My Clean(er) Beauty and Skincare journey: What I Know So Far

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A few years back I started to become acquainted with the terminology ‘clean beauty’ and ‘clean skincare’. Bloggers whose articles I’d read for years, including Geri Hirsch of Because I’m Addicted, and Jess of Jess Ann Kirby, both shared their own clean beauty journeys. And it’s safe to say that my interest was piqued. 

For instance, did you know that ingredients in some beauty products are known to be endocrine disrupters? Meaning that they can mimic and distort your hormones? 

As I progressed through my twenties, and entered my thirties this year, I’m increasingly conscious about what I choose to put in and on my body. I have already adjusted my diet to help my hormonal health, and recently visited a Functional Medicine practitioner — Laurens Maas — at The Maas Clinic in Petersfield for a full health MOT — more on that soon!

Moreover, I’ve been making adjustments at home to be more sustainable, and avoid harsh chemicals.

Part of my journey with clean(er) beauty and skincare is also to be more conscious of packaging. I want to vote with my wallet, and to give airtime to brands making big strides with their packaging and products, on my channels.

As with so many people, my eyes are increasingly opened to the impact we as humans are having on the planet, and I want to align my lifestyle to be less wasteful. This more sustainable stance — which again I have another blog post lined up on — is definitely a JOURNEY for me. Sustainability and ‘clean choices’ are topics I am learning about bit by bit. I am SO far from perfect in all of this. And whilst I have slowly been making shifts towards cleaner beauty and skincare, there are still products and brands I use which aren’t ‘clean’. Even my go-to gal Geri mentioned how hard it is to give up some foundation formulas 😆

Rather than become overwhelmed by this, I remind of this saying often:

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” —Maya Angelou

Clean Beauty and Clean Skincare Edit | The Elgin Avenue Blog | Monica Beatrice Blog

With the planet, and my health, at the forefront of my mind, clean beauty and clean skincare are two product categories I’ve been focusing in on, since I use them daily. Plus they make up a large part of my work.

Ultimately I would like to achieve a planet and health-friendly beauty cupboard. I know that it will take time, but I am excited to share the journey with you!

Here’s a look at my clean(er) beauty and skincare journey thus far, including the WHY behind it, links to helpful articles and a spotlight on some of the clean beauty and skincare brands I love.

Any and all thoughts — I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

My Clean(er) Beauty and Skincare Journey: What I Know So Far

Clean Beauty and Clean Skincare Edit | The Elgin Avenue Blog | Monica Beatrice Blog

Why clean beauty and clean skincare?

Being based in the UK, I hadn’t realised how much more regulated our beauty products are, than in the States. And for that I am VERY grateful. As goop — a company championing and producing non-toxic beauty products — shares:

Clean beauty is made without ingredients shown or suspected to harm human health. . . . there are 11 cosmetic ingredients currently banned by the FDA, while in the EU, over 1,300 ingredients are banned.

Mind. Blown.

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So what constitues ‘clean beauty’?

Byrdie’s definition of non-toxic makeup is: any makeup product that doesn’t include ingredients deemed toxic by the Environmental Working Group, including, but not limited to, lead, mercury, phthalates, triclosan, and dioxin.

Read up on Byrdie’s Toxic 20 ingredients list here.

Fundamentally my main impetus for embarking on a clean beauty and skincare journey is to reduce the amount of toxins entering my body, be that trans-dermal, or directly — as with lipsticks, which we regularly ingest a last portion of. Gross, right?!

Moreover, toxic beauty and skincare products are known to disrupt your hormones, and certain ingredients have even been linked to cancer.

When you look at all of the potentially harmful effects of using products which include ingredients on the ‘no-go list’, it makes the swap to clean beauty all the more appealing. Right?!

Speaking of the no-go list . . . 

It sounds exhaustive, but I’m hoping that once I become used to scanning the labels on products I am thinking of buying, it will become more second-nature.

