We’ve all been there: cruising through the beauty aisles of our favourite department or drug store, looking for the perfect cleanser or moisturiser. More often than not, you’re drawn to results-driven key words, such as…
BRIGHTENING if you’re fighting off old acne scars
or PURIFYING if you’re trying to rid yourself of cystic acne,
or the always popular YOUTH-BOOSTING, if the ageing process isn’t on your side.
Throw in some colourful and vibrant packaging and most likely, you’re on your way to the checkout line. Unfortunately for me, this seductive process caused me years of confusion and frustration when dealing with my own acne and ultimately led me down a path of spending and sampling without any acne relief.
It was this A-HA! moment that pushed me to take matters into my own hands. For years, I was focussing on the front of a product’s shiny packaging vs. the back where the actual ingredients were listed. So, I sent myself back to school to learn the ins and outs of cosmetic chemistry and get to the bottom of WHY my skin had taken a turn for the worst. I soon realised the education I gained needed to circulate, in the hope that all of you reading this can move forward with an arsenal of knowledge and thus be a healthy, happy shopper of all things skin.
In order to make this easy to swallow, let’s start off with a few basics.
Did you know that the first few ingredients listed on a product’s ingredient deck are the most active? Usually, this is where you find ingredients such as water, aloe, or alcohol. Anything at the bottom of the ingredient deck is less than 1 per cent. Why is this important?
The reality is that in today’s marketing, if the product contains an ingredient in ANY percentage, you can market it in your product’s name. So, the next time you’re looking for a Chamomile-based cleanser or Argan Oil based shampoo, look for products that have these ingredients listed at the top of the ingredient deck, as they will be more active AND accurate.
And while you’re looking at the ingredient deck, let’s talk about which ingredients are worth walking away from. We’ve all heard of parabens (that includes all three sisters – butyl, methyl, and propyl), which is an ingredient widely used to prevent bacteria growth, i.e. a preservative that is also a xenoestrogen, or agent that mimics oestrogen in the body. Over time, the cumulative storage of parabens can and have led to breast cancer, infertility, and other reproductive issues. Who needs that?
And this is only the beginning. Ingredients such as Triclosan, Quaternium-15, Petrolatum, Phthalates, and Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) are responsible for mood disorders, neurotoxicity, and a myriad of allergies and cancers. Similarly, if you’ve ever seen “fragrance” on the back of your favourite face cream, think twice before you dismiss it as a trade secret. Fragrances fall into a federal law loophole which doesn’t require companies to disclose the various chemicals in a product’s formula. Is it just me, or does something smell a bit fishy?
- To know that everything we put on our skin goes straight into our pores and thus into our bloodstream, it’s no wonder why so many people are changing their stance with concern to skincare and makeup products. In the end, never having to make a choice between your beauty and your health is what’s really sexy. In a nutshell, we are finally entering an era where green beauty is, in fact, the new glamorous. It’s a feel good, look good, do good trifecta.
Green beauty is, in fact, the new glamorous
In creating SkinOwl, I knew I wanted to achieve three main goals:
- I wanted people to see results overnight.I wanted to provide more than just skin care, but deliver a core component of total self-care too.
- I wanted women to feel like they had a safe haven to ask questions and receive quality advice about their skin in what can often be seen as a confusing industry.
- I found that when I made the choice to care for myself on a small level, be it putting on my eye cream every night, it opened the door to more impactful and authentic decisions & transformations. For example, learning about ingredients and which ones proved to be the most powerful led to me leave my job & launch my own skincare company.
On the surface, you might solely be switching out your PEG- packed bronzer for a non-toxic one. But over time, you’re making more decisions that put you and your overall well-being first. In sum, self-care begets self-care. And what gets the skin glowing more than that?
She is based in LA where she continues to share her knowledge about the beauty and skin industry.
For more on how to start your green journey into healthy, happy skincare, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the title “Ready To Go Green.”
To shop the Skin Owl range, visit cultbeauty.co.uk