I had an email from a reader recently asking, amongst other things, my reason for blogging about Aveeno products when they aren’t completely natural or organic. A very fair question which lends itself to something I’ve been thinking about recently: what is Healing Beauty?
When I started this blog my primary intention was to track my journey of switching from using chemical ridden products to more natural and organic ones. So perhaps the name was always too ambitious. As I mentioned to this reader, there are only a very small number of products I’ve used and talked about on here that I think are truly healing. Only three or four to be precise. I’ve realised that if I wrote only about healing products I’d have very little to write about!
Although I try to be picky with things I review (you won’t catch me talking about a run of the mill bottle of Radox or Nivea), I’ve become a little more relaxed as time’s gone on. What I’ve found is that while I do want to use 100% organic and natural where possible, sometimes in reality it’s near impossible, especially if you don’t plan well ahead. If you run out of body lotion for example and need to pick something up on your lunch break you’re unlikely to find a good organic product on the UK high street. Aveeno would be one of the few semi natural brands that you’ll be able to choose from (apart from in the very big Boots stores or specialist pharmacies). Or, say you were at the airport and realised you’d forgotten to pack that mineral sunscreen you forked out on from a speciality organic boutique or online store. You won’t find Neal’s Yard or the Organic Pharmacy at the airport my friend. Not the ones I’ve been to anyway.
So I suppose what I’m saying is that life is complicated, busy, challenging and unpredictable – and sometimes we just have to be realistic with ourselves. The best we can do in these situations is make the most positive choice we can and choose the product with the least amount of toxic chemicals and the most amount of good things in it. It’s not ideal, but until natural beauty becomes more mainstream, easily accessible and affordable to the masses, it’s just realistic.
And there’s another important point to mention here and that’s performance. As much as we inform ourselves about harmful chemicals absorbing into our skin and blood streams, as much as we want to avoid parabens and sulphates and everything in between, we must, above all, still use products that work. At least I must. I for one am not willing to walk around with greasy hair because my organic shampoo doesn’t clean it properly or be embarrassed by stinky breath because my natural toothpaste doesn’t freshen it properly. Just as I refuse to give up some of the foods I love like ice cream, even though I know that sugar is bad for me, I make a choice to indulge once in a while in order to feed my soul as well as look after my body. Life is too short to give up on every treat and everything that makes us feel comfortable, beautiful and at ease in our own skin. And unfortunately that doesn’t always fit in with a completely natural/organic/green lifestyle. It’s all about balance in my opinion. That’s the Libran in me I suppose but I think it applies to us all. The best we can do is try to be as good as we can most of the time, and when we slip up, forgive ourselves and try to do better next time. That’s just life isn’t it?
So, perhaps my blog should be called ‘healing-beauty-in-an-ideal-world-or-else-the-best-alternative’. But that wouldn’t be very catchy would it?! I really hope though that no one feels I’m being misleading with either my blog title or the products I review on here. I try extremely hard to be completely honest in my opinions about a product’s performance and spend significant time doing my research when it comes to analysing the ingredients. Aside from an obsession with balance I’m also a compulsively honest person so wouldn’t ever try to mislead anyone intentionally, so I hope that this post helps clear up my perspective on natural/organic products, balanced with the reality of life.
My hope is that through this blog, at the very least, I encourage people to question the skincare and cosmetic purchases they make, perhaps taking the time to read ingredients lists before they buy and not taking every over-zealous marketing claim as gospel. I hope that the more people read, the more they reassess the products they use every day, realising that there are other options out there which could help reduce the amount of toxins that they put onto and into their skin and which they might really love using. And I hope, above all, that you enjoy reading.