Journey into Green Beauty: Tips + My Personal Story

Sonia Chhinji of Woodlot
Woodlot co-founder Sonia Chhinji shares her green beauty journey.

Every day we are exposed to new ways we can improve how we live. But let’s face it: the pressure can feel overwhelming. This is exactly how I felt when I first began transitioning into a green-friendly approach to beauty.

Making the move toward greener products can be tricky, time-consuming, and expensive. To make it work, we all have to get creative, and think long term. I started by compiling a list of products I used on a daily or weekly basis. For me, that list included: soap, shampoo, skin care, toothpaste, laundry detergent, eyeliner, blush, lipstick, and body perfume.

My personal transition started over five years ago when I really started to pay attention to what I was eating, and how it was influencing my well-being—specifically my skin. It was also around this time that I was introduced to my partner. Fouad had been making soap bars in Toronto using a family recipe. He told me the story behind the soap bars: how he'd grown up on an olive orchard, and how he continued to make his own soap because the bars we buy in stores contain lots of nasty ingredients. It got me thinking. I'd always assumed that most of the products I used were “healthy” and good for me. Most of us are shocked once we start looking at ingredient lists. So I started paying more attention, and my journey toward green beauty began.

Sonia Chhinji
Sonia Chhinji
Photo credit: Britney Gill

If it seems tough at first, please don't be discouraged. It takes a lot of testing and sampling to find green products that achieve similar results as the ones you grew up loving. It took me years to find my favourite clean mascara, but it was well worth the effort.

Here are some tips to transition to a greener beauty lifestyle:

  1. Create a list of the products you use everyday.
  2. Start with what you care about the most. I started with my skin, hair, and teeth. I sampled a ton of green options before settling on the ones I love the most:  Woodlot Soap Bars for nourishing skin, home-made skin care, Kiss my Face Toothpaste, and Prairie Naturals hair care. I’m still trying to find the best shampoo; I'll let you know when I do!
  3. Create a list of ingredients you’d like to avoid. EWG’s database contains a great list of undesirable ingredients.
  4. Check out places that offer consultancy and advice to help with the transition process. I loved visiting The Green Kiss with my favourite makeup options: they gave me some great alternatives. The thing with makeup, is that we've all been spoiled with function, so finding great green makeup alternatives can sometimes be difficult. If you live in Vancouver, The Soap Dispensary is fantastic. You can find great alternatives for traditional laundry and kitchen cleaning products.

How is your clean beauty journey coming along? I’d love to hear your stories. Tell me about your transition to green beauty, or which products have become your favourites. Until next time...

Keep it real,
xoxo Sonia

Photo credit: Boutierre Girls