Those of you who have followed my blog since the beginning of Hello Healing will know that I try to provide information to do well by our bodies, our kids and our environment and for those of you who are new here, welcome along the journey! So first things first…
What is clean beauty?
Clean beauty means products that are made from non-toxic ingredients, instead they are made from completely natural ingredients. Most products that you see on the shelves on the high-street or that you buy online from department stores are not natural and are made from toxic ingredients which are linked to multiple hazardous health effects. You probably are wondering how they ended up on the shelves in the first place if they are toxic and have associated health risks, so you will be surprised to know that the lack of policy for personal care products and the rules and regulations for beauty products within the EU are actually not very strict. Unfortunately it’s a very poorly regulated industry, which may come as a slight shock and is a disaster for our health and the environment.
Why does turning clean matter?
Your skin is your bodies second largest organ so we really should treat it with kindness! Let’s take a minute to think about your skin as if it was your stomach, would you want to fill your stomach on a daily basis with processed foods full of refined sugar, stabilisers, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, additives and colourings? I don’t think so. So why would you want the same thing for your skin? Whatever we put on our skin ends up in our bodies because it absorbed via the bloodstream so it’s time to think twice about what products you are putting on your skin and ultimately your body.
What does this mean for people with chronic illness?
When you are sick, your immune system is compromised and your body doesn’t deal with toxins as well they used to. This means that it’s important to reduce the toxic load on our body to give it the best chance of healing and recovery. It’s known as the ‘load phenomenon’ when the body acquires so many toxins through the air we breathe in, the food we eat and the products we put on our skin – once this gets so high our body will start to product symptoms such as fatigue, pain, brain fog, headaches etc so it’s important to reduce the toxic load on our bodies as much as possible. One of the easiest ways to do this is via our skin!
Ingredients to look out for
Some of the most important chemicals to look out for are parabens (common preservatives that make our products have a longer shelf life / last longer. Parabens are endocrine disruptors which are chemical compounds that have the ability to mimic our bodies own hormones leading to changes in hormone levels causing illnesses such as thyroid disorders, mood disorders and birth defects. Phthalates (used to keep products soft) are also known endocrine disruptors and are carcinogenic (cancer causing). Sodium Laurel Sulphates (SLS) (used to create the ‘foaming’ technique) cause skin irritation. Aluminium is used in a wide range of deodorants to block the sweat ducks from releasing sweat to the surface of the skin. However, aluminium has been found to be linked to increased rates of breast cancer near the site of absorption on the skin as well as diseases such as Alzheimers. Mineral oils are moisturising agents sourced from petroleum and are also carcinogenic. These are the most important ingredients to stay away from so always check your labels!
How do you know if a product is completely natural?
One of the most important things to be aware of is that just because a product say’s natural / clean / green / eco on the front or advertises itself as natural it doesn’t actually mean that it is. Companies are allowed to write whatever they want on packaging with no rules or regulations. They are also fully aware that there is a huge shift in consumer shopping habits and that people want to shop ‘cleaner’ so they advertise themselves as natural even though they are not because they know this is what you want to buy. This falsely leads you to thinking you are buying products that are safe for your health when they are definitely not. This is not okay because we all deserve to know what is in our products. My top tip when shopping for natural products is to always check the labels and read the whole way through! Especially if a product is claiming to be natural, organic, green or eco and nontoxic. There is an AMAZING app you can use called ‘Think Dirty’ which tells you how clean millions of products actually are. Get downloading!
Why is shopping organic even better?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that a product is either natural or organic but a product can be natural and non-organic or it can be both, natural and organic. It’s important for your skincare to be completely natural but being organic as well means it’s even more non-toxic because the ingredients are in the purest form. Organic means the natural ingredients used in the products which are plant derived are also grown without the use of nasty chemicals. Natural simply means products are derived from natural sources without adding synthetic compounds but as you can see shopping organic takes things to a whole new level!
At home we try to be as non-toxic as possible, especially now I have baby Noah I want to protect his health (we don’t use a lot on him at all, mainly burts bees nappy cream when needed and neals yard). I’ve spoken to my clients who are really into ‘clean beauty’ to find out which products they recommend and I’ve looked at all the natural beauty products on the market (that are actually natural!), as well as visiting Tranquility a natural and organic beauty store when I was in The Midlands recently to share with you some of my favourites!
