Coming Clean is a monthly series where we interview people about their relationship with clean beauty - the good, bad and ugly. We hope these interviews will serve as a platform for raw and vulnerable discussion, but if you only take away one thing, it should be this: there is no right or wrong way - there is only your way.
Chelsea is a nationally recognized health communication strategist and wellness media correspondent. Check out our interview with her as part of CLOVE + HALLOW's monthly Coming Clean series.
WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO MAKE THE SWITCH TO USING CLEANER BEAUTY PRODUCTS?
I transitioned to cleaner beauty after years of living with Graves’ disease. Shortly after the completion of my undergraduate program in 2010, I experienced a series of thyroid storms. An endocrinologist then diagnosed me with Hypothryroidism. The endocrinologist explained that going forward, I would live the rest of my life with adverse health effects such as weight gain, hair loss, lethargy, fatigue and symptoms that mimic clinical depression. I didn’t want to accept that as my way of life. I started to do some research on plant-based, non-toxic living. I was shocked to learn just how many endocrine disruptors are in commercial personal care products. I decided to make safer swaps to manage my medical condition in a more holistic way.
WHICH BEAUTY PRODUCT DID YOU SWAP FIRST?
My first swap wasn’t actually a swap, but the elimination of chemical hair relaxers from my beauty routine. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, the use of hair relaxers may increase the risk of uterine fibroids. Black women reportedly have two or three times higher rates of uterine fibroids.
"I HAD BEEN USING CHEMICAL HAIR RELAXERS TO STRAIGHTEN MY HAIR FOR OVER 15 YEARS."
WAS BEAUTY THE FIRST THING YOU SWITCHED WHEN MOVING TO A CLEANER LIFESTYLE?
Hair was first for me. Prior to 2010, I had been using chemical hair relaxers to straighten my hair for over 15 years! I literally could not remember what the texture of my natural hair looked or felt like.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CLEAN BEAUTY STAPLES?
My “no makeup, makeup” look consists of a smudge-proof eyeliner, liquid eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, mascara, and gloss. I wear these almost every single day and feel so put together whether I’m at work or running errands.
WHAT DOES YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE LOOK LIKE?
My skincare routine always starts with my diet. I eat lots of water-rich fruit and vegetables, and sip on caffeine-free herbal teas throughout the day. I’m currently loving the oil cleanse method. I follow up with a rose toner, moisturizer/serum, and SPF! I also use a probiotic facial soap bar 1-2 times a week to keep environmental breakout triggers at bay.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO SEE IN THE FUTURE FROM CLEAN BEAUTY?
I’m hopeful and excited to see clean beauty be more accessible to and inclusive of communities of color.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WANTING TO TRANSITION TO CLEANER BEAUTY PRODUCTS?
Take your time! Don’t try to swap everything out once. Take time to discover products that perform well for you, not just products that are trending.
"TAKE TIME TO DISCOVER PRODUCTS THAT PERFORM WELL FOR YOU, NOT JUST PRODUCTS THAT ARE TRENDING."