Clean, green beauty is considered to be 100% natural and/or organic cosmetics that are sustainably and ethically produced, and contain no synthetic or potentially toxic ingredients.
However, because there is no concrete definition or regulation body in the beauty industry, anyone can put something in a bottle and call it natural, non-toxic or green…. and they do.
Truly natural, clean or green beauty products should contain 90 percent naturally-derived ingredients and be free from all synthetics. The natural ingredients must also manufactured “with appropriate processes” to maintain ingredient purity and should not be tested on animals. On the other hand, according to Australian Certified Organic (ACO) “for a product to be truly organic or certified organic, it must contain at least 95 percent organic content”. For a product to be allowed to have the “made with organic ingredients† statement it must contain 70-95% of organic content and also be from all toxic and synthetic ingredients.
This means that you need to be looking at your makeup labels the same way you look at your food labels to make sure you’re nourishing your skin with truly clean, green non toxic ingredients.
Why is going clean and non toxic so important?
1. Exposure to Chemicals
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), “we apply an average of 126 unique ingredients to our skin daily through our cosmetics and personal care products”. Most of which are toxins and synthetic chemicals that are known skin irritants, endocrine disrupters and carcinogens – not exactly what you want on your skin or in your body!
Research in 2009 by Bionsen amplifies this number by showing the average woman slathers, lathers, scrubs, rubs and sprays 515 different synthetic chemicals on her body each day.
And more recently local Beauty Development Chemist Amanda from Realize Beauty counted 250 in a DIY.
That’s still a lot of chemicals to absorb over a life time. You just have to think about the way nicotine patches work to realise that what you’re putting on your skin can be absorbed directly into your body.
On top of that we eat at least 10kg lipstick in a lifetime! That’s what got me into the Beauty Kitchen creating Lip Nourish as most lipstick are made from petroleum based oils, silicones, synthetic fragrances and colours. Who wants to digest those ingredients. And, again and again toxic metals are found in everyday lipsticks (the bright reds are more susceptible) Ref: Berkeley: Poison Lips: Troubling levels of toxic metals found in cosmetics .
If this isn’t enough to make you go green, a recent Australian report published in the International Journal of Chemistry compared natural beauty products to the chemical-based ones and determined that natural beauty products are actually better for your skin and show better results!
The sad fact is, most people have no idea that ingredients in makeup and skin care products can be harmful to their health…..until something happens.
But that is starting to change.
How do you go clean and non-toxic?
Here’s our guide to help you #maketheswitch to clean, non-toxic beauty products
1. Watch the Story of Cosmetics. You’ll be amazed.
2. Visit the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics It’s a NFP launched in 2004 to protect the health of consumers and workers by securing the corporate, regulatory and legislative reforms necessary to eliminate dangerous chemicals from cosmetics and personal care products.
3. Take a look at the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, the worlds largest and most popular product safety guide. Skin Deep assesses 68,000 personal care products using the most reputable science sources, and assigns each product a score from 0-10 (10 is most toxic).
4. Look at your products ingredient statements. Decide how clean you want to go. Remember, stress is beauty’s enemy so be reasonable – change your products on your own terms, on finding similar performing offers and within your budget. Remember you have heaps of products: your make up purse, face care products, body balms, hand creams, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, exfoliators, toothpaste, nail polish, hand wash, body wash or soap.
5. Eliminate products that contain ingredients on David Suzuki’s Dirty Dozen or choose the Dirty Thirty or download the App ($7.50) for the Chemical Maze – Complete Ed. by Bill Statham. It’s your goto guide for cosmetics ingredients and food additives in Australia.
6. Be careful when buying. Check the ingredient statements and if they are not disclosed online or on pack – don’t buy it – they are most likely hiding something.
7. Simplify your beauty routine and discard the age old advice that we need to use so many products: cleansers, toners, serums, day an night moisturisers, separate products for eyes and lips and hands and body…..!
8. Start to make some of your own products Eg All over Body Moisturising oil rich in omega 3 + skin nourishing oils to use in the shower or a brown sugar scrub. Saves time and money and you’ll never have dry skin again.
9. Have a look at your make up – what items do you use constantly? Foundation/tint/BB cream, lip sticks, balms and glosses, mascara, start making changes with the ‘highest’ impacting products.
10. Find products that work and you’ll love – look for product reviews that you trust, read recommendations and testimonials from users. Jump into a beauty forum. Ask for samples.
So exactly what ingredients should you be looking out for? Take a look at my guide on how to detox your makeup bag and Toss the Toxins because at lük we are also about enhancing your natural beauty with truly natural, skin healthy makeup made from food, and not covering it and layering with thick makeup and over the top colours.
2. Sustainable Packaging
The use of packaging which results in improved sustainability by reducing the environmental impact and ecological footprint is essential. Ideally products should look at the entire supply chain from product thru to marketing and then the end of the product life and rebirth. At luk we threw away the box and wrapped out lipstick in re-usable fabric that doubles as a glass cleaner.
3. Cruelty Free
Going green is also about adopt a cruelty-free ethic whereby products are not tested on animals. Most green beauty bands consciously and actively campaign for an end to animal testing of cosmetics, toiletries and other household products. Now that is something to smile about. At lük it is a given we are cruelty free.
So, next time you hit the beauty shelves, be sure to read the ingredients list, look at the product claims go green and be a natural beauty!
At lük that means a woman doesn’t need to cover up or hide behind makeup – she simply needs to highlight her natural beauty. Through eating the right foods, having a balanced lifestyle and nourishing your skin with the right products, you will glow…but not green!
Got a natural beauty question? Comment below or follow us on instagram for more #cleanbeauty #tossthetoxins tips.
For more information search our site for blog posts that will keep you up to date to make your transition to clean, non-toxic beauty products a little easier.
Image source: Tx to our gorgeous customer Celeste of jacuzzibubbles.com all the way over on the French Riviera.