Clean Beauty is an important part of my ethical lifestyle. I switched over to clean skincare, make-up and bodycare products about 6 years ago. For me, what I put on my body is just as important as what I put in my body. Our skin is our largest organ after all and I don’t want to be smothering it with products packed full of potentially harmful ingredients.
Shelfie! A selection of my all-time favourite natural beauty products.
To start with, my switch was driven by health concerns. Since then, I’ve become more aware of environmental and animal welfare issues. Once you know, you know and for me there’s no turning back now that I know. When you buy from reputable clean beauty companies you can be sure that you’re supporting a complete network of goodness: cruelty free; organic farming; environmentally sustainable practices; recycled or recyclable packaging; people who really care about what you’re putting on your body, the people that work for them and the impact they’re having on the environment.
If you’re thinking about making the switch, start with products that stay on your body the longest, for example, body lotions, oils, sun creams; those which penetrate the skin more deeply such as serums and deodorants; those which you’re going to eat – lip balms and lipsticks; and airborne product which you’ll inhale – perfumes, hairspray and atomised products.
You have to choose your clean beauty products carefully. There’s lots of greenwashing in the beauty industry. The Soil Association called out brands last year for using misleading labelling in their Come Clean About Beauty League Table. I was really surprised by a couple of the products on the list as they were from brands I’d previously used and trusted. If you’re unsure, Think Dirty is a brilliant app for checking products. Another tip is to look for products certified by Natrue, The Soil Association or Ecocert. They’ve all set really strict rules and standards. It’s how I pick my products.
I was delighted to see that Weleda have just been awarded the prestigious Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) certification for sourcing with respect (they’re the first brand in Europe to achieve this). I use quite a few Weleda products on a regular basis. They’re one of the only truly natural brands that can be found in most mainstream supermarkets and chemists in the UK. In fact, they’re my go to for reasonably priced skin and body care products. I’ve yet to use a product I haven’t liked and everything works. I’ve talked about Skin Food before but I’m also a huge fan of their Pomegranate range; in fact, it’s my favourite natural bodycare range.
Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Range. Certified by Natrue, smells divine, doesn’t cost a fortune, leaves my skin soft…what’s not to ❤️? The Creamy Body Wash is a firm family favourite too and has been re-named “soft soap” by the girls.
Here are my favourite summer time rituals.
Rise and Shine Eco-Shower
If you can, lock the door to avoid interruptions; set a timer if you haven’t got long to get ready. I find this helps me to enjoy the limited time I do have in the morning. Once wet, turn off the shower. Then use your favourite natural shower gel or soap to lather up (remember that natural products may not produce as much lather as conventional soaps – I think it’s a good sign not a bad thing). Take this time to just be in the moment. It’s a great way to break the stress of a hectic morning. Turn the shower back on to rinse. If you can bear it, turn the temperature down to cold for a revitalising, circulation-boosting blast. Step out of the shower, towel off and smooth on your favourite natural body lotion or oil.
Turn on the shower and forget all about your day. Even if you only have 5 minutes.
Shower, towel off, massage in your favourite body lotion. My favourite way to get going in the morning.
Good Night Facial
A regular and thorough night-time skincare routine using gentle, nourishing products is the one thing (alongside drinking lots of water) that makes a difference to my skin.
I love to double cleanse at the end of the day. If I’m in a good routine I really notice the difference, so it’s worth every extra minute of effort. My good night facial takes about 10 minutes. Not long at all really.
I start by removing the day’s make-up with an oil cleanser or balm. I use a damp facial muslin or flannel to remove the oil. Next I cleanse with a cream cleanser. This removes all last traces of make-up and grime. I massage the creamy cleanser into my face, using my fingers to generate some warmth. I use this time to reflect on the day and to think about what I’m grateful for. It’s a lovely way to end the day. I use the other side of the wash cloth to remove all traces of cleanser. Next, I spritz on some toner, massage in serum and finish with night cream. I like a nice rich night cream ideally with soothing, sleep inducing aromatherapy oils. 😴.
A little bit of rich night cream goes a long way.
You can do this at any time of day, I like mid-morning or early evening best. It doesn’t have to be Sunday to indulge in some self-care either.
Add your favourite bath product – bath oil, salts, aromatherapy oil – to the running water and let the smells and sounds of your bathroom transport you to a place of calm and relaxation. Lavender is my go to. I alternate between lavender bath oils and blends where lavender is the main ingredient as well as lavender essential oil for the bath. The smell of lavender instantly takes me to a place of tranquility and calm.
I like to add a generous splosh of bath oil or milk and sometimes add some lavender petals from the garden in summer for a really pretty, indulgent self-care ritual.
Some freshly cut flowers, crystals and trinkets can take you from family bathroom to tranquil spa in minutes.
As your bath is filling up, work through your morning or evening skincare routine, adding a face mask into the mix. Or if you’ve already done your skincare for the day, you could exfoliate your whole body instead. I’ve just started regular body brushing again. A cheap and easy way to keep your skin soft and smooth. Just make sure you clean your brush regularly (tea tree oil is brilliant for this). I like to have a glass of water or herbal tea to hand as I always find that I get really thirsty when I’m in the bath.
Water with slices of lime and ice is super refreshing on a hot summer’s evening.
If you’re a worrier like me and find it hard to switch gear, just acknowledge your thoughts and make a mental note to think about what’s on your mind later. Then step into your bath.
Once in the bath I like to listen to music or sometimes I meditate to a guided meditation (you could try the Insight Timer Meditation App). Other times I read or listen to a Podcast or Audiobook. Sometimes I just enjoy peace and quiet with no other distractions. Take this time to do what your body, mind and soul need.
I like to have all of my self-care ritual extras easily to hand, especially if I’m struggling to switch gear and silence isn’t what I’m feeling.
If you don’t have a bath, you can equally enjoy this ritual with a longer than usual warm shower.
Once you’ve had enough of a soak, dry off, massage in some body oil and take a few final moments to let it all sink in before ending your self care ritual.
Here are the products I’ve been using in my rituals this summer.
Did you try any of these rituals? Or any of the products? Let me know how you get on!
Do you use clean beauty products? What was the main reason you switched? What are your hero products? Are there any favourite conventional products that you’ve struggled to replace?