Ugly Pretty: 5 Habits to Protect your Beauty & the Planet

By Abbi Miller
Ugly Pretty: 5 Habits to Protect your Beauty & the Planet

Co-written with Maddie Wise. 

The inside of the beauty industry in our country is fugly. For an industry entirely focused on making things look good, it’s shockingly unattractive. From the toxic chemicals they put in their products to the singular image of beauty they sell, it’s clear that they only have their bottom line, not our best interests, in mind. And there’s nothing beautiful about that.

“Beauty products aren’t pre-approved before they hit the market, which surprises a lot of people,” explains Tina Sigurdson, assistant general counsel at the Environmental Working Group in an article for Cosmopolitan magazine that features a list of the 10 American cosmetic ingredients that are banned in other countries. These icky chemicals are dangerous directly on our skin (or our kiddos!) and also a bummer when we rinse them off and they get into our water supply.

So, does this mean that you have to give up all of your beauty products and be bare faced, all day er’day? No! But it does mean that you want to be intentional about what you buy and what you allow on your body. There are plenty of smaller brands popping up that do care about the consumer and use non-toxic, wonderful ingredients that are nourishing to our skin and planet! Do your research and find the brands that speak to you. Email me here to book a consultation to detox your beauty routine, or for my favorite clean brands!

Beauty is an inside job, and when done right, that beauty radiates from the inside out. Here are 5 ways to lighten your toxic load and feel more beautiful:

  1.  Clean up your skincare + makeup routine. As explained in this Hilary’s article, It’s fun to wear makeup and feel adorned. However, some of the ingredients in beauty products aren’t that pretty. In fact, they are hideous. One in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors. 450 of the ingredients that are used in the US are banned for use in cosmetics in the European Union by the industry! What you put on your skin, is absorbed into your body. Your sweet face doesn’t need all that gunk!
  2. Level up your lady care. As mentioned, we have to be our own detectives, as many feminine hygiene products do not require a full disclosure of all of their ingredients (which often include bleach, chemicals, etc). It’s alarming – a recent study showed the presence of glyphosate (a main ingredient in herbicide Roundup) in tampons and pads. Ditch your toxic tampons! Reach for Organic feminine hygiene products or reusable menstrual panties by badass company THINX instead!
  3. Ditch unrealistic beauty standards. Change the narrative around beauty and body positivity. Beauty is not a “one size fits all” package. Don’t let advertising gimmicks or mainstream media convince you that you’re not beautiful unless you look like the model on the runway! Follow body-positive accounts that support diverse beauty. Beauty comes from embracing what you’ve got, and choosing to love it, now. There are plenty of ways to cultivate this Body Love, and yoga is one of my faves. An exercise you can try right now: thank your legs for their strength and ability to carry you from place to place each day – not what they do or don’t look like. Instead of waiting for the perfect body to love, we can intentionally create practices in which we love the body we have.
  4. Celebrate the beauty in others. When a beautiful human passes you, do you feel intimidated or in awe? Don’t let someone else’s beauty make you feel less than – bless them for their beauty and know that it abounds! The next time you see a beautiful human and feel a tinge of insecurity, compliment them in your head and feel the positive energy at work! A simple “work it, babe!” will suffice. Know that another person’s beauty doesn’t detract your own, and that by celebrating beauty in others, you give your own beauty permission to shine.
  5. Surround yourself with beauty. Spend time at your local museum. Bring home a bouquet of flowers. Make your home a GORG, inspiring environment by decorating with inspiring objects, hand-made art, and little trinkets that you adore. Consciously cultivate a visually appealing environment. You are beautiful, and you deserve to see it reflected all around you!

When you say no to toxic ingredients, mindsets, and thoughts, you create more space for beauty to thrive. Add a little extra beauty intentionally, and – voila! – your life is a living masterpiece. What will you do, today, to celebrate the beauty that is you?


Abbi Miller runs her own Holistic Nutrition and Yoga brand, sharing yoga and nutrition via one-on one sessions, retreats and workshops. She is obsessed with kale, juicy adventure and nerding out on all things healthy. She wants everyone to make friends with food, love their bodies and feel foxy. She can be found standing on her head, getting her passport stamped, or sniffing candles somewhere.  She loves a good e-high five: Instagram (@abbimillerholistic), Facebook.