tips the beauty had to share with us!

So Sophie, just how damaging can our beauty products be to the environment?

Beauty products can do some damage to the environment if not disposed of properly and that's where each of us can do our part. Many products contain ingredients that are not biodegradable and some ingredients can pollute our precious waterways. Packaging that is not recyclable is another problem. Do your research on all fronts before deciding which brands to support and you'll see that these simple steps can really have a positive impact on the environmental footprint of your beauty routine.

Are some beauty products more harmful than others? What kind of damage do they do?

Look at what's inside products and seek out those that contain natural, plant-based ingredients - from toothpaste to cosmetics - because natural ingredients break down in the environment and won't cause harm. The ingredients that don't biodegrade are the ones to watch out for. Beyond looking at the packaging, see if you can recycle the actual toothpaste tube, toothbrush, shampoo bottle or makeup container. Many companies have made great strides in making sure all of their packaging has a way to be recycled.

Are they harmful to our bodies as well?

If an ingredient doesn't biodegrade easily, it probably won't be the best ingredient for our skin. I like to think of the ingredients that we put on our skin to be similar to the ingredients we ingest. It's always better to look for as fresh, natural and plant-based, wherever possible. Take toothpaste, for example, which you use twice a day. Many whitening toothpastes have unnecessary chemicals but you could swap for an option that whitens with ingredients sourced from nature.

Are there any kinds of formulas or packaging to steer clear of? Why?

I would steer clear of "fragrance" and "parfum" on a product label unless you really trust that the brand is green and know what the scent really is by reading the ingredient list. For the most part this is a loophole term, which umbrellas hundreds of chemicals - many of which are hormone-disruptors. 

What products can we use instead that make for a better environment?

Fortunately there are now a few really great companies that are creating natural options available at mass retail and specialty stores at affordable prices. I like Badger Balm, Tom's Of Maine toothpaste and deodorant, Jane Iredale makeup, John Masters hair care and Shikai Body Lotion.  

What ingredients should we look for?

Always look for plant and/or mineral-based ingredients and products made with plant oils and butters such as shea and cocoa butter or cold-pressed botanical oils. 

Any additional tips and tricks?

Consider switching to natural alternatives with the products that you use everyday like toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, shampoo, etc., and ones that cover the largest area of your body such as body lotion or sunscreen. They work just as well, if not better, than many conventional brands.

Thanks Sophie! 

How do you make your beauty routine green? Let us know with a note below!

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