Wanting to switch to a Clean Beauty routine is a great idea in theory. Except, the entire process can seem daunting and cumbersome. Especially when you have to go through labels of unrecognisable ingredients that belong to your extravagant beauty regime. Have no fear, we are here to tell you that cleaning up your act does not have to be so difficult. Read on to find out about our foolproof guide to Clean Beauty!
What is Clean Beauty?
Clean Beauty consists of products that are made without toxic ingredients that would otherwise be harmful or potentially harmful to human health. These toxic ingredients include Parabens, Sulphates, Mineral Oil, Phthalates, Chemical Sunscreen, Aluminium, and Heavy Metals. While it may be difficult to believe that beauty companies include these ingredients in their products in the first place, the fact is that they do. Shockingly, this practice is very common as well as perfectly legal in many countries, including India.
Apart from non-toxic ingredients, transparent labels are another important factor of Clean Beauty. Listing out each and every ingredient that is used in a product may seem like the most basic ethical practice. However, many companies are not completely transparent on their labels. For example, fragrance is not an ingredient. Yet, many brands can hide about 3,163 harmful ingredients under the ambiguous umbrella term “fragrance” or “parfum.” Another example of a lack of transparency is when companies falsely label their products with buzzwords such as “natural” and “eco” to attract conscious consumers. This is known as greenwashing.
Clean Beauty is more than just transparent labels and non-toxic ingredients. It aims to use formulations that are more nourishing for the skin, taking into account the purity of non-toxic ingredients and their compatibility with the skin.
Why make the switch to Clean Beauty?
For your health - Did you know that about 60% of the chemicals that you apply topically on your skin can enter your bloodstream? Everyone knows that skin is the largest organ in the body. Hence, the toxic chemicals it absorbs can lead to allergies, birth defects, cancer and other serious health problems. Do you know women ingest an average of 4kgs of lipstick & lip glosses in their lifestime. . Phthalates are often found in shampoos, perfumes, deodorants and lotions and are known as endocrine disruptors as they are responsible for various health issues. Remember that the products you use are essentially food for your skin. If you do not drink crude oil, why would you choose to put it on your skin?
For the environment - While you are saving yourself from harmful ingredients, you are also saving the environment. This is because products affect the environment in two ways - the product itself and its packaging. A product can be determined as to how clean it really is depending on their manufacturing processes. Is the packaging recyclable? Does the supply chain network reduce its carbon footprint? Owing to the rise of conscious consumers, several companies have switched up their manufacturing and packaging processes. For instance, at Sublime Life, we package our products in recycled boxes. We have even gone a step further to include a Seed Paper, which can be planted later on.
How to switch to Clean Beauty in 5 easy steps?
- Audit what you already have - The first step is to take all of your skincare, haircare, and makeup products and lay them out to see what you have, what you use, and most importantly, what you DO NOT need. Think of this as a detox. If you have been hoarding products, try your best to minimise your routine, without compromising on what is essential for your skin. Chances are you do not really require 5 tubes of lipsticks that are belong to the same shade. Throw out anything that is expired. Only keep things you use on a day to day basis. This is a small yet critical step because less products means less chemicals.
- Investigate your current products - After you have finalised the products you want to keep, it is time to go Sherlock Holmes on them. Find out their toxicity and safety levels. Research about the brands’ manufacturing and packaging process to ensure they do not leave behind huge carbon footprints. Read the labels on your products closely and educate yourself about the unfamiliar terms you come across. In case you can’t find anything useful on the labels, try looking at the brands’ website for more transparency and information. This step is essential to understand why you are using what you are using. You slowly begin to realise how harmful and dirty these products are in reality, which strengthens your resolve to switch to Clean Beauty.
- Make informed decisions - Now that you know you want to take the Clean Beauty journey, you need to be more cautious than ever before. There are several brands that claim to be “organic” and “natural” to gain trust and popularity among conscious consumers. Beware of these greenwashing techniques and always do your own research. By this time, you should have mastered reading ingredients on the labels (even the text in fine print)! Before you invest in any Clean Beauty brand, read product reviews to know other people’s experience with it. Most importantly, always, always, always do patch tests before you commit to a product. This will help you understand your skin’s reaction to the clean product’s ingredients.
- Replace your products strategically - Disposing everything you own at one go and buying Clean Beauty products can be financially tiring. Instead, take it slow. Try replacing some of the easier items that you use frequently. Using known and reputed websites to shop for Clean Beauty always helps. Check return policies and try to get samples. Following Clean Beauty bloggers on Instagram helps in understanding how to use different products. They may even have special codes that will give you discounts.
- Change your mindset - This is more of a tip than a step. Remember that you are doing this for yourself. You do not need to fit in someone else’s idea of beauty. Adopting a more holistic and minimal approach to life will teach you so much more than you imagined!
What are some easy and important Clean Beauty swaps?
Detoxing your existing beauty routine can be much simpler if you make these small 5 changes:
1. Natural Deodorant - Unlike your regular deodorants and antiperspirants, natural deodorants are Aluminum-free. They detox all the chemicals that have been blocking your sweat glands, which makes your body odour smell better. We recommend Citrus Flower by First Water Solutions.
2. Clean Sun Protection - Sunblock is the most powerful anti-ager in existence. At the same time, chemical sunscreen is one of the biggest skin irritants. Worse, they wear off in about two hours, thus, not even helping much. A clean sunblock calms the skin and wears off only until you wash or sweat it off. The Natural Day Cream by Etsley is perfect for UV rays, pollution, and a digital onscreen life.
3. Clean Lipstick - You consume a large proportion of what you put on your lips. With conventional lipstick, you eat dyes such as petroleum and plasticizers. These are so dangerous that they are not even allowed in food. Instead, you can use Fae Beauty’s Buildable Matte Lipsticks that are hydrating and long lasting.
4. Clean Shampoo - Hair products are filled with toxins that can damage your hair permanently. Using clean shampoos will no longer strip your hair of its natural oils as they do not contain industrial Sulfates. The Natural Protein Shampoo by The Mom’s Co does not rob your hair’s protein. It strengthens and prevents your hair from dandruff and breakage.
5. Clean Exfoliant/Scrub - There is a common misconception that Clean Beauty is less powerful. But in reality, it is the opposite of that. Instead of using fillers and texturisers, clean exfoliants and scrubs are power packed with active ingredients that reach the deepest parts of your pores and cleans it. Myra Veda’s Hawaiian Mud & Seaweed Scrub leaves the skin feeling revitalised, softer, smoother and generously glowing.
To wrap this up, the Clean Beauty movement has been around for quite some time now. It is only gaining more popularity as time passes by because everyone wants to use products that are beautifully (and sustainably) packaged, good for the skin, good for the environment, without compromising on efficacy. Start your Clean Beauty journey today!
- By Tanvi Savani