Beauty Speak - Learn how to Choose Less Toxic and More Effective Skincare.

"Knowing the language used in the beauty industry gets you a massive step closer to understanding what you really need for beautiful skin."

Marketing one liners, ingredient claims and false promises can often leave us with a bathroom cupboard full of half empty bottles and heart full of disappointment.

Turning 50 this year has made me even more focussed on knowing what goes on my skin and helping others be more discerning as well. It is interesting that even some fo the biggest cosmetic brands like Revlon are now bringing out "natural" collections. They know this is not just a trend but a reality for women of all ages wanting to use less toxins in their beauty routine.

So what do we need to look for and more importantly what do we want to avoid?

My Top NO NO list in skincare and makeup are:

  • Parabens

  • Synthetic Fragrance in skin care

  • PEGS

  • Sulfates in cleansers

  • Fillers

  • Alcohol in skincare

  • Aluminium in deodorants

  • Oxybenzone in sunscreen

What I do Look for on an ingredient label is:

  • Botanical names

  • Natural Carrier Oils - especially check the first ingredient

  • Vitamin E - natural preservative

  • Cruelty Free

  • 6 Month opened use by date

  • Essential oils

  • Zinc Oxide in sunscreen

As a rule anything I don't know - I google to see what it is, so many ingredients are used in creams especially to make if feel or look nice, to absorb well or to emulsify. Products like serums or chemical sunscreens that are designed to enter the skin are probably the most important to be toxin free.

How to read the Label:

The label will always be listed in the order of volume of ingredient from highest to lowest.

The top 3rd will usually constitute for around 80-90% of the bottle, so if your first ingredient is water or alcohol followed by fillers, this is not a good sign. The 2nd third makes up around 5-10% of the bottle and is your actives, this is where you want to see your IT ingredient like vitamin A or vitamin C etc. The lower third is around 1-5% and this is usually preservatives, fragrance and any claims - which means ingredients they want to use to sell the product but are not really in the right volume to be effective.

Now by the way I am not perfect - I do try my best to be as toxin free as possible, but let's face it, sometimes its' just not possible, especially in my job - I just love our makeup team at Openshop and they do an incredible job, but I know a lot of what they use is not toxin free. And I'm ok with that. What I do have control over is what I use at home and what I use the most and in large volumes, like body wash, skincare, perfumes, sunscreen and deodorant.

The best advice I can give is to check the label. If the active ingredients are swimming in a sea of long unrecognisable names then it may be worth putting it back on the shelf. I have listed just a few of my tried and tested natural skin care, makeup and personal care brands right here to make it easy for you. Click on the image to go to their website.

Follow my blog to see more in depth reviews on individual brands and products.

Happy shopping,

Carla x



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