Like many women, I don’t feel great without make up on. Hair colour, fake tan, make up, moisturisers…. The list of beauty products most of us use regularly to help us feel good goes on. Have you ever counted how many different products you use on your body every day to make yourself feel more beautiful and look healthier? Even worse have you ever looked at the list of ingredients in each one of these products? Recently I have been doing just that, looking into why I should make the switch to natural beauty.
So let’s start from the beginning… where does this quest for beauty using chemicals begin…. I distinctly remember being interested in make up from a very young age because of my mum. Always wanting to paint my nails, or wear lipstick like she did. I could see the impact these rituals had on her when she was getting dressed up for an event and it was enchanting. When I was growing up my mum was an Avon lady, and I often used to go door to door with her meeting clients and speaking to them about cosmetics. From a very young age you see the pleasure others get from these luxury products and it starts to lay foundations for these beliefs that these products can help us, make us feel happier healthier and more beautiful.
When I hit my teens I had a lot of issues with my skin. Make-up became a way to hide my acne from friends (boys) and the world as well as try to look older and feel more confident. I wanted to look glamorous, beautiful, and what I saw in the mirror is not what I wanted. I started using more and more products on my skin to reduce acne, replace moisture, balance, tone, cover up acne or scars etc. etc. etc. I didn’t realise how much I was playing with my body and my skin. Each product almost having an effect that then required another product to counter it. I honestly think it can become a bit of an addiction to fix ourselves through these products. As a young adult I counted that I used to use over 20 products on my body each day!!! Don’t judge me before you start counting up your own beauty routine!!
When I moved to Australia in 2013, things started to change. I didn’t know anyone there, so going out without make-up seemed a lot less scary, I wanted to catch the sun on my face and in general culturally there wasn’t such an obvious presence of make-up in the outdoorsy crowd I was living amongst. I instantly started to use less and less products, stripping back to basics. Quite quickly my complexion cleared, I looked and felt healthier in my skin than ever. When moving back to the UK last summer I started to worry that my days of suffering with my skin were going to come back to haunt me. But they didn’t.
Since moving back, I continued to use less products on my face, less make up and I spent at least one day a week without wearing make-up at all just letting my skin breathe. Granted I no longer have the sun-kissed Aussie glow I once did but my skin has kept up its healthier look. My skin isn’t perfect by all means but it is so much better than is used to be.
Why go natural or organic…?
I wanted to dive into this a bit further. I am a pescetarian, and I have been looking into my diet to try to be healthier and more environmentally conscious. But it never occurred to me to think about what products I was choosing to use on my skin. Many people are aware of a vegan diet, or organic food choices, but after speaking to friends, very few of them had heard of vegan or organic make-up and beauty products. So here it is, just as with your food vegan make-up means that there are no animal products in your make up, and no animal testing. Organic products, again just as with food are certified organic and are all of natural origin. Products in these ranges are usually also ethically sourced and sustainable.
Your skin is the biggest organ of your body and it absorbs whatever you put on it. Many studies have been completed showing high levels of chemicals and contaminants that we absorb through the skin through every day products especially in sensitive areas like the under arms or where products are put in direct contact with the skin.
Over the last 6 weeks I have been slowly phasing out my usual make up and beauty products, replacing them with natural versions. I know what some of you are thinking ££££! But actually surprisingly no. My natural salt stick crystal deodorant costs the same as my old aerosol brand, but instead of lasting 2-3 months, it lasts a year. My new shampoo, is the same cost as my old brand, as is my face wash and toner. Some products such as make up may cost a little more if you are used to stocking up at Boots but when you look into how often you buy these products (lipsticks, mascara etc) it’s not a huge investment – especially if like me you are trying to wear them less and don’t like the thought of applying chemicals to your face! And with health shops popping up all over its more convenient than ever to go natural.
The reality is, most of us live in a world where through no fault of our own we are bombarded by chemicals every day through pollution, the daily dodging of people smoking or Vaping on your walk to work, cleaning products, processed food etc. Sadly, we often feel helpless to make steps to change these aspects for our health. One thing we can do however is change what we choose to put on and in our bodies!
I am by no means perfect, I still enjoy the odd cheeky bag of Salt and Vinegar crisps or rocking my favourite Maybelline lippy. But I wanted to share with you what I have been learning through my journey as I continue to cut chemicals slowly and surely out of the products I use.
What it has done for me:
For the first time in years, I am comfortable (most the time) to go about my day with no make-up on. My skin has cleared. My nails are stronger. I look healthier. When I put make up on its to enhance what’s there, not hide away things I am ashamed of or to try to make myself look like Barbie.
So if you are interested in finding out more about what I am doing or and questions you have message me or comment below! I’m still on this journey myself and I am loving it. There is loads of information online, and just with any beauty products don’t give up if you try one product and it doesn’t work for you. It doesn’t have to be expensive, even big brands like the body shop have an affordable vegan make up range. And you can do it bit by bit, pick and choose some products to try as and when they need replacing. So what have you got to lose by becoming the natural beauty version of yourself?