During my teens I was intensely addicted to reading Georgette Heyer’s romantic novels. As a side-effect of this addiction I was fond of imagining I had been born in the wrong century and that really my life should consist of a never-ending round of candlelit balls and enchanting encounters with dashing heroes instead of endless hours holed up in classrooms. What my sixteen year old self totally failed to take into account was that if I had been born a few centuries earlier that in all probability I would have been an under-parlour maid who rose at some ungodly hour to start an unremitting daily round of dusting, cleaning and polishing.
Still my below stairs life would have protected me from death-by-beauty-products, as there would have been no time to faff about applying unguents and potions that in those days often contained poisons. Times of course have change. Or have they? Make-up and other beauty lotions and potions no longer contain poisonous ingredients; however many of them contain chemical nasties such as parabens, phthalates or sodium lauryl sulfate.
I started using natural beauty products about six years ago when I read an article about the debate surrounding the use of parbens and aluminium in deodorants and a possible link to breast cancer. I should say that, at least as far as I know, there is no absolute scientific proof that either of these ingredients is in any way implicated as a causer of breast cancer. But merely reading that they might be was enough for me change my deodorant habit. In the intervening years I started to buy other natural product so now my bathroom cabinet is filled with natural: moisturiser, toothpaste, cleanser, soap, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner.
I am sure there are degrees of naturalness in natural beauty products and that some are more natural than others; I confess that I don’t do a lot of research but rely heavily on the buying policy of my rather good local health store which stocks a large range of natural beauty products. Nor am I, for the most part, brand loyal as I like to try different ranges. The only item I buy over and over again is Dr Hauschka floral deodorant. It works for me and I love the smell; it is unfortunately rather pricey at an eye-watering fifteen euro a pop.
In contrast to my bathroom cabinet my make up bag is sadly not filled with pure concoctions mainly because I haven’t found natural make-up products that work as well as their not so green counterparts. However as I am a signed up member of the minimalist school of make up I don’t worry too much about the chemicals I might be slapping on when I put on some slap.