natural oils

I started caring about what I put on my skin after I had children. I realised (with breastfeeding) that what I was consuming was going straight into their little bodies too. I stopped wearing make-up and sticky creams on my face around the same time, simply because cuddling a baby who wants to cover you in kisses and drool just doesn’t work when you have a face full of make-up.

I have since been more careful and thoughtful about the beauty products I buy. I recently read a brilliant article by Dr. Kristian Henderson, on the toxicity of the products marketed to Black women. 75% of mainstream products marketed to Black women are considered toxic. I remember as a teenager buying products from my local afro hair shop and opting for the cheapest make-up in the chemist – i’m pretty sure most of what I used would fall into that unhealthy / toxic bracket too.

‘One out of every 100 personal care products on the market contains known or probable carcinogens’

www.ewg.org/skindeep

Why these products are so toxic is for a later post, but suffice to say as an adult I have the foresight and buying power to choose my beauty products more wisely.

It’s neither cheap nor easy to buy non toxic products

Quite the opposite actually.

It’s been my experience that natural and organic beauty products are more expensive to buy and harder to find. When the priority is the health and wellbeing of the consumer, more thought, time and quality of ingredients is put into the production process and this has an impact on the cost – that makes sense.

That said, price and accessibility are important factors for those who may be on a a lower income, does this mean that clean beauty products are only for the wealthy? At StyleAble, the team are currently putting together a list of natural products / ingredients that are both easy to find in your local supermarket and won’t break the bank – stay posted for that.

My journey to clean beauty…

I spent a number of years as a beauty writer for a women’s magazine, I used literally hundreds of products on my face and body and never once thought about how toxic they were. I also remember a time when the ‘best’ or most popular products had a long list of ingredients in them, now – as consumers realise that quality over quantity is better in the long run – less is becoming more for beauty brands today.

Here are just a few that have ticked some of the boxes on my current journey to clean beauty:

Alteya Organics: Organic Bulgarian Melissa Water

Who they are and what they do…

Lovelula.com, £7.95

Alteya Organics is a multiple international award-winning family-owned USDA and NaTrue certified organic beauty and skin care company. They own their own rose and lavender fields, distillery and a state-of-the art skin care manufacturing facility in the heart of The Rose Valley in Bulgaria. Alteya Organics grow and harvest roses, lavender, chamomile and calendula and distill premium quality certified organic rose oil and other essential oils and flower waters using generations-old recipes.

What I think

I have always been a fan of face mist – even before they became a popular go to for setting make-up. I would use the Evian spray and later progressed onto other brands that incorporated beneficial ingredients into their sprays too. I have been using Melissa Water for the last few weeks and so far, so good. I use it before applying my night cream, during the night when I feel too hot and I also use it on my daughter before applying olive oil to her eczema prone skin. It’s light and fresh with a great herbal / floral fragrance.

OLVERUM: The Body Oil

What they say

www.olverum.com, £36

This sublimely aromatic formulation is expertly crafted with over 30 essential and cold-pressed botanical oils, including antioxidant-rich raspberry seed oil, and Alaria esculenta extract, which is known to boost the synthesis of collagen, preserving skin’s elasticity. OLVERUM The Body Oil is Vegan and cruelty-free, free from artificial preservatives, fragrance and colourants, Silicone, Mineral oils, Petrolatum, Sulphates, Pthalates, Parabens, Triclosan and animal derived ingredients.

What I think

This oil penetrates quickly and leaves very little residue on the skin, making it perfect for moisturising in the morning – just before you get dressed. Personally, I am used to much heavier moisturisers but I didn’t find my skin any drier than usual once I switched to Olverum. The best thing about this oil is that I felt comfortable using it on the entire family – even my 1 year old. Oh and this oil smells like a spa! Not sure if this added to my feeling of wellbeing, but I definitely felt more chilled out after massaging it into my skin.

Angela Langford, Rest & Regenerate: Repairing & nourishing night balm

What they say…

www.angelalangford.com, £39

This little pot of wonder gets to work whilst you sleep! It is your recipe for skin that looks brighter, healthier & radiant. This natural night balm contains a mix of antioxidants, vitamins & omegas that get to work while you are sleeping.

