This week we are celebrating Organic Beauty Week, part of the Soil Association’s Organic September. In previous years I have written about the benefits of using organic beauty products, the Soil Association’s Campaign for Clarity and the age old problem of greenwashing. I don’t wish to repeat myself and so this year thought I would explain why I use organic beauty products; both in my kit and in my own make-up bag.
I have used organic beauty products myself to one extent or another for well over a decade. It started out with the odd chalky eyeshadow and the jar of something proclaiming to be moisturiser from the small skincare selection in the local health food store. Neither particular effective but it was a start. As technologies advance products become more and more high performance and I have found ever more cleaner and more effective alternatives to the products I was using myself.
Some years ago I decided to clean up my professional kit too. I was growing more and more concerned by the myriad of potentially harmful and predominantly unpronounceable ingredients used in the vast majority of cosmetics in my kit. Add in the continued (or possibly reintroduced) use of animals in product testing by many companies; not to mention the impact that non-organic farming and manufacturing has on a wider scale and I am sure you can see my reasoning.
The change was (and still is) a slow one. Finding clean alternatives that do the job as well as their less clean counterparts is tough. If I was prepared to compromise on quality and performance I could change my entire in a heartbeat but I can’t let the quality of my work suffer in the process. That isn’t saying that natural and organic products are necessarily any lesser in quality but I need products which stand as equals.
Green-ing up my kit hasn’t just been for the benefit of clients but it is for my own welfare too. Essentially I am a walking make-up palette. Like most Make-up Artists I use the back of my hands (and arms) to mix and blend products before applying them to a face; ensuring I have the correct colour mix and (especially in the case of cream products) that the make-up is warm enough to be worked into the skin. More often than not I spend significant amounts of time scrubbing my hands at the end of the day, removing any trace of colour before repeating the whole process the next day.
It is all very well using organic make-up on myself but when I spend my days smearing my hands and arms with non-Eco make-up products, I am essentially undoing the good work and exposing myself to the very ingredients I am trying to avoid! Yes there are make-up mixing palettes (which I do use on ocassion) but I am a very hands-on Make-up Artist and can’t help but apply and blend with my fingers much of the time.
With the my entire skincare kit and the vast majority of my beauty and grooming kits cleaned up (there are still a couple of products I need to find viable alternatives to), I am well on the way to avoiding potentially harmful ingredients. Sadly as yet there are no clean alternatives to the special effects products I use and so I am not completely avoiding things some ingredients however who knows what the future will bring…
Why do you use organic beauty products? Is there a product you love in particular?