As we've known since elementary science class, our skin is the largest organ in our body. Being the first line of defence we have against virtually everything, it is in a vulnerable position. What we put in and on our bodies have a direct effect on it's overall health.
We're willing to bet that the average North American uses at least one product on their skin a day, and probably more. Shampoo, cleanser, lotion, all kinds of make up; they all have contact with our delicate epidermis. But, do we really know what's in them? And what effect are they having? It is a known fact that our skin absorbs topical treatments, which has been proven as it is used to transport drugs into our bloodstream in the medical industry. So what about the toxins in our cosmetics?
Recently, one of our team members had the opportunity to experience a #MaketheSwitch appointment at The Green Kiss, an ethical make-up and self-care boutique with an authentic approach to changing the beauty industry to be healthier for us and the planet (and also our soon to be neighbour on Fort St in Victoria!). Among other things, this consultation aims to educate you on what clean cosmetics options are available to replace the 'dirty' products you are currently relying on. Carly Flint, one of their fantastic team members and lead make up artists, reviewed our make-up bag to assess what we were using regularly, and what recommendations she could make.
We took the opportunity to pick Carly's brain on what she sees as some of the biggest issues and dirtiest ingredients in the beauty industry.
1. Safe + Natural Ingredients
2. Results (Quality tested)
3. No Animal Testing
4. Social Responsibility
5. Environmentally Friendly Packaging
With this commitment driving their business, you know that everything they carry is going to be a quality product that is safe for the planet and all it's living creatures. That means whether you are a label reader or not, they have done the work for you to ensure whatever you purchase is ethical and healthy.
As much as we'd like to think that our governments are not only informed enough but also have our best interests at heart enough to create stringent regulations that protect us from any harmful chemicals being used in our self-care products, Carly points out that is often not the case. Many harmful, synthetic ingredients are being used in our health care products and cosmetics, such as the ones below:
Not to mention what they are doing to the environment when washed down our drains! Many of these substances are persistent, meaning they don't easily break down and can stay in the environment long after they have been washed away. We can't imagine anyone would want to be drinking from a water supply full of these ingredients, and neither do our plants or animals.
On top of that, purchasing products that aren't socially and ethically responsible means that they could be contributing to problems like deforestation, to harvest ingredients like palm oil. And the packaging! Designing packaging that reduces the use of plastics and can be easily separated to be recycled needs to be a priority for the beauty industry to reduce the amount of waste it produces. Our furry friends need us to give them a voice as well, to stop animal testing, and focus on products that are primarily, if not 100% vegan.
We left the Green Kiss with a fresh face, a number of clean, beautiful self-care products, and feeling a whole lot more knowledgeable. We are excited to have discovered a business committed to your health, that promotes feeling good about what we are putting on our skin daily. A big, BIG thank you to the Green Kiss team for all their help and the awesome work they are doing!
There is a muddle of information out there. There can be a lot of green washing and scheming to try and convince us a product is healthier than it really is. As with any industry, we need to be wary of any information that is presented to us as advertising. With brands being sponsored on social media in sneaky ways, this can get more subliminal than we are conscious of. Word of mouth is a great way to discover great new products, but if you see something being used by someone you admire on Instagram, take their recommendation with a grain of salt, as it is not always clear when it is a paid promotion. The best thing you can do is educate yourself and support businesses and brands that you have done your research on and know you can trust.
At SALT, we have always chosen our self-care products based on their ethical and environmental merit, and now we are even more equipped to make safer, more ethical choices for ourselves, and for you. Our research is always ongoing, and as we learn, we will do our best to put our knowledge into practice.