The first in a brand new Eco Chat series which takes place live, each Monday evening on the Eco Living Community group.
Video link below if you’d like to watch, or you can read a rough transcript further down.
Hello! My name is Jen and I am the owner and founder of Eco Living Ideas. My mission is to create a community and platform which allows my customers and followers to begin or continue on their eco journey with ease. By providing useful information, facts and beautiful products, I take all of the guess work out of being eco-friendly.
So, let’s get started.
Focus for the evening – skin care
We will cover:
- What to look out for in products
- What to avoid in products
- My skin care routine
- Eco Alternatives and the impact they have
- Q&A session
Please ask any questions you have as we go along and I will answer at the end.
Before we start digging deeper there is one thing I want to highlight – the absolute BEST thing you can do for your skin is to DRINK WATER! We should be aiming for 2-3 litres of water a day. Reduce caffeine intake and increase water! It’ll do your skin more good than anything you can buy! Pop in the comments how much water you drink at the moment!
What to look out for in products:
My biggest piece of advice if you are wanting eco-friendly skin care products is to check out the think dirty app. There are thousands of different brands listed on there and you can basically see what dirty rating they get and how good they are for your skin. There is so much green-washing in the skin care industry that all of the ones who claim to be good for your skin – often aren’t!
What you need to be looking out for on packaging is:
- Natural ingredients – such as cocoa and shea butter, coconut oil and other similar products. But natural sprawled across a packet doesn’t always mean natural – so do your research.
- Made in the UK (or whichever country you are in) – this massively reduces the carbon footprint of a product.
- Cruelty free – make sure they’re not being tested on animals
- Vegan – veganism isn’t for everyone, I get that, but there is no reason your skin care products need to have animal products in them!
- Ethically sourced ingredients
- For healthy skin you need: Vitamin A – Treats sun damage and cellulite.Vitamin C – Reduces spots and growths.Vitamin D – Antioxidant, regenerates vitamin E and provides sun protection.Vitamin E – Antioxidant, protects against sun damage and aging.
What to avoid in products – 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed in to our bodies – remember that when you hear the following ingredients to avoid:
- Alcohol – dries the skin
- Parabens are known endocrine disruptors, meaning they mimic estrogen in the body and can lead to hormonal imbalances
- Palm Oil – so bad for the environment due to deforestation
- Artifical Fragrances – it could actually be a cocktail of carcinogens, allergens, endocrine disruptors, and irritants.
- SLS – They are surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies
- Formaldehyde – is used as a preservative in cosmetics. It’s a known carcinogen that is also linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity.
- Oxybenzone (found in sunscreens) is a known endocrine disruptor and can alter thyroid function. It’s also linked to skin allergies. Chemical sunscreens should be avoided at all costs—especially with children!
This is just a tiny number of the awful ingredients that are pumped in to many skin care products. Be careful, read labels, if you can’t pronounce it – it probably shouldn’t be going on your skin.
My skin care routine
My skin care routine has changed quite a bit over the last few years. I’ve never used many products on my skin but as I am getting older (big old 35 next week!), I figured I should try and keep my skin looking and feeling young for as long as possible. I have tried some great natural skin care products over the last few years including Weleda which a fabulous friend introduced me to. But more recently I have started using products from Upcircle which are all made from by-products of other industries. The work they do to create a circular economy is fabulous. So my current routine is:
Morning – I tend to shower after exercise on a morning so will use my Friendly Soap cleanser bar to wash my face in the shower. Once or twice a week I will use my face scrub from The Blue Lemon. At the moment I follow this with UpCircle eye cream and moisturiser. In the summer months I will switch to an SPF based cream, to offer extra protection.
I don’t wear much make-up (if any) so my evening routine is pretty straight-forward too!
Evening – I use Upcircle Cleanser balm first and rub a small amount on my face. I then use one of my Cheeky Wipes reusable face wipes to remove it (wet with warm water first). If I have had make up on I will follow this with another cleanse using my cleanser bar and then follow with eye cream and moisturiser. I also have this fabulous skin food from Weleda which, if I need an extra moisture boost, I pop on just before bed so it has all night to work its magic.
None of these products are expensive – most are a lot cheaper than other high street brands. They are all long lasting because you only need such a tiny amount each time and they are so amazing for your skin. So I use 7 products (including my wipes which are 3 years old!), and the ones I use on a daily basis (cleanser, cleanser balm, moisturiser and eye cream) will each last a good few months!
Eco Alternatives and the impact they have
You can see from all of the info above – there is a lot to consider for skin care.
The easiest swaps I think are moving away from single use wipes or cotton rounds to reusable face pads – they will suit your skin so you don’t need to worry about something not being right! This switch can save hundreds of wipes ending up blocking drains and rivers and it can also save you around £90 in the first year. Keep the same wipes for 5 years and you are laughing!
Avoid chemicals – they are, without a doubt, awful for your skin. But they are not bio-degradable either which means that as you wash them down the drain, they are poisoning our water system.
Packaging – products that are made by small, eco-conscious companies tend to come packaged in fully recyclable or reusable packaging. Cardboard, glass and aluminium are the most common and these are infinitely recyclable but also great to keep at home to fill with homemade lotions and potions! And, they do sometimes offer refills too which is even better!
As a summary you need to consider:
- Where it has come from (ingredients and processing)
- If the ingredients are harmful to you or the water system
- If you can save money and waste