You spend less than a minute adding the hottest and most on-trend anti-wrinkle product to your online shopping cart. Its ingredient list is a little too long, so you decide to trust the three-word Instagram caption from a stranger (who’s famous and rich) that says, “my holy grail”. A month later, you develop a skin allergy, and you don’t seem to be sporting the promised “Botox-without-Botox” look. Alas, you think, the perfect skincare routine remains as elusive as ever.
But here’s how you can actually improve your skin for the better: Make the switch to clean beauty, which is good for you and the planet. Clean beauty products are carefully created without toxic chemicals through ethical means. The intention?
Skin cancer, adulthood allergies and skin discolouration are just some of the problems caused by mass skincare and makeup that aren’t suitable for your skin. So, here’s a guide on why clean beauty is a worthy long-term investment for your skin, overall health and carbon footprint.
What’s really in my beauty products?
The easiest way to suss out toxic chemicals in a product is to start reading labels. Ingredients in clean beauty products can be man-made or natural; as long as they have been properly tested, show no signs of being toxic and are ethically sourced.
Here are some notable chemicals you don’t want in your skincare:
- Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) has been classified as cancer-causing when used regularly. This product can be found in some cosmetics to produce a shimmery and smooth effect on the skin.
- Parabens are typically found in many beauty products due to their ability to prevent mold and bacteria growth. However, they’re also known to increase skin sensitivity.
- Fragrance/parfum is an umbrella term for undisclosed scents and oils found in a product. If you have sensitive skin, these unnamed chemicals may result in allergies.
- Mineral oil can be found in face oils, creams and sometimes even makeup. This is heavily processed petroleum and it does more harm than good for acne-prone individuals. Furthermore, it’s also non-biodegradable and a non-renewable resource - making it extremely unsustainable to use.
You may now think that clean beauty sounds a little complicated - well, not at all. For starters, check out these sustainable brands on our platform Adva, your one stop for clean beauty. You can also keep a lookout for some of these clean ingredients that are easily accessible, and commonly found in skincare:
- Hyaluronic acid is most commonly found in many hydrating beauty products. It is a naturally-occurring chemical produced by our bodies that keeps our skin looking hydrated and youthful-looking. It’s also safe, stable and biodegradable.
- Sustainable plant oils are a great way to give you skin a good cleanse and perk-up. Generally, these oils contain antimicrobial and soothing properties that improve skin healing. They also break down stubborn makeup really well. Look out for products that contain sunflower seed, jojoba, coconut or rosehip oils as these are some of the best ingredients for anti-ageing.
- Stabilised Vitamin C and E will give your skin the glow it needs. The former lightens pigmentation and evens out your skin tone. The latter contains antioxidant properties that contribute to your skin’s barrier and protect your cells from damage.
Sticking to a minimal routine
When it comes to finding products that are considered clean and actually work, you want to first narrow down to the essentials; a trusty makeup remover, cleanser and moisturiser. Using less products doesn’t mean that you’re losing out on the benefits of skincare. Instead, you’re reducing the risk of exposing your skin to more harmful chemicals. And the effect is circular, with less skincare products being used, there will be a reduction in your consumption levels.
In fact, you’ll also have more breathing space in your routine, which will allow you to incorporate targeted treatments for your skin type. In order to attain the best results, opt for single to minimal-ingredient skincare. For example, if you often face dry patches on your skin, adding a hyaluronic acid serum to your simple routine will make a lot of difference.
Why choose clean beauty?
If you’ve long been a skincare maximalist, completely cutting your routine into half can seem daunting. But like we said earlier, just start by reading the labels.
You may also feel like you don’t know where to look when it comes to clean beauty. This is why we at Adva have a curation of certified clean beauty products for you to choose from. Cult favourites like Fresh and Aesop are just some of the brands you can find on this easy-to-use platform. Plus, each product description includes a concise snippet of the brands’ sustainability efforts.
Choosing clean beauty is a first step in working towards holding ourselves accountable for our personal consumption levels. It may seem small, but every step will be intentional and contribute to the bigger picture of reducing waste.