Introducing the True Beauty Spotlights by Jennifer Freitas, green living expert and founder of The Truth Beauty Company, and the annual educational event, True Beauty Talk.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last five to ten years you most likely have noticed many brands are investing in the green beauty industry and manufacturing products that are more consumer friendly and non-toxic*. While some companies are still making changes to formulations or their ethical policies, many others have simply formulated better from the start.
Whether you are new or old to the clean beauty industry, there are always lot's to learn and think about when it comes to green beauty. This past June, for the first edition of True Beauty Talk, we gathered some of the industry's pioneers to discuss the chemicals, how to’s and the growing clean beauty market.
Here’s what we think you should know:
- The latest green beauty technology and formulations allows consumers and industry professionals to have a full green beauty routine without having to compromise on colour, quality, ingredients, efficacy, safety or price. Caught your attention? There are many brands that are offering ‘cleaner beauty’ options, where consumers no longer need to sacrifice the health and safety for affordable luxury. Check out some of our our favourite brands Hynt Beauty, Sappho New Paradigm, Clove + Hallow, basd, Graydon, Province Apothecary, Yarok, and Cocoon Apothecary, Bathorium, Woodlot, Wildcraft, for more details.
- Education and platforms such as Think Dirty are key and encourage people to seek out products that are better for them, while providing transparency and knowledge about ingredients and their level of safety. Think Dirty offers suggestions and swaps for brands that are free of dangerous chemicals, or exclude parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, propylene glycol, phthalates, triclosan, oxybenzone, toluene, formaldehyde, PEG compounds, and siloxanes, just to name but of the few of the many ingredients to avoid. It is important to be armed this way, due to the fact that in North America, there is a lack of regulation, and it is very easy for companies to disguise their full list of ingredients in each product. Ingredient names can be tweaked to look as if they do not have a relationship with a ‘dirty ingredient’ or compounded under one name. However, Think Dirty, and other organizations like the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep, and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, are only but three of many great tools, that will provide you with ingredient breakdowns, ingredient scale and ratings based on ingredients, among many other informational details so that you can shop safely. These tools will also provide you guidance and recommendations for your future purchases.
- Clean beauty isn’t only about ‘’What you put on your skin’’. It’s also about the packaging, toxins, how chemicals are affecting our waters and planet and giving back to our planet and it’s people. Make sure to visit The Environmental Working Group or David Suzuki Foundation for more details and information on how beauty and lifestyle can affect our planet and what you can do become conscious and consume/purchase product that assist with protection. Many ethical green beauty brands are not only investing in their product formulation and ingredient sustainability, but are ensuring packaging is biodegradable with a quick decomposition timeline. Additionally, many brands are donating a portion of their proceeds to foundations and groups that work to protect our planet.
Buying Better Tips:
Always read your labels.
Shop from a retailer you trust.
Arm yourself with apps, like Think Dirty or print out a fold able wallet size guide of chemicals to avoid (available on the David Suzuki website).
Ask questions, consult experts, even email direct to the brands!
Doing your first “Green Living Shop” Experience? Here’s 10 things you need to know:
Make sure the water used in the product is filtered. (This is really where buying from smaller, more authentically driven brands matters, as it gives you the ability to ask questions direct to the producer).
Target ingredients to help farms that already exist in your local territory. For example, here in Ontario, we’d look for lavender, maple syrup,and other native herbs like comfrey. What grows native where you reside?
You can also look into oils that can benefit your skin issues. Not all oils are created equal; the molecular structure of the oils will determine how quickly it is absorbed, like jojoba - considered a dry oil, it soaks in fast and is great for acneic skin.
Do consider other factors at play; if your skin is proving to be problematic, consider that you may have a dietary sensitivity, perhaps hormone levels that are out of whack or even elevated stress levels! Your skin is such a complex organ and really is affected by many things! Don’t totally blame your products if your skin is unhappy!
- Anything that ends in “econe” including silicone as it clogs the hair shaft and will dry the hair out. Speaking of clogging, ‘econe’s will also clog your pores!!! And Oxybenzones affect the reefs and creates algae bleaching.
Avoid products that contain ingredients that end in ‘-eth’, as it often means that a parent chemical has undergone ethylene oxidation, which is a fumigant. Remnants of this chemical remain as part of the newly produced chemical and as a result can be problematic for our health.
Avoid all types of parabens. There are published studies that show the correlation of parabens and breast cancer tissue growth.
Avoid petroleum, petrolatum, mineral oil - it is a non-renewable resource, and it really does nothing for your skin anyways.
Many chemicals have not been tested for safety and are many are thought to be endocrine disrupting, which can prove to be problematic, especially when considering your long term health.
60 % of what people put on their skin will make its way to your bloodstreams
How to make the switch from conventional to green?
Start with the product you use the most often or that runs out quickly and then supplement your routine with green products. You don’t need to do a haul the first trip to the Green Beauty shop, although that sure would be fun!
Keep it simple - Travel size is great before investing in full size products
Consult Apps like Think Dirty and EWG Skin Deep to find product swap recommendations
Consult experts who have gone through the swap. There are many people, especially on Instagram that are ‘influencers’ and get to sample products as a result; try connecting with them to see what their experiences were like. Although, not Instagram Influencers by trade, we love our Eco experts Candice Batista and the darling Sheri Stroh.
Ready to embody the True Beauty way, check back in with us for more details on clean beauty and the True Beauty Talk Event.
* We use the terms ‘non-toxic’, ‘clean’, ‘better beauty’. ‘natural’ and ‘green’ all to mean the same thing - meaning free of harmful chemicals.