20 Small Changes That Can Have a Big Impact In Your Life

You might think making small changes may not always make a difference, but it can be quite the opposite. Believe it or not, Beautycounter was started by one woman who decided to make small changes in her life.

Years ago, Beautycounter Founder & CEO Gregg Renfrew felt the need to make small adjustments to improve her home, diet, and lifestyle. These small changes eventually led to her creating the movement for better beauty.

We wanted to learn more about small changes that others have made in their lives, so we asked! Read on and find out the best tips you shared with us.

Home

1. Choose a safer detergent. Skin is your body’s largest organ and it absorbs everything you put on it, including the detergent you use on the clothes you wear every day. Some detergents can be made from potentially harmful ingredients that your skin may, in turn, come into contact with.

2. Choose glass over plastic. Some plastics contain the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) which the FDA has issued hazardous health warnings about. So instead of using plastic containers, go for glass. It won’t leach toxic chemicals into food and, because it’s reusable, it helps minimize waste.

3. Keep your shoes at the door. The bottoms of your shoes are dirty! Wearing them inside can increase your exposure to dust, lead, bacteria, and pollutants that could lead to health problems.

4. Opt for fragrance-free or essential oil-scented home products. It’s a good practice to avoid products scented with synthetic fragrances. When “fragrance” is listed as an ingredient, it’s usually a blend of various chemical compounds, many of which are common allergens or have links to hormone disruption. And since are they protected as trade secrets, there is no way to know for sure what ingredients are in the formulas.

5. Swap out dryer sheets for wool dryer balls. Wool what? These reusable dryer balls are a great option to reduce waste and exposure to potentially toxic chemicals and hormone disruptors found in synthetic fragrances. If you want your clothes to smell fresh, just add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil to the dryer ball before use.

Food

1. Buy organic. Some fruits and vegetables have a thinner skin, meaning they have a higher risk of absorbing harmful chemicals from pesticides. If buying everything organic isn’t in your budget, prioritize! Check out EWG’s dirty dozen list for fruits and veggies with the highest risk of pesticide exposure.

2. Shop local when possible. Farmer’s markets not only support the community, but also help the environment by reducing the carbon footprint from shipping. But don’t worry if you can’t make it to the market. There are services like CSA or Farm Fresh to You that will deliver boxes of organic produce from local farms to your doorstep.

3. Ditch the microwave. Microwaves work by converting water molecules at very high frequencies into steam to heat food, which ends up distorting food’s chemical structure. Stove and oven cooking are safer alternatives.

4. Replace non-stick with stainless steel. Although non-stick pans are easier to clean, they may be more hazardous to your health and the environment. PTFE (polytetrafluoroetheylene) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) are used for non-stick coating, which can release chemical fumes at high temperatures. These surface particles and toxic gases may work their way into your food and the air. Choose stainless steel instead!

5. Give Meatless Monday a try. Meat production causes deforestation, freshwater use, and greenhouse gas emissions. To counter all that madness, Meatless Monday is a worldwide campaign that encourages going meat-free for just one day a week to reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and chronic illness. Not to mention it positively affects your health, and it’s better for the planet.

Conscious Living

1. Take shorter showers. The longer the shower, the more water and energy resources are depleted. Pure, clean water is necessary for life. It protects wildlife, supports cities, reduces pollution, and conserves fuel resources. So keep those showers short!

2. Walk and bike when possible. Skip the car and reduce your carbon footprint. Walking and biking help increase your cardiovascular function, reduce stress, and contribute to overall well-being.

3. Make time to meditate. Studies show that by unplugging daily, meditating, and focusing on your breath, you can reduce anxiety, stress, negative emotions, blood pressure, and even change your brain function. Plus, it gives you a little extra time to reflect.

4. Add indoor plants for cleaner air. Did you know that the air we breathe indoors can be polluted if there’s not proper ventilation? Plants are an easy way to purify air inside. Try a bamboo palm, spider plant or aloe vera and breathe in the cleaner air.

5. Carry reusable shopping bags. Plastic bags are overwhelmingly destructive to the environment: They suffocate wildlife, block soil nutrients, or fill up landfills where they never decompose. An estimated 300 million plastic bags wind up in the Atlantic Ocean alone, creating one of the biggest problems for the sea life. Canvas, cotton, or jute fiber are a few sturdy reusable bag alternatives.

Beauty

1. Use safer sunscreen. Instead of using a potentially harmful sunblocker like oxybenzone, our Sun Protection Collection uses non-nano zinc oxide, an effective mineral that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and hasn’t been found to be dangerous to the ocean ecosystem. We also use hydrating aloe, antioxidant-rich, free-radical fighting green tea and blood orange extracts, and moisturizing coconut oil to nourish and protect skin.

2. Wash your hair less often. Save water, use less product and train your hair to be less greasy. It may sound counterintuitive, but giving your hair enough time to naturally produce oils instead of stripping them by shampooing too frequently will ultimately lead to less oil production.

3. Choose cloth instead of paper. Tissues and paper towels come from trees (obviously). Chlorine bleach is used to whiten the tree pulp and isn’t eco-friendly. Save paper and opt for a cloth towel to clean with, dry hands or wipe your nose. P.S. handkerchiefs are making a comeback.

4. Know the ingredients. Information is one of the most powerful factors in any purchasing decision. At Beautycounter, we handpick every ingredient that goes into our products using an industry-leading screening and testing procedures. You can learn more about the ingredients we use to formulate our products and everything we prohibit on The Never List™.

5. Choose essential oils over perfume. Essential oils are natural products extracted from plants with aromatic properties, and some have added benefits to address various emotional and skin concerns. Avoid perfume as it usually contains synthetic fragrances, a blend of various chemical compounds, many of which are common allergens or have links to hormone disruption.