In our previous blog post, we talked about the easiest way to start your clean journey – by watching what you put into your body. This time, we will be talking about the next step – watching what you put on your skin.
The premise of clean beauty varies from person to person. It is constantly being redefined, brand by brand, creating a network of definitions and buzzwords that make the concept invariably unreachable. Entangling your brain with contradicting opinions tends to lead to an inconsistent routine that will essentially get you nowhere.
At its core, clean beauty is when your safety and the safety of the environment meet. It is important to remember that our relationship with the earth is symbiotic, dependent on each other in order to thrive. Our essence can be found in our own backyard—from the coconuts that grow on palm trees, to the herbs that sprout from the soil. When toxic chemicals intrude this dynamic is when things begin to fall apart.
About your living skin…
It is no surprise that the surface of our skin looks fairly smooth for the naked eye. Bumps, redness, and pimples are nothing but occasional sightings, ones that if you are so lucky enough, only come around once a month. The truth is, there is no such thing as completely clear skin. There is only healthy skin—one that is achieved by balancing the unique ecosystem that was formulated by your own body.
Microbiomes are an essential element in skincare, often left out of the clean beauty conversation. This term refers to the particular microorganisms that live in a specific environment. These include bacteria, fungi, and viruses, a rather grotesque combination but one that is used to build the foundations of healthy skin. By balancing all these things with sustainable ingredients that do not eliminate, but enhance the microbiome, we fulfill our formula to clean beauty.
Clean beauty begins with a mindful approach
What our team has learned is that short-term fixes are nothing but temporary. We have all been there. So out of the clamor for clarity and simplicity, Pure Culture has cultivated a formula for people to follow easily, and headache-free.
All of this can be quite intimidating. No one said the road to healthy skin would be easy. But, from our constant curiosity and in-depth research, we have summed up a few things you should be avoiding when beginning your clean beauty journey.
- Simplify your life
Now, we do not mean go full-on minimalist. We just mean limit the amount of products you use and narrow it down to a few trusted brands and products you’re assured to have no harmful toxins. The more products you pack onto your skin, the more at-risk you are of body burden.
- Avoid plastic storage
If it was not already on your radar, plastic storage contains BPA (bisphenol A) that mimics estrogen in the body and causes disruptions. This impacts brain development and can have effects on your fertility, among others. Instead, begin switching your containers to a material like glass—sustainable and clean!
- Learn the language of cosmetics labels
Although there’s a plethora of toxins that we can list, to avoid confusion, we have listed the more commonly used ones found in your everyday products that can cause negative side effects.
This is the substance that creates that creamy smooth finish for skincare products. It seems harmless when describing it, but in reality, it does more damage than good; it clogs your pores and traps everything from bacteria to dirt, creating a barrier on your skin. As Taylor Swift would say, this ingredient is very much a “nightmare dressed like a daydream.” An oxymoronic element in skincare that is the pinnacle of aesthetic over function.
The element in your skincare that makes the product lather and foam whilst sneakily stripping your skin of the natural oils it produces. The result: dryness, tightness and irritations. Your skin needs its natural oils to create a healthy environment for your microbiome to heal and repair itself.
Another misconceived ingredient when talking about skincare. It was said to benefit the skin by attracting moisture from the air and binding it to the pores on your skin; however, in recent studies, it has been found that there are no actual benefits mineral oils provide. In fact, it is the opposite—this ingredient is said to cause skin to become more acne-prone. It creates a barrier on top of the bacteria and dirt on your skin, and seals it in as it is trying to moisturize.
Not the natural kind that can help your skin, but the type that was made in a test tube, in a lab, by a big pharmaceutical company that wants to capitalize off the longevity of their product. Not all preservatives are bad, but specifically those that fall under the categories of parabens and phthalates. These not only cause the skin to become brittle and dry but also have been said to contribute to cancer.
The real formula to fully harness clean beauty is to adopt it as a lifestyle—to allow yourself to transition from things that may not be the most convenient, to things that take a little patience getting used to. It is not the forceful methods imposed on your skin to become something it is not, or the desperate race to perfection the media constantly portrays.
It is the inherent appreciation of the narrative your skin plays out every day, riding the wave of good days and bad days and listening to the symphony your skin performs on a daily basis. It’s surrendering yourself to the wild microbiome, and the zen that comes from enjoying every minute of taking care of it.
We challenge you to revisit your vanity or bathroom in the coming weeks. Take a closer look at the products you use.
Use our Heck No! Checklist here to learn more about questionable ingredients.
Happy spring cleaning!