How I Transitioned to a Natural Beauty Routine

Victoria Hoff

It all started with no-poo.

When I decided to give up shampoo a few years back, it wasn’t exactly based on the need to be all-natural. In hindsight, however, it marks the beginning of my journey toward a now plant-centric beauty routine. I had already adopted a vegan diet at this point, but aside from trying to choose products that were certified cruelty-free, this Earth-friendly philosophy hadn’t exactly expanded from the kitchen to my vanity. I wasn’t really reading labels, and I was still overloading my hair and face with synthetic ingredients without a second thought. But then I read something about going no-poo, took stock of my own straw-like and heat-damaged strands, and I decided it could be an interesting project. Interesting it was—but even with a few bumps along the way, I was amazed when it transformed my mane for the better.

In retrospect, it’s kind of sad (and superficial) that I needed to see results before really committing to a natural regimen. But that’s basically how it went down: It wasn’t until I saw how great and healthy my hair looked that I realised it was a bit hypocritical to be so discerning about what I put in my body while paying no mind to what I was using on it. Then again, we forget that just a few years ago, it didn’t seem so obvious—many of the incredible plant-based products and brands we now take for granted (and can find just about anywhere) were either fledgling or still very under-the-radar. A natural beauty regimen was still considered crunchier than it was chic, and it was easy to assume that if I wanted to go that route, I would probably be exclusively spending my time mixing up essential oils and assembling DIY masks using items in my pantry.

And that’s actually what I did (and I still do!)—all the while holding on to most of my existing products, only rotating them out when I got my hands on something plant-based that was a worthy replacement. I followed this slow and steady strategy while continuing to educate myself on ingredients and label-reading, and over the course of several months, I managed to completely overhaul my beauty cabinet.

My current beauty regimen is by no means perfect, but it’s the eco-friendliest it’s ever been—and honestly, my skin and hair have never looked better. I’m still perpetually on the hunt for new and improved products (if anyone knows of a way I can do that for a living, let me know), but treating this whole process as a continual work-in-progress has made it manageable and even fun. I’m not sure I would feel the same way if I had taken an all-or-nothing approach.

Still, I understand that overwhelming feeling of Where do I even begin? So let’s fix that, shall we?

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