I have to admit, I nod along and hum in sympathetic agreement every time someone tells me they thought about subscribing to a “green” or clean beauty routine, but they just cannot get past the sticker shock of how expensive green products are.
Just recently, I gave my dad’s female co-workers a couple of unused samples of natural and organic products that they ended up loving. And when one of them looked up the full-size product to see if they could purchase it, they were shocked at how expensive it was! I don’t know exactly what product they looked up, but I can imagine this happens a lot when people compare green products to non-green ones.
After many a conversation with people that ends with a line like: “but green products are so expensive,” my heart sinks a bit because I wish I could tell them there are so many benefits to a non-toxic beauty routine that the pros will eventually outweigh the initial con. I try to be kind though. I absolutely understand why it’s the prices of green products, not the effectiveness or the ingredients of green products, which people balk at. Do I wince, every time my best friend whips out her MAC lipstick ($15) instead of a natural alternative like Ilia Beauty’s organic lipsticks ($25)? Yes, I honestly do wince. But I also understand that my friend is a cash-strapped graduate student (which I used to be too), and that saving a few dollars here and there does make a difference in the way she lives.
However, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing when it comes to green beauty. I have a few friendly and practical tips on how to deal with green sticker shock. You can follow just one or a mixture of some depending on how you think it works with your particular budget and lifestyle!
Here are my tips:
- Choose a local skincare apothecary that crafts good quality products without toxic ingredients over drugstores like CVS/Walgreens/Rite Aid.
It is important to understand, not all of your local skincare brands will be affordable as compared to drugstore ones. You may have to look more carefully and choose one that you can develop a good relationship with. I have my own favorite brand that I keep coming back to because they are just so affordable and they make amazing vegan, organic, small-batched products that I am in love with.
- Go big, but smart, if you can’t do local and small.
Don’t need a $40 shampoo? That’s okay. But you can think about choosing Whole Food’s relatively clean and natural shampoos (Whole Food’s own 365 Shampoo currently costs $4.99 in my local store) over Suave, VO5, or even Herbal Essences shampoos. Can’t stomach the idea of purchasing $100 facial oils either? Alright. I have used very affordable facial oils from brands like Acure Organics and Badger Balm, also found at Whole Foods, that are under $20 and wonderful at getting the job of moisturizing done. And if you’re averse to purchasing things at big box companies like Whole Foods, find a way to get bulk multi-purpose organic ingredients like coconut oil, jojoba oil, or shea butter. Go big a different way.
- Be a green DIY beauty.
I can’t say I’m much of a DIY-er, but I do occasionally make my own dry shampoo because I already have all of the ingredients in my kitchen pantry! If you think beauty starts in the kitchen or at home, go for it! Make your own facial or body moisturizers and scrubs without paying extra money for fancy packaging and labels. One of my other good friends, who is curious about green beauty but finds it expensive, loves using Trader Joe’s organic extra virgin coconut oil as a body moisturizer. Just make sure to be smart about the ingredients in your DIY recipe and follow green DIY blogs that show you how to do it right.
If you are already a green beauty convert, maybe these are the things you need to say to people when they are convinced green products are too expensive for them to buy. And for those who are still skeptical, think about it! You don’t have to go green all at once but carefully choosing some green or natural alternatives just might be the thing for you to deal with sticker shock.
Special Note: Please do try to read all of the comments made on this post! There are a great number of comments written by green beauty bloggers and enthusiasts who bring up amazing points that I didn’t include in my piece.