With so many “clean” skincare brands on the market, it can be hard to know where to start. Do you go for the brand with the prettiest packaging? The one that’s being hyped up all over Instagram? The one that’s cheapest? Or the one that’s free of all synthetic ingredients? Or is ‘clean’ even enough?
Increasing demand for beauty products with more cautiousness, consciousness and awareness for skin as well as a surge in the launching of more sophisticated and clean beauty products for better skin care are some important factors driving the growth of the clean beauty market.
The truth is there is no single definition of “clean skincare”. Some brands claim to be clean because they’re vegan, others because they use all-natural ingredients, and still others because they’re certified organic. So how do you know which brand is right for you?
We chatted to Nicole Sherwin, founder of South African Indie brand Eco Diva Natural, who offers the following considerations when switching to cleaner skincare and personal care:
1. Consider your skin type or skin condition
If you have sensitive skin, look for skincare products that are focused on skin sensitivity; products that are toxin-free, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and parfam-free. If you have dry skin, look for products that are rich in plant-based hydrating properties and that provide deep nourishment. This can be found in natural and organic oils, butters and superfood ingredients that are rich in nutrients to bring moisture back into balance. If you have skin conditions like eczema, acne, pigmentation, dark spots or rosacea, look for clean skincare brands that have authentic results-driven customer reviews. Brands that offer targeted pH balancing ingredients that support the skin microbiome through nutrient-rich vitamins, omegas and antioxidants.
2. Get Self Educated – Read the ingredient list
Just because a product claims to be “clean”, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Always read the ingredient list before purchasing any skincare product, regardless of the claims made on the packaging. Avoid products with known irritants like sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrances and phthalates. And if you have sensitive skin, avoid any harsh chemicals completely. Instead, look for products with plant-based ingredients that offer the skin gentle and nourishing superfoods, vitamins, antioxidants and omegas – all essential ingredients to balance the skin microbiome.
3. Do the Research
When it comes to skincare (or really anything!), it’s important to do your research before making any purchase—especially if you’re shelling out big bucks for a luxury product. Read reviews from credible sources (like magazines or websites), get recommendations from friends or family who have similar skin types, and don’t be afraid to ask questions when speaking with a salesperson. The more information you have, the better equipped you’ll be to make a well-informed purchase.
4. Check the Ethics
If you are ethically-driven (ie a conscious consumer) look into the ethics of brands and how transparent they are with regards to their daily business practices; also how they treat their staff and if they ‘walk their talk’.
“Consumers are becoming much more actively self-educated on checking labels for ingredients, watching videos from overseas for a global perspective and they are becoming curious about indie beauty, which often involves using ingredients that the user might find on their plate rather than concocted in a lab. Furthermore, consumers are more interested in making their skin a flawless base for makeup, rather than covering up imperfections. Thus, more consumers are becoming conscious about their health and investing in clean products,” says Nicole.
Eco Diva Natural was one of the first to launch their clean, kind, ethical skincare range in 2015. The range has grown from strength to strength and offers customers an holistic skincare approach to skin health, gut health and mental health. The Eco Diva Natural skincare range offers plant-based healing ingredients like baobab, cranberry extract, squalene and hyaluronic acid – all vitally important to balance skin pH and maintain the healthiest skin microbiome.
Nicole believes in an holistic approach to healthy, glowing skin, and in lockdown wrote a guidebook, 30 Days to Glowing Skin, that offers tips on maintaining perfect skin by focusing on skin health, gut health and mental health, and is a useful tool for any newbie wanting to transform his or her skin effectively. Nicole also offers holistic skin consultations either at their Emporium in Sea Point or online via Zoom.
You’ll find Nicole’s guidebook on the online store or you can get it for FREE with Eco Diva’s new ‘try before you buy’ mini solution or collection sets, based on what you believe your skin type or skin condition to be. These are beautifully curated mini sets that come in natural, biodegradable boxes and last for 30 days. These will give you an authentic experience of how your skin can be transformed.
The Eco Diva Mini Solution & Collection Sets
- Sensitive Mini Solution Set – balancing eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, sensitivity
- Pigmentation Mini Solution Set – balancing hyper & hypo pigmentation + melasma
- Acne Mini Solution Set – balancing breakouts, acne, pimples
- Proactive Ageing Mini Solution Set – for fine lines, wrinkles, elasticity, collagen
- Teen Mini Collection Set – to balance teenage hormonal breakouts, or skin irritations
- Pregnancy Mini Face Collection Set – everything needed for glowing pregnancy skin
- Man-Grooming Mini Collection Set – quick, easy, multi-tasking man-grooming
“Nature-cure is based upon the observation that it is the nature of things to heal themselves. We believe the same exists for our skin, and that is why we choose only the highest quality natural ingredients that support the skin’s regeneration & self-healing.”