What I think

This little pot of balm really does pack a punch. It feels like butter going on and leaves a dewy, rich layer of sheen on the face – perfect for very dry skin. I LOVE this moisturiser as it feels like it is penetrating deeply, which is great considering it is so rich in skin goodies. You only need the tiniest bit, which means it will last ages – not for me though, I have been lathering it on morning, afternoon and evening.

Emani Vegan: lipgloss

What they say

www.lovelula.com, £19

Say “Hello!” to your perfect pout. Powered by Mother Nature, this 100% vegan formula is drenched in Vitamin E, natural & organic oils, organic fruit extracts and pure mineral pigments to condition and hydrate your lips. Emani Lip Shine is a long-lasting formula that may be worn alone or over Emani Hydrating Lip Color for a bolder, multi-dimensional look.

What I think…

Apparently we eat almost 7 lbs of lipstick in a lifetime, so it might be a good idea to stay away from toxic brands. Going vegan can mean more than just your menu choices – the Emani Vegan lipgloss is just as good as the brands I usually use, just a bit more ethical.

What I think: On a day to day basis I don’t wear make-up. ..

Earth Conscious: Natural Deodarant

What they say

www.andkeep.com, £7.00

Great for sensitive skins, this amazing, calming and effective natural deodorant is an unscented cream paste in a tin. No plastic in sight! Shortlisted for the ‘Free From’ Skincare awards 2017, Gold winner of The Green Parent Natural Beauty Awards 2016 and winner of a ‘Biteable Best of Beauty’ 2016. Earth Conscious Natural Deodorant is made in the UK from 100% natural ingredients. It has anti-bacterial properties that will combat body odour all day long. Apply easily (and sparingly) with your fingertips, your deodorant will melt into your skin. No waiting to dry.

What I think

I prefer a roll on or spray to a paste deodorant – but that’s just me. This deodorant kept me smell free and I suppose that’s the point.This is a great brand of deodorant for its commitment to being ethical and natural, just look at the ingredients: Certified organic coconut oil, certified organic arrowroot powder, certified organic shea butter, sodium bicarbonate, Jojoba Wax, Sunflower Wax.

Sanex Zero%: Spray and roll-on Deodorant, Body Wash and Body Wash for Kids

What they say

www.superdrug.com, £1.89

Keep your skin clean and fresh with minimised use of ingredients. Sanex Zero% Normal Skin Shower Gel is dermatologically tested and leaves out colorants and soap to keep skin healthy. Its biodegradable formula respects your skin and the planet.

What I think

I much prefer using Sanex to other brands that are readily available at the supermarket. The shower gel lathers up well and I feel comfortable using it on the entire family. The deodorant is pretty good too –  0% aluminium chloride, 0% alcohol, 0% parabens, guaranteed allergen-free. I use the sensitive range on my daughter as she has eczema – great price too.

Ecover: Cleaning products

Ok, not a beauty product but I have been using Ecover for a while and I think they’re great, especially the washing up liquid. They get a special mention for this list of credentials:

www.ethicalsuperstore.com, £1.39

Using plant based and mineral ingredients and clever science you’ll get the results you expect without those unnecessary chemicals. Suitable for septic tanks, not tested on animals, fully biodegradable.

Ecover Washing Up Liquid – Benefits

  • Fresh perfume from plant based ingredients.
  • Cleans and degreases efficiently using the power of nature
  • Kind to your hands thanks to plant based ingredients
  • Not based on petrochemical ingredients
  • No residue of unnecessary chemicals left on your dishes

Ecover Washing Up Liquid – Environmental Advantage:

  • Fast and complete biodegradability (OECD-test 301F, full product)
  • Minimum impact on aquatic life (OECD-test 201&202, full product)
  • Against animal testing
  • Suitable for septic tanks

Packaging material:

Bottle and labels are made of polyethylene; cap of polypropylene. Polyethylene and polypropylene are 100% recyclable and can be recycled together perfectly.