If ever there was a time to embrace clean beauty, it’s now. According to recent statistics, between skincare, make-up and perfume, women apply an average of 168 chemicals to their faces and bodies every day – and while some are completely harmless, others have been proven to disrupt hormones as well as being carcinogens and neurotoxins.
Plus, after years of hit and miss formulas, natural beauty products have finally found their spot on the shelf. Here’s how to get involved in the clean beauty movement…
1. Do Your Research
If you’re looking to cut back on your exposure to chemicals, start by downloading an app such as Think Dirty, EWG or Codecheck – they’ll screen your current products and give you toxicity ratings as well as info on which ingredients to avoid.
When it comes to buying products, always read the small print; the first ingredients on the list are used in the highest concentration, in descending order. Aim to buy products with lesser ingredients that are plant-based, ideally organic. Look out for certification labels and try to avoid water-based products, which require preservatives to boost shelf life.
2. Get Multi-Tasking
Do you really need three hair oils, a plethora of lip balms and bottomless body products? An overflowing beauty stash may seem necessary, but more products also equals an increased exposure to chemicals.
Try cutting back on the amount of products you use as well as finding green alternatives – the likes of Sister & Co’s Coconut Oil can be used as a moisturiser, hair mask and cuticle oil while RMS’ cult Lip2Cheek will add a flush of colour to lips, cheeks and eyelids.
3. Start With Your Body
As Nutritionist Kimberly Snyder explains, “Your skin is your largest organ and anything applied to it will be absorbed directly into the blood stream and can wreak havoc not only your skin but your liver, too.”
In this light, start by switching up your body products – we give our full marks to Soaper Duper’s range of shower gels and body creams, which lather up well and leave skin feeling squeaky clean. Other brands to explore include the cult Dr Hauschka, Dr Bronner and Weleda.
4. Get Creamy
While it may take a while to find a green replacement for your favourite mascara, cream-based products, such as blushers and lip products, are usually easier to swap. Fortunately, there’s never been a better time to shop for clean make-up, with countless new brands continuing to challenge the retail space with sleek packaging and impressive formulas.
Creamy blends are at the forefront of the green beauty sphere – think Ilia’s must-have Illuminator, £32, RMS’ Beauty Living Luminizer, £36 and Kjaer Weis’ lipsticks, the latter available in eight lust-worthy shades.
5. Shop Smart
Good-quality, natural products can be hard to find, and expensive once you do. However, finding them is easy once you know where to look. Bigger health food shops such as Planet Organic and Whole Foods offer a range of great natural brands at inexpensive price points, while Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters are a surprising source of niche beauty brands.
However, the ultimate green beauty mecca has to be Marylebone’s Content Beauty and Wellbeing, which opened in 2008 to bring cult brands in the organic sector to the capital. Their online store is a true emporium for all things clean and green.
6. Stick With It
One of the most common complaints from women who switch to natural products is unexpected breakouts. Unfortunately, this can happen, but it is avoidable. As organic skincare entrepreneur Tata Harper explains, “Getting spots is common when you go natural, but it’s not the product that’s causing it. If your skin is full of toxins, you may breakout, especially if your skin is oily, but what’s happening is that your skin is literally detoxifying its build-up of toxins. To avoid breaking out, try not switching everything in your skincare routine at once – start with your milder products, like cleansers, toners and moisturisers, before working up to more intense things like treatments and anti-ageing creams.”
Just remember the golden rule and stick with it: “Your skin will be cleaner and rejuvenated in the long-run,” she insists.
Want in? Keep scrolling to shop our edit of the beauty world’s cult clean products...