When first transitioning to a holistic, low tox lifestyle, it can be INCREDIBLY overwhelming. Where do you start? What do you look for on a product label? What ingredients should you avoid? Are your current products safe? What information is trustworthy? Does using natural products even matter? Sooooo many unknowns! 😵💫
As somebody who has been researching and using clean products for over a decade, I’m here to share all of the best resources with you so that you have the tools and knowledge to make informed decisions with confidence. From books, to documentaries, apps, websites, and more.
This post contains affiliate links.
Helpful Resources for Getting Started with Clean Beauty & Low Tox Products
Books & Documentaries 📗🎬
A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients
By Ruth Winter, M.S.. This has a brief intro about FDA regulation in regard to cosmetics and why you should pay attention to ingredients. The bulk of the dictionary is just that—a guide to thousands of terms and ingredients used in cosmetics and personal care products. You’ll learn what they are, what their purpose is, and any associated concerns.
No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics
By Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt. This was published in 2005 so some parts are a bit dated, but nonetheless, the basic principles are still relevant. It’s a wake-up call about the FDA and cosmetics industry, plus it has a blacklist of common ingredients to watch out for. Then the book highlights everyday beauty products we use (head to toe!) and what ingredients might be lurking in them.
Not So Pretty
This four-part documentary series exposes the cosmetic and personal care industries. Each episode narrows in on a different subject: makeup, nails, skin, and hair, and then highlights the negative side of each one. At the end of the day, these industries all have one major thing in common: making money.
Throughout the film, Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick investigate these trillion-dollar industries, uncovering the deep, dark secrets about how far they will go to make a profit, with zero regard for the health and safety of their customers. Although the manufacturers involved have denied that their products are harmful, many claims have been made regarding very serious health concerns such as skin problems, memory loss, reproductive issues, scalp sores, and even cancer. Let’s just say, for being a film about makeup and personal care products, this is very far from pretty stuff 😣 So eye-opening!
This documentary by filmmaker Phyllis Ellis outlines a three-year investigation of the unregulated chemicals that are found in personal care products. It follows the class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, and the personal stories of women who continue to fight for justice.
Toxic Beauty zeroes in on the manipulative power of marketing, and how women oftentimes are choosing between their own health and the pressure to look beautiful. I think this is an extremely important film for all women to watch, as so many people are not aware of the risks they are taking with their daily beauty routines!
Mobile Apps & Websites 📱
Switch Natural App
Switch Natural is an app for iPhone and Android that scans all beauty, skincare, personal care, and cleaning products (not food or supplements). You simply take a photo of an ingredient label or upload a screenshot and it will point out which ones are possibly harmful and should be avoided! You can also search by individual ingredients. Read my full review of the app here.
I suggest this one over other apps on the market (such as Think Dirty or EWG) because it’s independently owned and not funded by any outside organizations. I’ve seen how inaccurate some of the other apps can be (or have missing data) so this one is more trustworthy to me and one I feel comfortable recommending. It’s not perfect but it can be a great starting point!
Clearya has a free app and Google Chrome extension that scans ingredient lists on Amazon, Target, Sephora, iHerb, and Walmart. It alerts you about harmful ingredients, potential allergens, and ingredients that are banned in other countries. Clearya is unbiased, funded by donations, and not affiliated with any brands.
A non-profit that rigorously screens for 6,500+ behavioral toxins, carcinogens, developmental toxins, endocrine disruptors, flame retardants, heavy metals, neurotoxins, high-risk pesticides, reproductive toxins, toxic solvents, and VOCs. You can browse their catalog for a list of products and brands that are Made Safe® Certified!
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
A program of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (a national science-based advocacy organization working to prevent breast cancer by eliminating environmental exposures linked to the disease). You can learn more about ingredients in cosmetics and the adverse health effects on their website—they have so much info! CSC also works with state and federal legislation to advocate for stricter cosmetic safety laws. They’ve been around since 2004!
Last but not least…Organically Becca 💚
I can’t NOT share about all of the resources here on my blog! 😉 Not only can you access the hundreds of posts that I’ve written over the years for FREE, but I also created digital ebooks and guides just for you. They’re honestly the tools that I WISH I had when first switching to clean beauty myself.
Clean Beauty 101: A Stress-Free Guide to Choosing Natural Personal Care Products
This 32-page ebook has ALL the info you need for a seamless, stress-free transition to non-toxic products. It will teach you why clean beauty matters, 48+ ingredients to watch out for, how to decipher ingredient labels and know if something is safe or not, how to avoid being greenwashed, guidance for products to swap out first, and so much more.
The Ultimate Clean Beauty Ingredient Glossary & Printable Pocket Guide
This is a subset of the Clean Beauty 101 ebook and contains the Ingredient Glossary portion. It’s a 6-page PDF that has over 48 common ingredients to avoid in your products (with descriptions, why they should be avoided, and reputable sources). It also comes with a printable pocket guide that you can cut out and stick in your wallet or purse to reference when you’re shopping!
Note: This is already included in the Clean Beauty 101 ebook, so you don’t have to download both!
Custom 1:1 Consultation with Becca
For those wanting individualized assistance! You’ll fill out a quick form which will help me learn more about your skin, your budget, the products you currently use/what you like about them, and what you’re looking to swap. Then I will assess everything and work my magic behind the scenes, finding the absolute best products for you and your specific needs. Then you will receive 1-3 clean swaps and personalized recommendations per product!
Other Goodies You Can Find Here:
- 60+ Clean Product Swaps for Your Everyday Essentials: A free download that contains dozens of better alternatives for common items that you likely use on an everyday basis.
- Clean Brand Master List: A directory of beauty, skincare, body, hair, dental, feminine hygiene, and household brands that formulate with clean ingredients. It also includes a list of stores and online retailers that sell safer brands.
- Master List of Becca’s Faves: Hundreds of natural products that I personally love and use daily. You can filter by category!
Hopefully this list was helpful! I’m so thankful that there are tons of ways to get educated about the safety of our products these days. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or have used any of these.