A little while back, after struggling with some skin concerns, I went for an acupuncture facial at boutique organic skincare store, beauty salon and complementary therapies clinic, Content in Marylebone. I can safely say that what I discovered there has changed my view on beauty products for life. I’ve never been a real makeup fiend but I’ve always been fascinated by all the new lotions and potions brought out every two minutes by the various big beauty brands. I can think of many an agonising trip to the John Lewis beauty hall, spending ages traipsing from counter to counter, wondering which particular serum has the right composition to banish my eye bags or erase those pesky fine lines. But no more! I have seen the light! Never again will I waste my money buying into the beauty industry myth… and never again will I cover my poor skin with chemicals when all it wants is to be cleansed, soothed and nourished.
Why the change of heart then? Well, the lovely Laura Jones – acupuncturist, facialist, organic beauty expert and reiki master – taught me a lot me about the skin and what it does and doesn’t like. She made me realise that my expensive, synthetic beauty regime was really a chemical assault that was actually stressing and disrupting my skin, rather than allowing it to cleanse and heal. She also explained that most skin concerns are vary rarely topical problems, and instead relate to imbalances inside your body – in my case, the digestive organs.
Anyway, what I learnt from Laura in the treatment room, and from the lovely, knowledgeable staff on the shop floor, has been invaluable. Cleaning the crap out of my medicine cupboard and replacing it with a few select organic beauty staples was such a joyous moment. And incredibly freeing. Never again will I look at an advert for the latest miracle beauty product and think ‘Ooh! Do I need that?!! Will that stop me getting wrinkles? Will that cure my crow’s feet?!’. Because I know that, even if it will (which is highly unlikely), I don’t want it. Not only are those products expensive, they’re also harsh and over-hyped. Think about it, if natural foods can do so much good for your insides, why shouldn’t natural products do the same for your face?
Intrigued? Well if you’re interested in ditching the chemicals and switching to natural, here are some tips from Content founder, Imelda Burke to get your started…
1) Loose the Lipstick – If you wear lipstick then you are eating it every day so there is no better place to start your update. Think about how much mineral oil and synthetic colour there is in each tube, how long it lasts you, and how much you have eaten over your lifetime. Switch to an organic lipstick from brands such as ILIA, ILIA, RMS Beauty or Vapour Cosmetics.
2) Switch Scents – Most people use perfume once a day, others much more often. Switching to an organic perfume from a brand such as the LA-based Strange Invisible Perfumes or the ParisianHonore Des Pres is a great way to avoid spraying fixatives and synthetic fragrance on yourself every day. Organic perfumes use a mixture of essential oils and absolutes to create base notes that last, and should be made from organic alcohol if an EDP or just lovely oils.
3) Get Sun Shade – Switch your synthetic sunscreen for a natural one. Using titanium dioxide and zinc oxide the natural sunscreens reflect rays away to protect it. The trick is in the application – make sure it is regular and that you are using a generous amount for maximum protection – rub well to avoid a white residue on the skin. For the face we love the John Masters SPF 30 and Vive Sana Solar to Polar.
4) Smelling Sweet – When it comes to deodorants, keep fresh with organic alcohol, essential oils and mineral salts. Leave the parabens, fragrance and aluminium on the shelf and make sure what you are using comes from a reputable organic skincare brand. If you’ve tried all others and found natural deodorants less than reliable than conventional counterparts, try the Soapwalla Cream Deodorant. It triumphs where others fail!
5) Think Big – Often used once or twice a day, body moisturiser is the product that that covers the majority of your skin, the body’s largest organ. By ditching the synthetic versions and going for an organic skin care product instead, you will cancel out the use of the synthetic ingredients over the majority of your body. When switching out products think big and ditch the products used on the largest area of skin first. For dry skin we love the Pai Comfrey and Calendula Organic Body Cream and the Laidbare Butter Me Up Body Butter . For Summer, nothing bets the golden shimmer of May Lindstrom’s The Good Stuff .
It can be overwhelming to change your ways at the beginning, but if you get started with these five tips and just replace a product at a time with a natural and organic version, it will feel less daunting. If you want to prioritise products, we recommend leaving the wash-off products to last – they are only in contact with the skin for a short time so less of a priority to begin with… although we still recommend switching them out when you can!
For more info, or to book a treatment, head to Beingontent.com, or call +44 (0) 20 3075 1006