While some wellness trends come and go (remember jade eggs?), the clean beauty trend has steadily gained momentum over the last few years. In fact, one Harper’s Bazaar survey even found that 50% of women have at least one clean beauty item in their make-up bag.
But if you’re nervous about making the switch or find the whole topic confusing, here are five reasons you should consider jumping on the clean beauty bandwagon.
You’ll avoid a chemical cocktail
Did you know that up to 60% of the chemicals applied on our skin are actually able to enter our bloodstream? It’s a scary thought, especially considering that the average woman uses 12-15 beauty products a day. A recent study by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group estimated that this adds up to roughly 168 toxins being applied to our skin, including carcinogens, hormone disruptors, parabens, synthetic preservatives, chemicals, neurotoxins and pesticides. That’s a lot of toxins for your body to have to deal on a regular basis, and this can have an effect on how we feel, how we look and on our overall health. Clean beauty brands, on the other hand, use non-toxic, chemical-free ingredients from Mother Earth to nourish your skin without the nasties. Instead, the focus is on natural ingredients that work alongside the body’s natural functions to improve not only the appearance of your skin but also the health of our body. It’s skincare you can feel good about using. If you would like to go one step further, look for certified organic beauty products as these have an emphasis on non-toxic, organically grown ingredients.
You can trust your beauty bag
While it’s true that the beauty industry in Australia has a range of regulations surrounding labelling and ingredients, these regulations aren’t as watertight as you’d hope and there are various loopholes used by many brands to include ingredients that are harmful and cheap to produce. If you buy your beauty and skincare products from the US or Europe, the regulations are even more relaxed, so your online purchases might be doing you much more harm than good. Clean beauty brands, on the whole, label their products clearly and list their ingredients. They take the time to create products that work with the skin, to nourish it and provide essential nutrients for your body. Not sure which clean beauty products are right for your skin? As a rule, it’s best to choose your beauty and skincare products, like you choose your food; by reading the labels, knowing what is in them and understanding how their ingredients affect your health.
You’ll avoid animal testing
Another way clean beauty brands are distinguishing themselves from their big brand competitors is their focus on cruelty-free practises. Most Australian clean beauty brands are either made in ethically run factories overseas or produced locally in small quantities. They carry a ‘Cruelty Free’ label and are not tested on animals in any way. In contrast, some of the most well-known beauty brands on the market do test on animals, and some countries even require animal testing before a product can be sold to humans. To make sure the brands you use are free from animal testing, look for ‘Cruelty Free’ or ‘Not Tested on Animals’ labelling. This indicates that no animals were harmed in the production of their products and if you’d like to remove animal products all together, you can also look for ‘vegan’ and ‘vegan-friendly’ skincare. That means you won’t find ingredients such as pollen, collagen, lanolin and keratin, beeswax or honey.
You can lessen your footprint
If you’re worried about your personal impact on the environment, you’re not alone. A recent study from Planet Ark found that 90% of Australians are concerned with environmental sustainability. One way to lower your own impact is to look for everyday products that have a focus on sustainability and recyclable packaging. This goes for household goods, foods and beauty products. Whereas mass produced products tend to lean heavily on cost effective plastics and one-use substances, ethical clean beauty brands choose packaging that can be recycled or reused and have less of an impact on the environment. They opt for glass packaging, recycled or recyclable plastics, cardboard and sustainable postage/ mailers. Every little bit helps, and clean beauty brands know it.
You’ll get effective results
Apart from the feel-good factor of using Mother Nature’s plant-based products and reducing your own personal carbon footprint, one of the most compelling reasons to switch to clean beauty is that it works. Effective results by clean beauty brands come from the careful selection of ingredients and the fact that there are no harmful chemicals to agitate your skin and no endocrine or hormone disruptors to confuse your body. If in doubt, look for clean beauty brands with testimonials, read reviews and trial products for yourself – find what works for your skin and invest in clean beauty for your sake, as well as Mother Nature’s. Think of it as a small act of environmental activism with a big impact on your skin.
Written by Lucy E Cousins