If you read anything in the beauty space, you’ll have noticed a lot of conversation surrounding the term clean beauty. It sounds lovely doesn’t it? But does it have a specific meaning? What does it mean to actually switch to clean beauty? We believe it is really important to understand the science behind clean beauty and to understand the reasons why we at Vanessa Megan Skincare are so passionate about removing chemicals from the parts of our lives where they simply shouldn’t be.
First of all, let's look at the word “chemical” and how the term is used in the world of science, and in the world of beauty. A chemical (or chemical substance) is a form of matter that has specific and constant properties. It cannot be separated down into smaller components, and this means they are essentially “pure” – they are one thing, not a mixture of things. An example of a chemical is “water” – it always has the same ratio of hydrogen and oxygen in it (H20) no matter where you find it. What this means is that a chemical is essentially neither good nor bad – it just is. Clean beauty isn’t necessarily chemical free. A better way to talk about clean beauty is to say, “harmful chemical free”.
When making the switch to clean beauty it is important to be educated on which skincare chemicals to avoid. That’s why we have created a comprehensive list we like to call, “VM’s Nasty Nine” (click the link to access our free ebook on The Nasty Nine) which details all the commonly used chemicals we recommend that you avoid and that we will never put into our skincare. They are:·
· Mineral Oils – a petroleum by-product that suffocates skin.
· Alcohol – dries out your skin and aggravates skin conditions like pigmentation.
· Pthalates – are linked to endocrine disruption.
· PEGs – contain dioxins that have been linked with severe health disorders.
· SLS-SLES – can cause inflammation and irritation.
· Parabens – preservatives that have been linked to hormone problems.
· Coal Tar Dyes – a recognised carcinogen.
· Silicone – actually slows down cell renewal.
· Formaldehyde – can aggravate and cause dermatitis and is a recognised carcinogen.
Armed with that knowledge, it is time to switch out products that use these chemicals, either because they are cheap or readily available, and change your beauty regime to incorporate clean, natural products full of ingredients that do absolutely no harm. Here are some suggestions for products you can switch out immediately.
a lot of cleansers use sulphates and PEGs to thicken them and make them foam. They end up being counter productive in terms of doing as much damage to your skin and they do cleaning. A better option is a cleanser that uses olive emulsifiers, natural oils and fruit extracts to clean the skin without stripping it or aggravating any existing conditions.
Explore our range of natural cleansers here.
one of the most common ingredients used in toners is alcohol. This has an incredibly drying effect, particularly on freshly cleansed skin so one easy and highly effective clean switch is from an alcohol based toner to a natural mist. Look for water based mists with natural oils like rose and sandalwood, and if you are looking for something to specifically heal a skin problem, look for colloidal minerals as well.
Explore our range of natural toners here.
we’ve all heard about how much lip product we eat every year (it’s a little under a kilogram!) so it can’t come as a surprise that one of the best clean beauty switches you can make is your lip balm. Out with all petroleum and mineral oil products and in with beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter and all sorts of natural oils like jojoba, hemp, coconut and sunflower. These will keep your lips soft and won’t harm you if they accidentally get swallowed with your morning coffee.
Explore our organic lip balm here.
one of the most toxic products that people put on their bodies are perfumes. Traditional perfumes are a cocktail of artificial scents, alcohols and phthalates. Across multiple scientific studies chemicals used in perfumes have been found to be allergens, hormone disruptors, asthma triggers, neurotoxins and carcinogens. These can be switched out for clean natural perfumes that use a water base, essential oils like lavender, geranium, patchouli and all-natural preservatives.
Explore our natural perfumes here.
candles can be quite tricky when it comes to a clean switch because not all candles list their ingredients. Most candles will be made of one of three ingredients: beeswax, soy wax or paraffin wax. Beeswax is limited in supply and quite expensive, so many candles are either soy or paraffin. Paraffin wax is a petroleum by-product that has to be industrially bleached to make it white. This bleaching process leaves it full of dioxins which fill the air of your house as you burn the candle. They have many long term health effects. Not to mention many candles are scented with perfumes – remember our chat about perfumes?
Explore our natural candles here.
It isn’t complicated to make the shift to clean beauty. In fact, once you understand ingredients and their effects on the body, it is actually very hard not to make the switch. There are so many powerful, natural ingredients available to solve skin concerns naturally and at VM we continue to research, test and deliver these in our skin care. We recommend starting with our Starter Pack or Holy Trinity to ease you into making the clean switch. As Vanessa has always said, “you should never put anything on your skin you couldn’t eat”, so if you would put your skincare anywhere near your mouth, it’s time to consider the clean switch.