Is Clean Beauty Better?: The Benefits of Going Green

Clean beauty is a buzzword in marketing, but do you know why so many are choosing to go green when it comes to their makeup, skincare, and beauty essentials?  Are eco products really better for you and the planet??  Does using natural beauty instead of high street brands really matter?  Today I dig a little deeper and share all!

L-R: Indie Lee, Sknfed, Mary Si, Labeille South Africa, Inner Senses, The Rose Tree, Myroo

I talk a lot about greener living and eco beauty here on The ecoLogical, and share reviews of ethical products frequently.  Sure, I love experiencing lush formulas and seeing the passion that goes into creating products, but there is another reason I offer so much insight into the beauty industry.  And since it has been a while since I explained WHY this is an important choice to make and how it can be better for you and the planet, I thought now was a great time to give a refresher on the perks of clean beauty!.

With so many people making New Year's resolutions and trying to make personal changes as we get into 2021, I think taking a moment to explain the benefits of natural beauty products is super important.  I mean, if even just one more person decided to swap to more sustainable or eco friendly products I would be over the moon!  Who knows, maybe they'll go on to make even more changes or will get their friends and family to consider making the switch too - small steps have the potential to make great journeys!

There are loads of reasons to switch up your routine and go green, and today I figured I would share the top five to help inspire and inform! 

Benecos, Kjaer Weiss, and Noyah lipstick

  • Environment
    We only have one planet, right?  So isn't it our duty to protect it?  Many mainstream products contain ingredients that science has shown to be potentially toxic or are not biodegradable.  These chemicals can leech out into the world either after being tossed into landfill or rinsed down the drain, and these toxins don't just disappear.  They can find their way into the soil, the food chain, and the water supply and slowly begin to affect the surrounding environment.

    Ingredients like triclosan, DBP, BHA and BHT, oxybenzone, and silicones all have very real consequences for humans, plant life, and animals, and many of these commonly used chemicals bioaccumulate, or build up, meaning the toxicity is persistent and ever-increasing.  Scary.  If this is something you want to know more about do let me know, as I could talk for hours about this!

    Finding all natural and "non-toxic" products will dramatically cut down on your personal chemical footprint, and with enough people making the transition to eco-friendly options the impact on the world can at least slow down enough so the damage is not irreversible.  Honestly, this is one of my top reasons for going green - without a stable environment, everything else begins to crumble, and my beauty routine is simply not worth that kind of breakdown.

Skin Alchemists, Bodhi & Birch, Meadow Skincare, Mallow + White, Kri Skincare, Inner Senses

  • Health
    Skincare, makeup, shampoo, nail polish, perfume...  They all go on your skin, are inhaled, or sometimes even accidentally eaten (I'm looking at you lipsticks!).  So are you really that surprised that beauty products have the potential to be harmful to health??

    From the lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson to child labour for mineral mining, contaminated products to links made between personal care products and long term bodily disruptions - what we use has an effect on us.  If this is news to you, I urge you to make a little movie night and watch something like Toxic Beauty, Beauty Laid Bare, and Broken.

    The ingredients in your everyday items can pose serious health risks over time, so knowing what those strange looking names on the label are and what they are for is key.  Luckily, there are free resources available (like EWG and Think Dirty) for quick and easy checks if you are not sure where to start.  You can pop in the suspect and get an answer as to its toxicity in seconds, though I highly recommend NOT just using these checks to figure out if a product is 'good' or not.  Formulation is more complicated than that, but it's a great way to start out if you want to learn about ingredients.

    However, what you can't so easily find out is what is hidden inside your products that is not listed on the label.  Pesticides, genetically modified organisms that may contain deadly allergens, contaminated synthetics or minerals, unethical sourcing, and more can be contained without anyone realizing.  To avoid these potential lurkers, switch to natural products, look out for brands you know you can trust, and keep an eye out for any certifications (like Soil Association, RSPO, or Natrue) and GMO-free items, as this is the best way to make sure there are no hidden surprises in the products you are using. 

