4 easy ways to clean up your beauty routine
Ok, quick question, do you scan the ingredients label on your yogurt before you dig in? Do you quickly check the nutritional info on the granola packet? Ever dabbled with a detox, booze ban or going plant-based? Chances are the answer is yes to at least one of those. Which means you have some idea of what’s going into your body, pretty much most of the time. We’re not claiming to be total food saints but on any given day we can probably reel off what we’ve eaten to some degree of accuracy. But how many of us can honestly say we know exactly what we’re putting ON to our body each day? While we’ve become pretty good at identifying (and at least attempting to avoid) potential nasties in our diet, how often do we really and truly take a look at what we are putting on to our bodies, our faces and into our hair? Because with the potential for harmful ingredients lurking in your body cream, deodorant and face wash, maybe it’s time you had a think about what’s hidden in your bathroom cabinet.
You wouldn’t dream of adding a splash of anti-freeze to your morning coffee would you? We thought not. But you might just be unwittingly slathering it on your face each morning (more on that later.) More commonly thought, you might be using ingredients in your beauty products that might not suit you or bring out the best in your skin, hair etc. Think about it - something might not necessarily be toxic, but it doesn’t mean it’s good for you, in a similar way to food intolerances- gluten isn’t toxic, for example, but it’s still not for everyone. By opting for products with shorter ingredients lists you can take a closer look at what IS inside- making the job of scanning your face cream label as easy as checking out that yoghurt.
Let’s be real, the thought of stripping back your beauty cupboard to rid it of toxins feels like a process that’s complicated, confusing and quite frankly a little too much like hard work. So that’s exactly why we’ve taken the leg work out of it, probed the pro’s on your behalf and have come up with 4 very easy ways to kick off a beauty cupboard detox. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner…
In a nutshell, cleaning up your beauty cupboard is a case of identifying ingredients that are toxic - and then getting rid. But we aren’t here to tell you to bin your favorite body cream or perfume- we aren’t that mean - so instead, get a little educated on what‘s best to avoid, that way when you’re next investing in a new body oil or contemplating trying a new eye cream you know what to look for and what to steer clear of.
When buying new products the first thing to do is look for those with the shortest ingredient list (a good thing) and go from there. As a good starting point the common nasties to look out for (and avoid, obvs) are parabens (look for any word that ends in -paraben); Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES); Formaldehyde (often disguised as quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol) and Phthalates - abbreviated to DBP, DEHP and DEP. Other common ingredients in beauty products include petrochemical-derived Parafin wax and (the scarily natural sounding) Mineral Oil. Can’t stop thinking about the anti-freeze, can you? It’s disguised as propylene glycol - or PG, for short.
Yep, that’s quite a list - so try to memorize a few and keep an eye out.
Start with your skincare
Your skincare products are a good place to start when cleaning up your routine. Remember, your skin is your biggest organ - plus it absorbs much of what we apply to it - so looking at the ingredients in our skincare should really become second nature to us all. Also, the products we use on our skin we tend to use on a regular basis - some products, like masks, we use weekly or monthly, but the majority we reach for daily or even twice a day. These products are full of ingredients – natural, chemical, organic or otherwise – and these ingredients are being absorbed by our bodies, so it makes sense that we take a moment to reflect on what these ingredients are and the effect they’re having. Want to invest in some new products that you can be sure are clean? A good place to start is with the basics of your skincare routine, and then build from there. Look for a cleanser, serum, moisturiser, lip balm and SPF that are free from toxins, seeing as you probably use these daily. This is easier said than done if you’re a skincare obsessive like us - because yes we want products that are stripped of nasties, but we also don’t want to compromise on the luxury, quality and efficacy we always look for in our skin products. We’ve searched hard for products that will tick all these boxes and these are our go-to’s right now: Skin Sapiens Facial Cleansing Gel £8.99 (you’ll find one in your All About You limited edition Roccabox), Evolve Hyaluronic Serum 200 £30, Skin Sapiens Face Cream £12, Skin Sapiens Lip Balm £6.99 and THE ORGANIC PHARMACY Cellular Protection Sun Cream SPF 50 £39.95.
Next up is your shower
Another tip is to look at what you’re using in your shower. You shower daily (we hope) so again it makes sense to start with those products. Add to that your skin is more absorbent when wet and warm (ie, during your shower) plus you inhale the steam from your shower, which means you’re also inhaling any ingredients in your shower products. So where to begin? Again, shun anything from the nasty ingredient list and instead try something like Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Wash, £7.95. This mild cleansing body wash is free from synthetic fragrance, color and preservatives and has a fragrance that can only be described as ‘sunny’: if you could fill your bathroom with sunshine it would smell and feel like this.
Finally, know who you can trust
If you find yourself standing in the aisle of Tesco skim reading the back of your shower gel, or it’s driving you mad trying to locate the ingredients list when browsing through Cult Beauty, then our top tip is to stick to brands you know you can trust and experiment with their products. Skin Sapiens is one of our favorites - we know their vegan/natural/sustainable offerings always contain only the best plant-powered actives and their skincare always leaves us with glowy skin.
So Roccababes, there you have it. Four simple ways to clean up your beauty routine. But let’s get something straight here: we’re not telling you to bin that expensive SPF because it contains one of the ingredients in our ‘avoid’ list, and we don’t think you should start culling your make-up bag and leaving yourself short. What we’re saying is, with our tips you can hopefully be a little bit more mindful of what you’re using on your body. And by that token, you can choose to be a little kinder to yourself. Which, in our opinion, should always be a priority.