Goodbye Sephora…Overhauling My Beauty Routine: Why?!

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.


For the past several years now, I’ve experienced the amazingness of what well-rounded nutrition can do for you:




Good digestion.

Clear skin.

Hormonal balance.


However…I’ve never coorrelated the ‘food’ I feed my body with anything more than what I put in my mouth, until recently….


I ran out of facewash and needed a re-stock.


If you know me at all, you know I do not love superstores like Target, or God forbid, Wal-Mart—fluorescent lights, screaming children, unending aisles, and money traps that remind you of everything you need to stock up on.


So I opted to look for some facewash while I was at a more manageable, local-feel grocer in town, Central Market.


Wandering through the beauty aisle, I was still a bit overwhelmed with the options of products available—many brands I had never heard of.


I am a Neutrogena girl through and through—at least I was, and have been using the company’s line of ‘Deep Clean Cream Cleanser’ since I was 14 or 15-years-old.



But, in this health foods grocer, there was no such thing.


Instead creams and cleansers lined the shelves touting “all natural”, “hypo-allergenic”, “no oils.”


Hmm…never really heard of any of these…


Picking up three of them, I typed in a quick Google search to read any reviews I could find, then put them in my basket—deciding I would ask the cashier up front which one he knew which one was most popular.


After I finished my shopping, I ended up with Burts Bees’ All Natural Deep Cream Face Wash—similar to what I had been using all my life…but figured I’d see what this all-natural thing was all about.


Hype on a label? Or something to it?


I am a creature of habit—particularly with my beauty products, so any time I change a brand (from shampoo, to toner, mascara or facewash), I am pretty skeptical.


Earlier this year, I made the switch from my salon-grade ‘Bed-Head’ and Paul Mitchell shampoos and conditioners [that I paid a good $17.99 a pop for, figuring that ‘you get what you pay for’ (quality)] to a sulfate-free, chemical-free brand of shampoo and condition called Jason that I too found at this same grocer.



The results?




No oil. Grease. Build up. Residue.


I became a believer of more natural (less harsh) hair care; so we’d see what this whole face thing was about…


Washing my face that night, I was instantly refreshed.


It was as if my pores were singing ‘Halleluiah!”


Similar to eating a clean diet, when I coach clients around giving up the Diet Sodas (artificial sugars) or daily consumption of processed foods—they don’t believe me how much better they will feel….until they TRY IT.


In other words: We don’t know what we don’t know—and experience is really the only way to fully embrace the belief in doing something different….even with facewash…or other beauty products.


I honestly never realized how greasy, and oily, and drab my old facewash routine had made my face feel all these years—even if I did not have a problem with breakouts.


My facewash experiment prompted me to think deeper on this issue: the issue of toxins we put in—and on –our bodies.


A huge aspect to self-care is treating your body with respect.


Water and hydration? Check.

Leafy greens? Check.

Healthy fats, a colorful variety of carbs (lots of fruits and veggies) and grass-fed, organic proteins? Check. Check. Check.

Non-toxic household cleaners? Check.


Natural cosmetics and hygiene products?….Eh…


Beauty products and toiletries are a major source of chemical exposure for a lot of people.


To name a few on the labels of many hair products, soaps and cosmetics that line the shelves of Target, Wal-Mart, H-E-B and yes, Sephora:



BHA and BHT : Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Suspected cancer-causing agents and endocrine disruptors. In fact, high doses of BHT may mimic estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, and prevent expression of male sex hormones (testosterone), resulting in adverse reproductive affects. Long-term exposure to high doses of BHT has also proven toxic in mice and rats, causing liver, thyroid and kidney problems and affecting lung function and blood coagulation.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: A toxic detergent found in most shampoos, soaps and toothpastes. It absorbs very readily through mucous membranes and is linked to skin irritation (dandruff, canker sores, dermatitis), as well as a known penetration enhancer—helping other harsh chemicals get into your body. It is actually also commonly used to kill plants and insects.


Lead: Known carcinogen found in lipstick and hair dye, but never listed because it’s a contaminant, not an ingredient.


Mercury: Known allergen that impairs brain development. Found in mascara and some eyedrops.


Talc: Similar to asbestos in composition, it’s found in baby powder, eye shadow, blush, deodorant. Linked to ovarian cancer and respiratory problems.


No, you don’t have to live in a bubble…But if you wouldn’t feed your bod a steady diet of fast food, sugar, fake and processed foods—why would you do the same to your body, your face, or your hair?


I totally feel like a tree-hugging hippie right now, but in all seriousness, after experiencing the detoxifying effects alone from recently switching my shampoo/conditioner and facewash to more natural brands…I am doing my research…and becoming a believer in putting a stop to the pollution of my body.


I came across this funny quote reading:


“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.”


In other words…health goes beyond what we feed our bodies…but how we treat our bodies and interact with our environments.


Stop polluting your body!


My next venture?


An overhaul of my makeup supply (Goodbye NARS, Bobby Brown, Chanel & Clinique):


Here are a few brands on my radar:


Josie Maran – Argan oil-based makeup. They also use food-grade ingredients like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, and mango seed butter (Actually a natural sold at Sephora…so we don’t have to completely give up the makeup mecca)




100% Pure– An organic and all natural line of cosmetics, beauty products and skincare. Their makeup is ‘fruit dyed’ with lots of pretty and natural looking shades. I liked the Pigmented Healthy Blush.



Fat Face- Skin care, deoderant and hair products that use REAL whole foods as the base ingredients: Tallow, grassfed butter and essential oils for instance. The company’s inspiration? “We’ve learned that if you wouldn’t EAT something, then you shouldn’t put it on your skin! But in our quest for pure, raw, natural skincare products, we didn’t find anything that fit our criteria …so we decided to make our own! And this is how FATface Skincare was born.”




Also…even more basic…you can use coconut oil as a natural lotion, makeup remover or oil for cleansing the face. How simple is that?!



Here are the tips Sarah Fragoso, blogger of Everyday Paleo gives:


Natural Lotion:

-Use Coconut Oil straight or in combination with Almond Oil for an extremely moisturizing and firming option. Consuming enough healthy fats like coconut oil internally will also help moisturize from the inside out.

(This works for supermodels too!)


Oil Cleansing for face:

-Use olive, coconut or almond oil with Castor oil to clean your skin instead of a harsh soap. This will cleanse your skin naturally and keep from pulling out natural oils. My personal blend is 25% Castor Oil (don’t use straight!) and 75% sweet almond oil.

How to do it: Rub a small amount of oil onto dry face and massage into skin for several minutes. To remove, Soak a clean washcloth in steamy water and place on face until it starts to cool. Gently use the washcloth to wipe your face until the oil is gone. Softest. Skin. Ever! Here’s a website with much more detailed info if you are interested.


Natural Make-up and Mascara Remover:

-Olive and Coconut Oils are great for naturally and safely removing make-up and mascara, even waterproof versions. Added benefit: helps smooth or prevent wrinkles around the eyes!



Have you had any success with a more natural beauty routine?


If so, do share…I am all ears!




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