Great news for those wanting to start a cleaner beauty routine, the wealth of top class beauty and skincare products that are safer and more responsibly formulated has never been so good. Whether you call it clean beauty, green beauty, organic beauty or natural beauty, joining the cleaner beauty movement is a great way to cut back on your exposure to unnecessary chemicals. However, where do you start?
Conventional beauty products are not always too great for your body and often worse for the environment. Did you know that the average woman applies in excess of 150 chemicals on her face and body daily? While it is fair to say that some of these are safe, there are plenty that have been linked to hormone disruption and skin irritations to name a couple.
You may have a lot of faithful every day beauty products and this transition to clean might feel a little daunting. Fear not, here are my easy top tips to make your clean beauty switchover to products that are good for you and the planet.
Start by looking at the ingredients in the products you use the most. As a rule of thumb if I don’t understand what an ingredient is I will look it up. Overall try and seek out ingredients lists that are small and contain naturally derived ingredients. Important to note here that when a product contains water, it will also need a preservative of some form to given it a longer shelf life.
Across the board you will see that the ingredients with the highest concentration will always be listed first. Ingredients to look out for include parabens, SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate), phthalates and fragrance. In our digital world there is a lot of information out there and apps like Think Dirty and EWG on hand to help you research. Next up check out the certificates. There is still a lot of green washing going on, look for certified labels including organic, cruelty free, sustainable, recycled packaging.
Hit the dailies first and start small.
Think of the products you use every day ….. deodorant, toothpaste, cleanser and moisturiser. For me, these were my first clean beauty swaps. Regardless of which of these products you start with, you will probably fall into two camps. The first camp wants to wait until their old product has died a death and you have got your money’s worth from it. You will need to buy a replacement so why not make the change then.
The second camp wants to do a green haul …. in a oner. You mean business and are super excited to dive in to this new greener way of life. Chucking all of your beauty products in the bin and starting afresh may seem like a great idea, especially after you have researched their ingredients. I would advise against this where possible.
This bin it all approach can be ridiculously expensive and potentially overwhelming too. If you have already spent money on products, it would be wasteful to just bin them. Start small. Personally, I started by switching over one green beauty product at a time. I found that by replacing items as they ran out, this gave me time to research a cleaner alternative. By slowly introducing a product at a time, it also gave my skin time to adjust too. This allowed me to see which of my newer products truly worked for me and which ones did not.
Look for brands that have plant-based, organic and few ingredients. Once I found my feet with these dailies, I clean beauty swapped my shampoo, soap, body products and chemical free sunscreen before moving over to make-up. I found stores like Whole Foods and Content Beauty invaluable places to try out new brands. Their staff also give amazing advice.
Different ingredients suit different skin types and sampling clean beauty products will help you find your new beauty line up. Content Beauty do a fantastic sampling service for customers who don’t live close enough to pop in store. I always recommend getting a sample first before committing to buying a full size product.
In the same way you my have tried what felt like hundreds of traditional mascaras or cleansers to find the ones that work for you, don’t give up on the first cleaner beauty option you try. Give it time. When it comes to skincare especially, you may notice some breakout spots when you initially swap over products. Quite often these can be part of the detoxification of your skin. Fret not. This is another reason why it is best to swap a product at a time. All in all, I personally found the quality of my skin after I started my clean beauty routine was so much more radiant and less spotty too!
Less is more make-up
I first started to use natural make up brands about 5 years ago when I noticed that these green beauty brands were truly rivalling more traditional options. Cream based products became my new best friends
Why have lots of unnecessary items which expose you and the environment to more chemicals overfilling your make up bag? Do you need those 14 lip stick shades and 4 eyeliners? Slim down your make up bag with fewer yet greener products.
Got to love a great multi-tasker and cleaner beauty brands do them so well. Not only is their packaging sleek and sustainable, their formulas are often pigment rich and gorgeous too. My favourites like RMS, Ilia and Tata Harper have genius multi-tasking lip,eyes and cheek products.
I also love to use a CC Cream or tinted moisturiser with spf. Using this one product saves me having to carry around a moisturiser, foundation, primer and sunscreen! Head in store to try colours on your skin palette or order some samples online. It is time to start testing your make up in person. There are loads of great natural award-winning make up brands waiting to wow you. Stores I love to make-up shop at include Content Beauty, Space NK, Cult Beauty, Whole Foods, Planet Organic and Liberty in London.
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