With the rise of fitspo on social media and weekly health fads, we’re becoming more obsessed with health than ever before. From coconut oil, smoothies, sugar-free to gluten free, it seems we’ll digest or avoid anything we’re told, just to feel “clean”.
But if we’re so worried about the ingredients in our food, why aren’t we questioning the ingredients in the cosmetics we apply on our bodies every day?
This is the question that prompted friends Elsie and Dominika to start Clean Beauty Co, a cosmetics brand specialising in natural and harm-free products. I’d met Elsie over a year ago at a natural cosmetics making class, which I took after my skin broke out terribly after coming off the Pill (more on that soon). Now, just under a year later, she’s teaching her own master classes, preaching the benefits of using clean cosmetics. We were both shocked on the day to learn the amount of cosmetic ingredients irritating our sensitive skin, like lavender-scented sprays and certain nut oils, and had a lot of fun making a natural moisturiser together.
I absolutely love the CBCo beauty products, especially the Fuss-Free Moisturiser (£20) and Nutter Hair Oil (£15), knowing they’re safe for my delicate skin and made of 100% natural ingredients.
I applied the moisturiser after my shower, a bit like you would baby oil, and it left my skin feeling baby-soft. I couldn’t believe my skin felt this good from just natural ingredients.
My hairdresser recently recommended I try “reverse-shampooing” – where you treat your hair with an oil before conditioning and then shampooing it – and so I thought the CBCo hair oil was a perfect opportunity to try this method out. My hair felt remarkably smooth and in good health afterwards, removing any trace of the back-combing and harsh hairspray I’d had the previous day on a shoot.
Needless to say, it’s been lovely watching Elsie and Dominika take Clean Beauty Co from strength to strength, and I’m certain it will continue to do so. I caught up with the girls to find out more about the brand and their lovely products.
How did you both meet?
We met whilst working together a few years back. We sat next to each other and quickly became firm office BFFs, sharing everything from work gossip to ASOS orders. We’d be sat next to each other but instant messaging all day so the rest of the office couldn’t hear our conversations!
Do you have a day job on the side to support Clean Beauty Co?
We both work in advertising in client facing roles. Our day jobs really help us with running CBCo as they give us a good understanding of how to market the brand and generally put a business head on our shoulders.
What made you start the brand?
We had a lightbulb moment back when we were working together. At the time we were both obsessed with our health; going to the gym, eating well. We avidly followed the likes of Deliciously Ella and only bought foods that nourished our bodies. But, like any other girl, we were also obsessed with beauty – with expensive creams, mascaras, manicures and lipstick. We had a moment when the two collided and we thought ‘wait a second. We’re obsessing over what we put into our bodies, why haven’t we thought about what we put on our bodies…?’ A quick scan over the ingredients list of our favourite foundation showed us all we needed to know. We were shocked and disappointed with the pointless and sometimes toxic chemicals lurking in our products. We decided to make a change and Clean Beauty Co was born…the benefits of switching to natural alternatives are endless for our skin, hair and general health. Plus we have loads of fun making our own products, safe in the knowledge that we can control what goes into them. We haven’t looked back since!
What is your favourite Clean Beauty Co product?
Elsie: Mine is our coffee scrub, Scrub Life. The benefits of using coffee as an exfoliant are amazing – it’s gentle, gets circulation going and plumps skin. Combined with the powerful antioxidant properties of grapefruit essential oil, it’s also fab for stubborn areas of cellulite. Plus it makes you smell like a fruity espresso.
Dominika: Mine would have to be Fuss Free. We formulated this to mimic an in-shower moisturiser that a highstreet brand brought out. We wanted our own version, minus all the chemical nasties. It’s great because you literally slather on in the shower, wash off and get out ready-moisturised. It also doubles up as a makeup remover, night cream, hair treatment…The coconut, jojoba and rosehip oils are super moisturising but gentle enough to use on sensitive skin (including eczema).
I want to try the coffee scrub now. Are there any ingredients you recommend we should avoid?
Goodness, there a quite a few once you start looking into it all. Luckily we’re based in the EU and regulations around potentially harmful chemicals are much stricter than the US. The key ones that are easy to spot and regularly found in your products are:
– Parfum/fragrance: Unfortunately the industry doesn’t require companies to list just what goes into their parfum, which means they can pretty much put what they like, without having to tell us. We don’t trust that lack of visibility so we steer clear of this.
– Parabens: Many are banned in the EU but there are still a few lurking around. They are used as a synthetic preservative and the list of potential harm they cause includes developmental toxicity and even a link with breast cancer. Best to stay away we think.
– Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): This sneaky ingredient is a foaming agent, so is present in a whole lot of products. This chemical strips the skin of natural oils and protective barriers, which can lead to dandruff, flaky skin, acne and quicker aging. Sometimes they’re also contaminated with a carcinogen called 1,4-dioxane, and manufactures don’t have to declare whether its present on the label. There are plenty of natural foamers around, there’s no need to use SLS!
No way! So, what’s next for you guys?
World domination…! Jokes. But oh my God, there is a lot on for us right now. We have a couple of VERY exciting projects that we’re working on and can hopefully reveal to everyone very soon. Other than that, we’re running DIY beauty workshops where we teach people how to make their own natural products! We’ve decide to make them a regular thing now as they’ve been super successful so far. We also want to stay at the forefront of natural beauty, so that we’re a source of knowledge and advice for anyone starting out.
To buy Clean Beauty Co products or to sign up for a cosmetics making class, visit their website here.