SHOPPING WITH CHEMICAL SENSITIVITIES
Green People is a UK based brand which is amazing if you suffer with chemical sensitivities like a lot of my patients do because they offer a natural and organic range which is completely scent free. There products are based on organic plant extracts and other natural ingredients so it’s also perfect for those with sensitive skin. It’s also vegan friendly, cruelty free and never tested on animals! The only downside to Green People is that it is quite expensive but for people with chemical sensitivities there isn’t much other option! @greenpeopleuk
Shea is a relatively new brand based in Staffordshire, they offer a scent free range which is free-from scent, essential oils (those who are chemically sensitive can even react to natural essential oils) and it’s even free-from water! Ideal for those with chemical sensitivities. They sell hand cream, face cream and body cream and all of the products are also made from 100% organic ingredients so they are in the purest form you can find. None of the products are tested on animals so are cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. A bonus is the packaging of the scent free range is plastic free! @sheagoddess78
Sukin is an Australian brand (a lot of the best clean skincare brands hail from Australia and New Zealand) which offer completely natural skincare at a relatively affordable price! Sukin products are completely natural and free from petroleum / mineral oils, synthetic fragrance, animal derivatives, artificial colourings, harsh detergents, parabons, phthalates and sulphates, all of which you want to avoid! Their products are made from plant oils, fruits, vegetables, essential oils and botanical plants, they are never tested on animals so are suitable for vegans as they are cruelty free. If you are going to buy anything I highly recommend their facial scrubs! @sukinskincare
Antipodes is an amazing certified organic skin care brand from New Zealand, it’s much more luxurious and high end than Sukin so it’s great if you want to treat yourself or buy as a present for someone. Antipodes is a premium natural and organic skincare brand which use organic ingredients wherever possible, Antipodes is said to be the rolls-royce of natural skincare. It’s also cruelty-free and vegan friendly! I really recommend their eye creams, either the kiwi seed oil eye-cream or the manuka honey skin-brightening eye cream. @antipodesskincare
SHAMPOO + CONDITIONER + SHOWER GEL
Faith in Nature is a UK based brand with over 40 years of experience specialising in natural skin care and hair care products that are also vegan-friendly and cruelty free. The products are made from herbal extract, essential oils and and organic oils just as nature intended. It’s also relatively affordable so I definitely recommend, we use this brand at home and LOVE the aloe vera shampoo! The best thing about this brand is that they offer refillable products so they work with independent shops across the country where you can go in and refill your bottles once they run out to help reduce single use plastic waste which in turn helps reduce the damaging impact on the environment. @faithinnature_uk
Urtekram is Scandinavia’s larges certified organic wholesaler. This Danish company was inspired by the founder’s pioneering spirit to make the world a little bit greener. They offer multiple different ranges of shampoos, conditioners and shower gels with super gorgeous packaging! If you look up Urtekram on the ‘think dirty’ app I mentioned earlier on, they are one of the cleanest brands out there which wins bonus points with me. @urtekram
Salt of the Earth is the brand we always use at home! It’s a UK based company which have created deodorants made from 100% natural ingredients that are vegan friendly. They offer a range of deodorants so you can choose which one works best for you including, scent-free, spray deodorant, roll-on deodorant an they have recently created one that’s plastic free! @saltoftheearthdeodrant
Earth Conscious deodorant has been a market leader for plastic free deodorants the last few years. They are a UK based company made on the Isle of White who have created effective deodorants without compromising the natural ingredients, they contain no aluminium, parabens, carcinogens or known toxins. The packing is 100% recyclable so they are super eco-friendly and they donate 10p from every sale of deodorant to the marine conversation society to help support the welfare and the conservation of marine life. @earthconciousuk
TOOTHPASTE + MOUTHWASH
My favourite toothpaste which we use at home is Aloe Dent because it doesn’t contain SLS and is fluoride free! Fluoride is a really important ingredient to look out for because its highly toxic and linked to multiple hazardous health effects such as kidney disease, brain effects and even cancer. It’s generally used to help protect teeth enamel but I would really advise to stay away and go fluoride free!
The best places to buy these products from online are Holland & Barrett, Naturismo, Planet Organic, Big Green Smile and Ethical Superstore. I hope you enjoyed this blog and feel more powerful and informed so you can make conscious choices about your beauty and skin care. At the end of the day the way we spend our money is what makes the greatest change, currency is the way to have the greatest impact on the future of our health and our planet. By doing this we will one day be able to ensure that all products are clean and safe. This is not about being perfect because perfection doesn’t exist and it isn’t real life, this is just about making better decisions to ultimately help you, your health, your family as well as the environment. I would love to hear from you and your experiences with clean beauty, if you have any products you recommend then please let me know!
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