10 clean beauty swaps to try this autumn
This blog can also be found at Remix Magazine.
The old adage goes: 'you are what you eat', so we prioritise going organic versus pesticide-ridden fruit and veg. We consciously choose to fuel our bods with nature's finest, untouched produce to keep our bods healthy and strong.
But, why aren’t we thinking about the rest of our body? What you eat is just as important as what you use on your body. Did you know it takes 26 seconds for products applied to your skin to enter your bloodstream? Neither. But we didn’t always know our Palmarosa Oil from our Parabens either, so we’re learning.
Check out our 10 clean beauty swaps to switch up your beauty regimen this autumn.
1. Cleanser Traditional face wipes and foaming cleansers are full of synthetic preservatives that help them retain their moisture. When you use these to ‘cleanse’ your skin, you leave residual irritants and free radicals on your skin. Natural products, such as oil cleansers, provide your skin with nutrient-rich ingredients that nourish skin without stripping it of it’s natural lipid barrier.
2. Deodorant Endocrine disruptors and potential carcinogens are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to antiperspirant and deodorant. Patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer are usually given advice to immediately quit using synthetic deodorants. Not only is underarm skin extra delicate, shaving, waxing or laser treatments can increase the absorption rate of ingredients into skin. Swap your antiperspirant out for a natural version packed with ingredients that soothe like aloe vera or shea butter.
3. Eyeshadow Your wider eye area is one of the most sensitive on the entire body - nowhere else can a misplaced eyelash do so much damage. Huge fan of the smoky eye? You may want to check the contents of your eyeshadow palette. Commonly used aluminum powder is a neuro-toxin that interferes with the body’s natural cellular and metabolic processes. Long-term exposure can result in an inability to excrete mercury, hence making any mercury in your body more toxic.
4. Foundation Skin is your body’s largest organ, so every time you cover up a zit with synthetic foundation or concealer, you’re potentially creating ten more! Daily use of petrochemicals, parabens or talc then removing your makeup using natural skincare is like being healthy everyday - but then indulging in dessert. Swap comedogenic foundation for a lightweight foundation packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals.
5. Shampoo and Conditioner The two things you literally are massage into your scalp and inhale in a steamy environment. This clean beauty swap is quite a biggie, but can drastically decrease your exposure to harmful chemicals. Synthetic haircare can can also dry out your hair, skin, increasing the potential for psoriasis and cause hair breakage. Clean shampoo and conditioner leave industrial detergents or soaps out of their ingredient list, instead focusing on essential oils and extracts that nurture your scalp and hair.
6. Lipstick If it’s going on your lips, you’re bound to ingest at least a little of it. Modern lipsticks contain colourants that aren’t permitted in food including: plastic, petroleum, and cochineal, a red dye extracted from a species of insect. It takes an estimated 70,000 insects to make 450 grams of dye. Yuck. Not only is this animal cruelty, but who wants a dead bug smeared all over their lips?
7. Serum Cleverly marketed to be the elixirs of wrinkle-free, beautiful skin, serums can be full of ingredients that ply your skin with silicone fillers that sit on top of skin without permeating the dermal layers. At the other end of the spectrum, a probiotic serum can stimulate the skin’s natural repair process, which can help reduce the visibility of fine lines.
8. Body wash Body wash is the one thing we put basically everywhere, and you certainly don’t want to be rubbing on the kind of ingredients that dry out your skin, cause irritation after shaving, or strip your skin of it’s natural lipid layer.
9. Fake Tan There's no denying a fake bake is a whole lot better than the real deal. We've become more aware of the dangers posed by New Zealand's harsh rays, and look for our golden glow in the bottom of a bottle instead. Studies have shown some tans have an associated risk of being carcinogenic, however, certain natural formulations feature key ingredients to nourish and moisturise skin, while offering that goddess-like glow. Fake it don’t bake it has cottoned on for a reason!
10. Nail Polish Some argue the amount of nail polish you use is so insignificant it can’t hurt you, however, endocrine disruptors can still show effects even in minimal amounts. A plasticiser commonly used in nail polish to increase shine called dibutyl phthalate which causes (in rats) lifelong negative reproductive effects, and was found at its strongest levels in women of childbearing age. It’s not worth the risk if you’re pregnant to exposure your child to that when there’s so many alternatives - why not instead grab a polish that supports women and health, and the environment?