My 80/20 Rule with Beauty Products

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I'm a Certified Health Coach, longtime blogger, and host of Elizabeth Eats on YouTube. In addition to writing recipes (I love to eat!), I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life.


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Let’s talk beauty products!

As someone who enjoys beauty products (I think the kids call it being a “beauty girlie?!”), I’m always trying to balance having fun with new things and keeping my routine simple and healthy.

Just like I embrace the 80/20 lifestyle when it comes to food—prioritizing wholesome, nutrient-rich choices 80% of the time and indulging the other 20%—I carry this philosophy over to my beauty routine as well.

This approach is all about balance, allowing room for flexibility and pleasure without compromising overall goals or well-being.

This principle encourages me to choose mostly natural and clean beauty products, and I comfortably make exceptions for conventional mascara or eyeshadow on the one to two days a week I might wear makeup.

Here are my “Ride-or-Die” Products, the ones I buy over and over again and highly recommend:

When I think of the 80/20 rule for beauty products, I think about frequency and surface area.

Also remember, that the word “natural” is NOT regulated, and, “natural” does not always mean healthier. When it comes to surface area, I use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap as a body wash and for shaving, and a jojoba oil or natural lotion for my body.

For occasional-use items, I’m more flexible.

Are Conventional Products Always Unhealthy?

Another factor is that most beauty brands—yes, even conventional ones—have removed parabens and harmful ingredients from their ingredient decks.

These companies are smart and savvy, and they follow trends and do what customers want (because they are for-profit businesses, and they want to make a profit!). The harmful effects of certain ingredients have been highlighted in recent years, and companies have listened.

That’s not to say that all conventional brands are healthy because they most definitely are not. But I don’t have the same concerns I had say in 2013. Now, in 2024 and beyond, big brands are making an effort to be more health-friendly.

Tips for Applying the 80/20 Rule to Beauty Products

  1. Start with Research: Understand the ingredients in your products and their impacts. Look for natural alternatives that can replace your conventional staples without compromising quality.
  2. Prioritize: Identify the products you use most frequently and start by switching these to more natural, healthy alternatives.
  3. Be Flexible: The 80/20 rule is about balance, not perfection. Allow yourself the flexibility to choose conventional products when necessary, without guilt.
  4. Support Ethical Brands: Whether choosing natural or conventional products, support brands that are transparent about their production practices and strive for ethics and sustainability.
  5. Listen to Your Body: Everyone’s skin and hair are unique. Pay attention to how different products affect you and adjust your choices accordingly.

Even within this 20%, I remain mindful of my choices. I look for products from brands that are transparent about their ingredients, prioritize safety, and, where possible, have made efforts to reduce their environmental impact.

It’s about finding a balance between effectiveness, health, and ethical considerations.

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Hi, I'm Elizabeth

I teach you how to be healthier without extremes, so you can live more and obsess less.

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