I’m regularly asked about my reasons for avoiding mainstream skincare and haircare formulations, but rarely am I asked about my motivations for choosing clean beauty. So when the Clean Beauty Co team asked me to justify my clean beauty choices in my first column here on the blog and explain why I think clean beauty is important, I jumped at the opportunity.
It’s easy to get swept up in the online furore about synthetic chemicals. We recently ran a survey of our tens of thousands of followers at Formula Botanica and found that three-quarters of clean beauty fans choose this way of life to avoid synthetic chemicals and perceived toxins. In other words, more people choose clean beauty based on what isn’t in their serums, lotions and toners, rather than what is.
My views differ slightly. I’ve never been overly concerned by mainstream cosmetics, instead I choose to generally ignore them. I choose clean beauty for two reasons:
1. Plants have great benefits to offer to our skin and hair.
The cosmetics industry has for the longest time given us the impression that their mainstream beauty formulations are complex concoctions made from their laboratories’ finest free-flowing synthetic chemicals. Their marketing ‘techno-babble’ plays perfectly into this image – why else would a brand promote an anti-ageing serum called “Synchronized Recovery Complex II”?
However, the recent growth in clean beauty has shown us that when consumers demand organic formulations that are ‘free from’ certain chemicals, the mainstream industry suddenly tones down the high tech rhetoric and starts waxing lyrical about their botanical origins instead.
Using plants to nourish and protect our skin is not new. Before we embraced our synthetic serums and conditioners, people used vegetables, fruit, pulses, grains, dairy products and herbs, to name but a few of the ingredients upon which today’s beauty products are based.
Scientific research into the topical benefits of plants is ongoing around the world. Researchers are finding that certain botanical extracts can match or surpass their lab-based counterparts. The only major drawback is that the majority of this research is conducted on animals, a point which does not sit well with the whole clean beauty community (including me!). Which brings me to point two.
2. Clean beauty ties together the concepts of wellbeing and beauty.
The truth is that I hardly wear any make-up, I use my skincare sparingly and I believe a healthy and happy woman is her most beautiful self. In my view, clean beauty very much fits this ethos because it ties the concepts of wellbeing and beauty firmly together.
Again, this is a point well understood by those in the clean beauty sector: beauty and wellbeing go hand-in-hand. In fact, I would go as far as saying that our view of beauty transcends that of the mainstream cosmetics industry – beauty is not achieved by attaining a certain smooth appearance or definition of ‘perfection’; beauty is instead achieved by nurturing your skin and hair to its healthiest state, wrinkles and all!
The clean beauty sector is driven by a desire to do the very best for its customers by creating effective and nourishing botanical formulations. When we bring these two concepts of plant power and wellbeing together, we combine botanical extracts and green chemistry to create skin- and haircare that makes us feel happy and healthy.
I can’t think of a better reason to choose clean beauty.
– by Lorraine Dallmeier.
Lorraine is a biologist, environmental scientist and the Director of Formula Botanica, the award winning online organic cosmetic science school. Sign up for a free sample class in making organic skincare at formulabotanica.com and follow Lorraine on Twitter at @herbBlurb.