I’ve also downloaded the Think Dirty app which allows you to scan the barcode on the back of a product to ‘read’ its ingredients. If the product is in their database (almost 2 million already are!), it will flag up a ‘score’ telling you how clean the product is. 0 being good and clean, and 10 being a red flag.

You can also use the Think Dirty app to discover new clean beauty and skincare products.

Clean Beauty and Clean Skincare Edit | The Elgin Avenue Blog | Monica Beatrice Blog

I’ve done this for some of the products I use regularly, and I was so happy to read that REN’s Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask (seen above and one of my all-time favourites) has one of the best ‘clean scores’. In fact REN scores highly across the board when it comes to clean skincare, which is why it is one of my go-to clean brands.

Other brands I use often didn’t score as highly, but when I looked into it MOST of their ingredients are ‘clean’, but labelling anything with ‘fragrance’ is deemed obtuse by the Think Dirty app since it doesn’t allow for an accurate breakdown of ingredients.

I have so. much. to learn! 😜

Before I share a few of the clean brands I’m loving, a quick note: in my experience, the efficacy of the products I’ve tried hasn’t been diminished at all for the fact that they’re ‘clean’. In fact, in most cases, and especially with skincare, I’ve noticed that clean products are MORE effective. All of the makeup brands I’m highlighting below are amazing too. No compromising here!

Clean skincare brands I love

—and ones I’d like to try!

Clean Beauty and Clean Skincare Edit | The Elgin Avenue Blog | Monica Beatrice Blog

REN Clean Skincare

Herbivore Botanicals

By Sarah London

ELEMIS

Faith in Nature

Kate Somerville

Summer Fridays

NEOM Organics

Clean beauty brands I love

—and ones I’d like to try!

Clean Beauty and Clean Skincare Edit | The Elgin Avenue Blog | Monica Beatrice Blog

Hourglass Cosmetics — some of the best makeup products I’ve tried. I am SO into Hourglass’ mascaras.

Pür — my favourite for foundation.

Nudestix — my go-to for bronzer.

Dear Dahlia — the most beautiful packaging and intense pigments.

Saïe Beauty — haven’t tried yet but SO want to.

Ilia Beauty — again new to me, but have been told it’s great!

Bareminerals — old favourite. 

Vita Liberata — AMAZING tan!

e.l.f cosmetics — the best affordable ‘clean’ makeup brand I’ve come across.

Clean Beauty and Clean Skincare Edit | The Elgin Avenue Blog | Monica Beatrice Blog

PRODUCT CREDITS

Rose Quartz Facial Roller: Herbivore c/o | Gua Sha: By Sarah London c/o (no longer available)

Blush and Lipstick: Dear Dahlia c/o | Bronzer: Nudestix c/0

Cleansing Balm: ELEMIS c/o | Mascara and Primer: Hourglass Cosmetics c/o


A Mini ‘Clean’ Edit For You


Further Reading

A huge part of this clean(er) beauty journey is education, and so I’ve popped some links below for you to dig in to. If you have any articles you’ve found helpful, I’d love for you to add them to the comments below too.

Clean Beauty—and Why It’s Important on goop

The “Toxic 20”: Meet the Ingredients a Green Cosmetic Chemist Would Never Use on Byrdie

Ethical Elephant — if you’ve ever wondered if a brand is ethical and cruelty-free, Ethical Elephant probably has your answer!

Overall

Making the shift towards clean(er) beauty and skincare has been an important commitment for me. I want to ensure that everything I am investing in and using is as health and planet-friendly as possible. 

As I make this shift, I — of course — want to share it with you!

As such you can expect me to focus more on clean and planet-friendly brands. That goes for beauty, skincare and fashion too.

I am excited to be making this transition, and I’d love to hear your take on it too.

What’s your take?

Are you already adjusting your beauty and skincare choices to support clean brands? If so, do you have any favourites? 

And do you have any additional resources you’d like to share?

Thank you as always for your input here!

Love, Monica x

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHARLOTTE BRYER-ASH

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