It’s time for #CleanerBeauty…..
Things really seem to be hotting up in the honesty game these days… with the #metoo campaign men had to reconsider the way they behaved with respect to women, many people are deciding to opt for not just vegetarian but a vegan diet, there has been a huge outcry about plastic recently following David Attenborough’s revelations on Blue Planet and now people are looking to clean up their beauty regime with organic and natural products as they see the impact on themselves and the world around them.
Recently I started wild swimming in Hampstead ladies pond and literally immersing oneself in nature in this way really makes you consider the impact of our beauty regime may be. What effect will the substances we choose to put onto our skin have on the wildlife once they are washed off? Indeed just because you are having a shower, as opposed to a swim in the sea, doesn’t mean your choices have any less of an impact, as we have seen from the plastic microbead scandal.
Although I remember reports of gender mutating fish as far back as 1996 when I was working as a TV researcher until recently people have been unaware of the dangers of oestrogen-mimicking chemicals or EDCs (Endocrine disruptors), such as phthalates and parabens. We now know they are linked to hormonal issues and possibly breast cancer, as well as gender disruption in our marine life.
These days the cleaner option which may have been seen as alternative, hippy dippy or even unimaginable a few years ago, is within reach of most of us both physically in its availability and increasingly financially. Just as these days it is much easier to go into a restaurant and order a vegan dish at a reasonable price, you no longer need to subject yourself to undesirables in your beauty products, or make your own in order to avoid them.
For years even top of the range beauty products have included a whole range of synthetic chemicals from Sodium Laureth Sulfate to petroleum , silicone and parabens. The label “parfum” covers a secret cocktail of toxic chemicals, because of some ridiculous legal ruling that protects perfumiers from revealing their secret “recipe” .
Until recently people have been unaware of the dangers of oestrogen mimicking chemicals, such as parabens which we now know to be linked to hormonal issues and possibly breast cancer as well as gender disruption in our marine life. Weleda has avoided microplastics from day one – microplastics are also used in toothpastes and other cosmetics, they’ve never used them and they’ve been making natural toothpastes for over 90 years! The latest addition is lovely Birch Body Scrub with pearls of beeswax.
For me I think it was when I found out that Sodium Laureth Sulphate was originally developed to clean engines that the penny dropped and I thought maybe I didn’t need quite such a deep clean on my skin! These days many of us shower/ bathe at least two or three times a week and some of us every day – not quite a grease laden engine!
Through Weleda I have found some lovely products which manage to foam just as easily without SLS, (and they smell divine!). The Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash is one of my favourites as I took a long time to renounce my regular shampoo and conditioner, but now I can do without both quite happily and if I really need a bit of extra shine, other than reapplying my Henna I also have to confess to diving for the Pomegranate Body Wash. Not only do these products not over strip my skin and hair leaving it dry and in need of moisturizing but I also feel they leave me with that natural layer of defence that we were born with – our skin, with its natural bacteria to fight the world we come into contact with.
With customers in the dark, the previous situation obviously suited the companies creating the products. Bi-products of the petroleum industry are cheap and preservatives such as parabens made for a longer shelf life all of which meant more profit. However, just as with the #metoo campaign, it seems the truth will out at some point and that is what I would call the ”Tipping point of Toxicity”. We have become so toxic that we are even allergic to foods that we have been eating for years such as meat and dairy, coming out in rashes from the slightest trigger. Obviously we are also allergic to lots of other things and as a result we have started to look more closely at the ingredients in our food and our beauty products. Some people choose to be vegan but many have no choice, likewise with our skincare products.
Some time ago didn’t think we could afford products that contained amazing things such as natural plant oils which actually absorb into our skin rather than sitting on top of it, and we have got so used to the fake smells that when we smell a true essential oil it just blows us away and get this – natural essential oils don’t just smell nice they are healing too! So when we use cleaner alternatives we are nurturing ourselves on so many levels.
So now it comes down to one question “Why would you pay money for synthetic products that literally sit on top of your skin and don’t do anything, oftenmasking the honest truth of the condition of your skin and on top of that these ingredients could be poisoning you and the environment?!”
Jayn Sterland, Managing Director of Weleda UK, says: “For Weleda, cleaner beauty is about taking a complete holistic approach to your personal care routine, minimising the impact on the world around us and strengthening mind, body and spirit. Consumers are becoming more informed in the choices they make, highlighting their desire for the principles Weleda have held true for over 90 years. Whether it’s through the natural products we develop, our commitment to sustainability, biodynamic cultivation, nurturing our team of Wellbeing Advisors or pioneering in ethical practices, cleaner beauty runs through everything we do, and it always has”.
In my opinion Weleda really is leading the way in affordability, authenticity and sustainability in the world of natural beauty. This may be because some of its products such as Skin Food and Rosemary Invigorating Hair Tonic have been around for over 90 years and they are not having to invest in radical changes to their way of creating products. One thing that Weleda have invested in is NATRUE certification and this is because of the multitude of companies purporting to be Green or organic, but which when you look more closely at the ingredients are obviously far from it. Did you know that in order to call an uncertified product organic there only needs to be around 5% organic ingredients? The NATRUE certification is a guarantee
So what can you do to get on the Cleaner Beauty Bandwaggon??!!
My advice is to start with just one or two products and fall in love with them! You will find that with something like Skin Food for example there are so many uses and benefits – I use it as a beauty mask in bed at night and as an intensive wake up moisturiser in the morning when I feel particularly old (I think it is the citrus essential oils that revive me as much as the beeswax!) It is also great for use as a primer under makeup (that means it fills the cracks before you put your beauty balm or foundation on!) and it is really really healing – thanks to its Calendula and Iris Versicolor. Calendula is known as a great skin healer and Iris Versicolor is good for any dry itchy patches of eczema. Oh and it is also amazing on Sun burn! You can shop online at: https://www.weleda-advisor.co.uk/shop/RachaelLeffman
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As a Weleda Wellbeing Advisor I am keen to help you make choices that work for you and the environment – if you need any advice or would like to try out any of the products then please get in touch with me. Alternatively you can buy Weleda products here:
Once you have discovered the VFM of natural products you might then want to look at the number of beauty products you use every day and how you could possibly reduce your chemical intake. Every morning our bodies are bombarded by numerous synthetic ingredients hidden away in our daily routine. From foaming agents in toothpastes through to aluminium salts in our anti-perspirant. By replacing our ‘everyday essential’ products like shower gels, shampoos, deodorants and toothpastes with certified natural alternatives we can reduce the number of chemicals being used on our skin.