  • Animals
    Have you checked the cruelty free status of your favourite brands lately?  The sad reality is that many high street and luxury businesses still conduct animal testing, either directly or through a third party.  Laura Mercier, Clarins, Nivea, GlamGlow, OPI, Estee Lauder...  The list goes on and on.

    This means hamsters, mice, bunnies, chimps, dogs, and other fur friends (not to mention the countless fur-free animals that are tested on) are having potentially dangerous concoctions rubbed and scrubbed into their shaved skin, injected into their bloodstream, and sprayed onto their unprotected little faces.  By shopping certified cruelty free products, you are choosing to protect innocent lives that are not able to speak for themselves and sending a very direct message to companies: we will not buy a product built on cruelty.

    Selecting vegan friendly products is another way to show solidarity and compassion to animals, as this cuts out animal byproducts altogether -- something many believe is key to achieving healthy body, mind, and skin.

    While not all greener beauty brands are cruelty free (I'm thinking Caudalie for one), the majority are - the people behind these businesses put emphasis on ethics, and since making the switch to natural products I have found that I do not have to do as much intensive internet research before buying because I can find clear honest answers right on the items and on the website.  Plus, most of the green goodies I pick up have the Leaping Bunny making my purchase all the easier!

  • Wellbeing
    When someone asks me if clean beauty is better I often mention the benefits to wellbeing and how much switching to natural skincare, perfume, and toiletries has helped my mindset.  Over the last several years my stress levels have been through the roof, with a chaotic PhD, work worries, blog responsibilities, home management, and family concerns leaving not much time to take care of myself.  My only moment of pause tended to be when I was washing my face and doing my skincare ritual, and that is when I really began to appreciate the full potential of the natural formulas I was using.

    A moment of peace in all the chaos. Aromas that could ease some of the tension that was continuously building. Ingredient blends that aid focus, add calm, and prompt happy vibes – these creations have been made to heal mind, body, and spirit rather than just provide an external beauty boost, and showed me that if care is taken when selecting these treatments an important shift can be made – a switch from “skin care” to “self care.”  Essential oils, natural extracts and resins, plant butters and waxes...  All offer such beautiful scents and can often double as wellbeing treatments.  Plus, they are so much gentler on my skin and lungs than the artificial fragrance added to mainstream products!

  • Business
    Choosing to go green and swap to ethically made products can actually benefit those involved with the process in a very big way.  Did you know that many working in the beauty, agricultural, and fashion industries are majorly exploited?  Those employed either directly or indirectly by businesses focused only on financial returns are often abused - forced to work long hours for little wages and sometimes in dangerous conditions.  Shopping with small ethically minded brands is one way to ensure your money is not going towards taking advantage of workers, and is a great step towards making a difference as a consumer.

    Plus, clean beauty brands tend to have such love behind them.  The founders I have had the joy of getting to know are full of passion, expertise, and genuine kindness.  Many donate a percentage of profits to charity, and are always up for a chat about how to use their products.  There are definitely exceptions to this, and I would be happy to share a list of brands I personally steer clear from, but overall I have found that switching to natural beauty has let me support people's dreams, minimize the contribution I make to massive soulless corporations, and has helped me find a community full of incredible individuals.

Meadow Skincare, Green People, Tata Harper, Inner Senses

Thinking of making the switch to cleaner beauty?  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts - what are you struggling with, what are you worried about, what are you looking for??  Let me know!

Of course if you have already made the swap to more eco friendly products, I want to hear your story!  Do feel free to share in the comments - who knows, you might help inspire even more people who are thinking about starting their journey with natural and ethical beauty.

And if you are looking for tried and true brands, be sure to check out my many reviews here on The ecoLogical!  You can start off with my list of ethical businesses I love, and of course I'm always around to answer questions xx

1 comment

  1. I LOVE this post! So many amazing points! :) I personally just don't trust what they put in typical makeup. Buying zero waste makeup that is handmade in my area is the only thing I really trust these days.
    Jenna ♥
    Stay in touch? Life of an Earth Muffin


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