When you're making the switch to green products, it's natural to be skeptical about whether they'll do everything that's promised. In fact, Cindy Bokma, founder of The Green Beauty & Wellness Blog by Hello Dollface, says the thing that surprises people the most about the hair and skincare products she advocates is that they actually work.
"I had a completely wrong idea about green, clean beauty," Cindy says. "I thought they would be totally subpar, but in reality, they are very luxurious and work even better than conventional beauty products."
Here, Cindy discusses what made her go green, the ingredients she loves (and the ones she stays away from) and why beauty starts from within. Read on:
Tell us about Hello Dollface ... when and why did you start your site?
I started Hello Dollface in order to showcase the best cosmetics, skincare and haircare items available. It was thrilling to write about something I loved - makeup! - and spread news of launches and new products and brands. However, I began to read ingredients, and once I started to understand toxins and how they impact our health, I decided to revamp my mission and work with only clean beauty that is good for our bodies and the environment.
What is green beauty? How did you become interested in it?
Green beauty is natural, clean cosmetics/body/haircare that doesn't contain anything that will harm our skin. When I began looking for products to help my frizzy hair is when I started being an avid label reader, and that really kicked off this green beauty obsession.
How common is green washing today? How can you spot it on a product?
Green washing is very prevalent. What is shocking to me is that a company can claim their product is natural but when you read the ingredients, as everyone should do, you see a list of toxic chemicals. As consumers, we have to read labels and understand ingredients. The EWG.com's Skin Deep website is a wonderful resource and a place to start familiarizing yourself with common ingredients.
What types of ingredients do you steer clear of when you're shopping for beauty products? Why?
I steer clear of anything ending in paraben. Parabens have been proven to be linked to cancer, and I stay away from aluminum, which has been linked to Alzheimer's. Typically, if I cannot pronounce an ingredient, I steer clear.
From all of my studying up on ingredients, I do have a good understanding of what things are. The best piece of advice I can give is if there's a long list of complicated ingredients that you cannot pronounce, put the product down and walk away!
What ingredients do you look for?
I look for ingredients with natural roots - herbs, florals, nut butters and oils.
Why is it important to approach beauty from inside out? How does what you eat change how you look and feel?
It all starts from within - hydrated skin and hair, clear eyes are all due to eating a balanced diet and getting rest plus having a happy attitude. If I eat poorly, my skin and eyes just don't look good. I wholeheartedly believe in eating very healthy because that does affect your skin, which is the largest organ of your entire body. You want to be supple, soft and radiant, not tired and sallow.
What sorts of food do you think has had the biggest impact on your appearance?
I eat a lot of greens; I hope that helps! Generally speaking, the more fruits and vegetables you eat and water you drink will have a positive effect on appearance. Have you ever seen someone who lives on junk food and doesn't drink a lot of water? They look tired and drawn. Then look at someone who takes care of him or herself and juices and eats greens; there is a vast and obvious difference.
What do you make sure to eat a lot of? What do you avoid?
I avoid processed foods and anything that lacks nutritional content like candy, cookies, cakes and soda. I eat gluten-free oats, lots of salads, organic meats, and fruit. I cook most meals at home so I can be in control of what goes into every bite of food I take!
What does your daily beauty routine consist of?
I start the day washing my face, I add some serum and foundation, dab on some makeup to wake up my face a bit. I use primary clean, green beauty products from head to toe. I never go to bed with makeup on, ever. I wash well in the evenings and use serum or eye, always a good eye cream, body oil and some kind of oil for cuticles and lips. I love the whole getting ready routine!
What advice do you have for shopping for non-toxic and eco-friendly products? Where do you find them?
I want to stress the importance of getting to know ingredients; learn about them. Maybe you don't mind certain ingredients and that's fine - determine where you want to draw the line. Go to reputable websites (I shop at all of these) like Spirit Beauty Lounge,BeauTeaBar, Pemberley Jones, The Detox Market, those places handpick their clean, green beauty products. Read green beauty blogs; visit Skin Deep. As with everything, educate yourself!