Last night I took part in a talk on natural and organic beauty at Tanya’s Cafe. If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend it, it is a plant based raw food restaurant with the most delicious food. Last night we were treated to cold pressed green juices, russian borsche and green alkaline soup and the most amazing acai macaroons. Definitely worth a visit.
I was on the panel talking about my green beauty journey and giving tips on how anyone can green their make-up bags. I was joined by Nicola Nolan who was speaking on behalf of the Soil Association, so she spoke about green washing and how looking for the Soil Association label can really help to make the journey easier. Also speaking was Suzanne Colston-Lynch from Neal’s Yard Remedies who spoke about positive ageing and what ingredients we want in our skincare – antioxidants were high on the list..
I spoke about how hard it used to be when there weren’t many options for natural beauty. There was a stigma of natural beauty being earthy tones and chalky textures and it was true. Fortunately that has all changed and what is available to us now is amazing. There has never been a better time to green your beauty routines. I said to start to read ingredient labels like you do your food. I think that is important, it’s really good to know what is in your products. However you don’t need a science degree I meant to add. I go through phases of knowing what all the long words mean and then the next week I forget! The more you read though the more you’ll become accustomed to them, and start to have an idea of what is in there and whether you’d like to use it or not.
I got asked the question what ingredients to avoid – it’s always a tricky question as people want to know but you could give a list as long as your arm, so many of which have such conflicting views. I said a few of the ones I like to avoid for makeup – mineral oils, artificial fragrance, loose talc, to go for mineral colour when you can, I think I even mentioned the infamous parabens, which I personally do to choose to avoid. However Nic said something which summed it up brilliantly – it really is a personal choice. You have to decide what you want to avoid and for what reason for yourself. What made you switch to natural and organic beauty in the first place – was it an ingredient thing, was it animal welfare, are you a vegan… No-one can tell anyone what to do, and it shouldn’t be about scaremongering. I hope that is what I’ve always done, by showcasing the capabilities of green beauty it’s hopefully inspired people to want to try it. I love to create beautiful images through my work and then the fact that the products were all natural or organic is an added bonus. It should be about people wanting to use these products because they are amazing not because they’re scared of using more ‘conventional’ products. For me ingredients are important, but also out of professional necessity, of course so is performance. My kit still isn’t completely natural or organic but it’s much nearer than it used to be. We’re all on our own journey for different reasons, all trying to do good, so it shouldn’t be about comparisons either.
It’s up to you how geeky you want to go with product and ingredient research. However one of the key things that came out of the night was don’t stress. Stress is one of the number one agers, so majorly conflicting if it is a cleaner lifestyle you’re after. I’ve seen it many times that people can go a bit crazy and just chuck everything away over night. Do it slowly slowly switching one thing at a time. It’s much better for your bank balance but also for your skin. Suddenly changing everything could confuse your skin resulting in a reaction. Also natural and organic beauty doesn’t contain the mineral oils and synthetic ingredients so it will act differently on your skin. Your skin will be able to breathe for one so therefore you may find your skin has a little purge – don’t worry this doesn’t always happen but if it does, just sit tight and let it do it’s thing, it will be all the better for it.
Change products in as they run out and then you can see what really works for you. Think about what you use the most and maybe change that first. If you have a colour that you really love then don’t stress about it, save it for the weekend and have an alternative for during the week. Make-up is a really fun enjoyable thing and buying lipstick is a pleasure in life so please don’t make it a stress!
What are your thoughts? Why do you choose greener beauty and how have you ‘cleaned’ up your routine?