We are in full support of the growing obsession of being mindful of what we are putting into our body, on our bodies and in our homes. Boutique, artisan beauty products that use natural, organic, non-toxic and cruelty-free ingredients are gaining followers by the day. Read on for an initiation to clean beauty.
Thanks to the emerging understanding that beauty and health are intertwined, even shopping for natural beauty products are being revolutionised. Gone are the days where you had to hunt them down tiny aisles at the far end of a store. Increased customer awareness and demand for cleaner beauty products have proved fruitful – many natural new offerings with improved formulations continue to make a statement with their online presence. Exotic selection of natural botanical extracts and essential oils are used to thoughtfully curate skincare, hair care, bath products to serums are safe, effective and green.
New to clean beauty? We’re here to offer you six tips on how to get started. Yes, it’s time to begin a good habit you won’t regret – turn the product over and start reading the ingredient list! Keep calm and read on.
1. Avoid chemicals you can’t pronounce
The host of foreign terms in fine print may seem daunting and tempting to skip through, here’s the trick: stick to words you can understand without a biochemistry degree is a smart move. Put a product back on the shelf if you come across any mentions of formaldehyde, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), butane, propane, paraben, sulfates or fragrance. We highly recommend you check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep ingredient database – a comprehensive, searchable database of controversial ingredients supported by evidence-based research. If you’re short on time, avoid these Dirty Dozen.
Give yourself time to get familiar with these names and care enough to read what’s in your most-loved products – you may be surprised (perhaps in a not so good way!). Low dose exposure to these chemicals do add up over time. These nasty chemicals are definitely not the kind of ingredients you’d want entering your body and harming fish and wildlife, right?
2. Read between the lines
You know how it’s said that the hidden enemy is the most dangerous? This applies to beauty products too - in the battle of the cleanest. One of the most common ingredients on labels is fragrance – a vague term that actually means a mixture of ingredients, some of which are potent hormone disruptors. More often than not, any ingredient that constitutes less than 1 percent of the formulation does not have to be declared on the label, even if they are common allergens or trace ingredients. So, don’t be easily swayed or deceived by the claims on the front label!
3. Look for Latin on the label
Plant ingredients typically go by their species name in Latin on beauty labels and are usually followed by their English name. For example, “Cocos nucifera” is coconut or its oil. This helps to make sure that your skincare ingredients are grown not synthetic.
4. Skip the pharmacy or chain stores
Majority of the brands sold in chain stores are still chemical-based. Consider shopping for boutique, artisanal beauty brands that are obsessed with sourcing clean ingredients from sustainable sources.
5. Do a beauty products audit
We’d suggest you go through your makeup bag and medicine closet and do a beauty products audit. Trust us, you’ll be thankful you did it! Just a heads up that it may be time to say goodbye to those favourite products that (sadly) contain scary, synthetic ingredients including serious skin-strippers, cancer-causing chemicals and remember to say no to microbeads (save the fishes, wildlife and yourself!) The upside is that you can find new favourites that are natural and good-for-you!
6. Give yourself a beauty reset
Begin a clean slate and choose a new normal - to hydrate and nourish your skin with nature’s goodness such as aloe vera extracts, invigorating essential oils, unrefined shea butter, organic coconut oil and antioxidant-rich botanicals like acai, rosehips and blackberry. Be free to experiment the many clean products out there and gradually begin a swap of your conventional picks with safe and effective natural alternatives. Not to worry, you’ll get the same ultra-clean, dirt and impurity-free feel with natural scrub-a-dub exfoliants, without stripping your skin of its natural oils or clogging your pores with toxins.
At PurelyB, we’re all for transparency about ingredients and what we feed our bodies (including our skin) with. Our experts have done the legwork for you – scrutinising ingredient lists for you to save you time and give you the peace of mind.