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.
Lola is a green beauty blogger and influencer at The Hermes Hippie. 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?
After the birth of my first child, my skin went absolutely haywire. I have always been a product junkie and ended up trying countless conventional products (and spending an absolute fortune) to get it back in equilibrium—to no avail. An internet deep-dive led me to No More Dirty Looks and through them I discovered Kahina Argan Oil. I bought a bottle and it managed to completely calm down my skin in just a couple of days. That was really the beginning of my obsession. I couldn't believe the results and that something so simple could have such a profound impact and so I knew I had to learn and explore more. And the rest is history.
WHICH BEAUTY PRODUCT DID YOU SWAP FIRST?
It was definitely skincare. At first, the Kahina Argan Oil replaced my moisturizers and eye creams and eventually I moved on to using natural moisturizers and other products exclusively.
"DISCOVERING CLEAN BEAUTY MADE ME REALIZE THAT A CLEANER, MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE IS AN ONGOING JOURNEY AND I TRY TO MAKE BETTER CHOICES, WITHOUT BECOMING OBSESSED OR DRIVING MYSELF CRAZY."
WAS BEAUTY THE FIRST THING YOU SWITCHED WHEN MOVING TO A CLEANER LIFESTYLE?
I had already started paying attention to things like baby products and cleaning products to use in my son's room. It wasn't so much a lifestyle decision as wanting to make better choices for my baby. I also have always eaten pretty cleanly (no junk food, fast food, or soda, mostly organic produce and local when possible, sustainable and organic meat and dairy, etc.). Discovering clean beauty made me realize that a cleaner, more sustainable lifestyle is an ongoing journey and I try to make better choices, without becoming obsessed or driving myself crazy.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CLEAN BEAUTY STAPLES?
I am never without a great face oil, a lush, hydrating mist and a balm cleanser. I also absolutely adore my natural perfumes. I've always been a fan of niche perfume, but conventional fragrances would often give me a migraine or make me nauseous. The amazing thing about my favorite clean fragrances is that they are just as sophisticated and interesting as their conventional counterparts, but I can wear them without an iota of discomfort.
WHAT DOES YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE LOOK LIKE?
It's probably more involved than many people's, but the number one thing I try to do is listen to my skin's needs. In the evening, I cleanse (double if I am wearing heavy SPF or makeup), sometimes acid-tone, apply a hydrating mist, an eye cream, a serum (sometimes two), an active oil and, if my skin is especially dry, a rich cream or a balm. I also love using my Ziip device (that would be after cleansing, but before applying products). In the mornings, I wash my face with a gentle cleanser and go through a similar routine, except with lighter products, no acids, and, of course, SPF.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO SEE IN THE FUTURE FROM CLEAN BEAUTY?
Greater inclusivity, more quality options at affordable prices, and a greater melding of nature and science, leading to more sophisticated and active formulas. All of this is happening already, by the way, so I am really very excited for the future.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WANTING TO TRANSITION TO CLEANER BEAUTY PRODUCTS?
Take it easy on yourself. There is so much fear-mongering out there and I think people can sometimes be made to feel like they are endangering themselves and/or their families if they don’t make a full switch to clean beauty and that’s just not the case. Remember, perfect is the enemy of good. Don’t switch all at once: you’ll spend a fortune and might get frustrated. Start with a couple of things that make sense for you—ideally it should be things that you use the most frequently and that get absorbed or applied over large areas of the body. Something like shower gel is an easy place to start because there are so many delicious, inexpensive options out there. Most importantly: have fun with it! Switching to cleaner beauty shouldn’t be about doom, gloom, and fear of death and disease, but discovering powerful, beautiful, effective products and enjoying the journey of discovery!
"SWITCHING TO CLEANER BEAUTY SHOULDN’T BE ABOUT DOOM, GLOOM, AND FEAR OF DEATH AND DISEASE, BUT DISCOVERING POWERFUL, BEAUTIFUL, EFFECTIVE PRODUCTS AND ENJOYING THE JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY!"