The beauty industry in England is huge. But mostly the brands are packed with toxic chemicals, and wrapped in plastic. Although the sale of animal-tested beauty products has now been banned in the UK thanks to the world of Cruelty Free International, this does not mean that the companies sold are ethical: many continue to test elsewhere and although China is no longer to demand that all imported goods are tested on animals, many of the big names (like L’Oreal) have been happy to make profits.
So how do you choose a good skincare brand? It’s pretty simple, really. Just use your common sense. We all know that good skin comes from lots of water (and less wine), avoiding addictive substances, nourishing food, staying out of the hot sun, and relaxing. But just as importantly, know that as we age, we get wrinkles. It’s no big deal, and being happy with this, is more empowering than ‘miracle creams’. Also see the posts to protect your skin from the sun and natural alternatives to Botox.
The Best Natural Skincare Brands
If you are pregnant or nursing, avoid brands with essential oils, unless the formulations are so weak, that the company state they are safe. Likewise, be careful if you have epilepsy or asthma etc, as some strong formulations can cause attacks. Choose real oils over fragrance oils (these don’t biodegrade once washed down drains). Avoid shea butter for latex allergies.
- Purechimp makes nice zero waste vegan skincare. 5% of profits go to Save the Chimps, which rescues apes from zoos, circuses and vivisection labs. The company sells a nice cleanser and cream (both in easy-to-recycle pots) and a good facial oil too.
- Friendly Soap (free from palm oil and animal products) won’t dry your skin out, like conventional soap (which takes out the moisturising glycerine to use it in food products). If you have no skin problems, this should be enough. Try it for a month without anything else, and see how you get on. Handmade soaps are softer, so use a slatted soap dish, so your soap does not turn into a mushy mess.
- If you have very dry skin, you may wish to use a skin cream. Lyonsleaf sell good ones (most are vegan) as they are waterless, so they sink right in, without sitting on the surface like conventional moisturisers. These products are not suitable for allergies to nuts, daisy or aster.