Sometimes life can be so busy, the first person we unwittingly neglect is ourselves. Of course, when we do this for a sustained period of time our physical and mental health can suffer as a consequence – it’s only then that a wake-up call will prompt us into action to look after ourselves better.
The same can be true for our environment, tasked with a multitude of things to do, we don’t always remember to make the best, most informed eco-friendly choice for our wider world, opting for convenience and cheap, rather than ethical and sustainable.
Last Saturday, I had a timely reminder to reconsider the impact of my beauty regime. Thanks to the lovely folk at Weleda I was lucky enough to attend one of their ever-popular Blogger Insight Days where I was invited to learn what Cleaner Beauty meant to Weleda and reminded myself how I could do better, not just in my own beauty regime, but for world around me.
You may have read my previous blogs where I list some of the nasties to reduce or avoid in synthetic beauty products, namely Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, an ingredient found in shampoo and body washes to create a rich foamy lather, Phthalates founded in perfumes, deodorants, almost anything fragranced and Parabens which are most widely used a preservatives in personal care products. Well with Weleda, Cleaner Beauty means more than just removing these ‘nasties’, it’s a ‘total, holistic approach to wellbeing, understanding that true beauty is more than skin deep’.
But what does that actually mean?
Firstly it means there never have been and will never be any ‘nasties’ in Weleda products –
NO synthetic dyes or fragrances,
NO GMO ingredients
NO mineral oils
NO synthetic fillers and fats
It also means ALL of their natural cosmetics are 100% NATRUE certified, with around 80% of their plant ingredients classified as being organic and Biodynamic quality. (NATRUE is the International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association seal of approval to certify natural and organic cosmetic products.)
When you consider that the average women uses between 12-14 products a day which include parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, petroleum, dioxins, flouride, aluminium, to name just a few, the cumulative effects of these can be harmful to our health. Worryingly, a study in 2004 found at least one paraben in every single tissue sample taken from 20 women with breast cancer.
Lesson 1 – ditch synthetic ingredients and switch to all natural beauty products
Cleaner Beauty also goes beyond what we put on our skin, it also has an impact, positive or negative, on the world around us. From how the ingredients are sourced to where they end up. We’ve all watched in horror as Sir David Attenborough showed us the impact plastic has on our marine life, thanks to his call for change harmful microbeads have now been banned. However SLS is as harmful to the health of our waterways, marine wildlife and ecosystem, yet this is in many ‘natural-looking’ beauty products. Just imagine how many toxic chemicals get flushed down our drains on a daily basis. Imagine again how many of these chemicals and pollutants end up back in the food chain?
Where do the ingredients come from?
Some companies may be using natural ingredients, but are these ethically and sustainably sourced? Yes, is the answer with Weleda. A member of the ‘Union for Ethical Biotrade’ which is an international ‘not for profit’ organisation that supports sustainable business growth, local development and biodiversity conservation, Weleda grow their own organic biodynamic farms from across the world, pay their farmers a fair price and invest in long-term educational projects locally, believing ‘every part of the value chain deserves an equal share of the profits’.
Lesson 2 – choose natural products that are ethically and sustainably sourced, not harmful to the environment and consider how the company supports in their suppliers local communities.
These lessons may be new to some, but there are certainly not to Weleda. in fact they have been doing this for over 97 years since their not-for-profit company was founded by Rudolf Steiner in 1921. A pioneer of his time, Steiner believed the human body could heal itself using gifts from nature and it’s this understanding that is still at the core of ‘the Weleda Way’.
I must confess I needed this reminder, I, like many, had slipped back into ‘unhealthy’ ways, but now armed with my refreshed knowledge and first hand experience of walking through Weleda’s biodynamic garden in Derbyshire, learning from Garden Manager Claire Hattersley all about how they grow their natural ingredients and how each is chosen to support and bolster our body’s health, I am now back on track and feeling the benefits of my natural, cleaner beauty regime.
If you want to adopt a cleaner beauty regime, here’s some more top tips to get you started:
- Ditch the bubbles!
- Limit the number of products used
- Only use certified natural and organic products NATRUE, Ecocert, Soil Association
- Read the INCI* code – investigate what each chemical does *International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients
To find out more about Weleda and their wonderful products visit: www.weleda.co.uk