Going natural for beauty is a topic that keeps coming up on everyone’s radar, as more and more people are buying natural products and are opting for a seemingly more natural life. Whilst the benefits may seem plainly obvious to some, to others it all just seems like a scam thanks to clever marketing of cosmetic companies calling product “all natural” when in actual fact there are still harmful chemicals inside. At BloomMe we’re strong advocates for natural beauty products that are not damaging to ourselves or the environment and believe that education on the nature of natural beauty is the way forward.
What does natural beauty mean?
Typically when we hear the word “natural beauty” we think of a fresh face, dewy skinned beautiful woman with no makeup, but actually that’s not what being a natural beauty is all about. Natural beauty is more about using products without harmful chemicals in, as well as avoiding products that are damaging for the environment. Makeup can be naturally made, as can manicures, so there’s no need to feel like you have to turn your life upside down and go skipping in the amish fields just because you want to live a more natural, environmentally and toxic free life!
It’s important to note that not all chemicals are harmful since literally everything is made from chemicals, including water, but it is important to separate the harmful ones from the rest and know why they’re harmful.
What are harmful chemicals and why?
Parabens are the chemicals you hear about the most to avoid. These are chemicals used for anti-bacterial uses and also act as a preservative for most liquid and creamy cosmetics. Parabens have a history of mimicking oestrogen and have been found in the body’s cells and have been associated with certain forms of breast cancer. Whilst there has been no concrete science backing that it is a carcinogen, studies on this are still in their infancy and there have been many cases in which parabens have been found in breast tumours.
Parabens are relatively easy to get out of your beauty regime as most end with “paraben”. E.g. butylparaben, methylparaben. Many natural cosmetic companies use plant based alcohol in their products as a safer option.
Sulfates are another chemical that are often scorned for their properties. Sulfates are generally used as a frothing agent in cosmetics such as shampoos and toothpastes. Sulfates are a concern because they were found to have a degenerative effect on cell membranes due to a break down in proteins, as well as leave residue in the heart, lungs, and brain.
Sulfates are also notoriously bad for your hair, not only do they dry out your scalp, strip colour and even lead to hair loss. However, this is where we need to be careful: just because the bottle says “sulfate free” it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better since there are a lot of companies that have swapped out sulphate for a different chemical, so make sure you check the label.
How easy is it go natural?
Surprising easy! At first, it can seem a bit daunting, you’re learning the habit of checking labels are decades of going with gut, or smelling products, but once you know what you like the easier it becomes. A lot of people that go natural like to make their own products, but if you’re like the BloomMe Girls and are stripped of time in Hong Kong as we usually are, there are lots of options to choose from. We personally love Swedish’s Handmade Body Care, all made in a kitchen in Sheung Wan with all natural products that smell amazing and does wonders for your skin and hair!
Manicures are also surprisingly easy to manoeuvre. Whilst many spas may not outwardly say they offer cruelty free or toxin free manicures in Hong Kong, there is still a good chance they stock the polishes, just make sure to ask. If you prefer a more straight forward approach, Melomist among many other nail salons in Hong Kong on BloomMe advertise their 7 toxins free manicures. For more on cruelty free manicures click here.
Hong Kong’s Eco Spa movement is also on the rise which means facials and other spa treatments. Emmanuel F is a perfect example of a a spa & salon that provides head to toe treatments with organic, all natural and cruelty free products. As well this, they also won the BloomMe User’s Choice Award for Best Eco Spa of 2016.
So in conclusion, going all natural is very easy, but don’t be too hard on yourself and be realistic if you’re making the change into buying all natural products. It’s a transition and will not happen overnight.
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