love your skin: coming clean on ‘clean beauty’

As a holistic facialist, I always want to understand what I’m putting onto my client’s skin. No nonsense, complete honesty, clean and true. So, with that ethos at the heart of what I do, the term ‘clean beauty’ seems to me to be misleading and not properly defined or at least means different things to different people – even the professionals. It is often used to sell us products which are in fact anything but clean in my view.

Clean beauty to me means no nasties, no-toxic ingredients and complete transparency of content. I want to know what is going into the products I use and recommend, but this can be difficult. There are major beauty brands that use the term ‘clean’ but their integrity seems questionable as they do not disclose all ingredients online or on the pack.

Conversely, the skincare brand Romilly Wilde talks about integrity through the production process and is confidently passionate about its own ‘100% clean’ credentials, as demonstrated by the complete transparency on ingredients they showed to me and publish to consumers. They say this is in response to “growing awareness in how hidden chemicals dominate our everyday lives, not just in skincare.”

To be specific about ‘no nasties’, I mean: organic certified without chemicals, no parabens, no colourings, no bleaches, no preservatives, raw ‘clean’ ingredients and no testing on animals. I would like to see a certificate of ‘clean beauty’, similar to ‘organic’ or ‘vegan’ certification, to increase consumer confidence and reduce doubt. That seems like the obvious solution but it’s a long way off and is likely to be undermined by the major cosmetic companies.

Top three ingredients to avoid
So, a quicker solution is to offer you a list of my top three ingredients to avoid and why:

– Triclosan: Used to remove bacteria and can be absorbed into the skin easily. It can interfere with hormonal functions and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

– Parabens: Preservatives used in most make-up and skincare products which has been linked to different cancers after long term use, although testing continues.

– Colorants: Look out for things like “Yellow 6”, “Blue 1”, “Red 3” as these can inflame the skin and cause irritation, block pores and disrupt oil production, potentially making acne worse.

Recommendations for ‘clean beauty’ products
On a more constructive note, here are my recommendations for ‘clean’ cleansers, serums and moisturisers – of course, without a strict definition of ‘clean’. It’s my opinion only.

Cleansers
£ Weleda Almond Soothing Cleansing Lotion
££ Halo Cleansing Elixir by NiNi Organics

Serums
£ Andalou Naturals Coconut Milk Firming Serum
£££ Rescue Osmosis

Moisturisers
££ MRL Reson8 by Marie Reynolds
£££ Night Duty Face Cream by Romilly Wilde

Justine Masters, a facialist at triyoga Ealing, offers oxygen therapy and LED light facials, along with gua sha and more. Click here to view Justine’s schedule and to book a treatment. 

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