Well I’ve had a lovely holiday in Stockholm, but now it’s back to work! I often get asked why people should choose natural beauty products over the ‘big brands’ you find on the high street, so today I thought I’d give you my two pennies’ worth…
Better for you
I firmly believe that natural beauty products are better for your skin. They’re designed to work with your own natural oils, and to really nurture and ‘feed’ your skin. Synthetic products often give you great results to start with, but they usually don’t work in harmony with your body. Some can strip your skin of its natural oils, or upset the balance, leaving your skin feeling dry, dehydrated or sensitive. The response is often to use more product to try to get that ‘glow’ back, so you get locked into a cycle of dependency.
Better for your health
The jury is still out on this one. All the chemicals included in beauty products have been deemed to be safe for topical use. However, lots have also been shown to be detrimental in larger quantities. Phthalates, for example, are sometimes used in cosmetics and beauty products, to ‘fix’ colour and scent. They’re known to be endocrine-disrupters and have been linked to cancer and the early onset of puberty. Now, in beauty products, they’re used in such a small amount, that it’s very unlikely they’ll cause any problems. However, we use so many products every day, from shampoo and perfume, to washing up liquid and cling-film, that we can end up exposed to a real cocktail of chemicals. So some people (like me) prefer to err on the side of caution and avoid phthalates and the like, wherever possible.
Better for the environment
Natural beauty products are usually better for the environment, on lots of levels. For example, when a natural shampoo gets washed down the drain and traces end up in rivers and seas, it’s likely to have a less harmful effect on marine life than one packed full of chemicals.
I use a lot of beeswax in my creams and balms, so keep a lot of bees. As I’m sure you know, bees are having a hard time lately and we need them to pollinate our food and plants, so it’s always good to give them a helping hand!
Not all natural products are better for the environment though. Some use rare ingredients, or ones that are very energy intensive to farm. Again, it’s always worth checking, and never be afraid to ask questions.
Better for animals
Most natural beauty brands are cruelty free, though it’s always worth checking. None of my products are tested on animals, and I haven’t had any of the ingredients tested either. My products have been tested on humans, not bunnies!
Better for the community
Of course, there are the social aspects too. Natural beauty brands tend to be smaller businesses, whose profits go back into the community, rather than to fat cat shareholders.
But don’t be fooled
A warning here; when I talk about natural beauty, I mean real natural beauty. Don’t be fooled by the marketing spiel; it’s pretty easy for a product to proclaim that it’s 90% natural if the main ingredient is water. You want to check what’s left out, as well as what’s included. Personally, I avoid synthetic parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, artificial perfumes and colourants.
If you’re wondering where to start with your new natural beauty routine, I’d recommend swapping your moisturiser and seeing how you get on. My day cream contains only natural oils and waxes, such as shea butter. It’s high in antioxidants and fatty acids, so really nourishes your skin, and it contains no ‘nasties’! Let me know how you get on!