Why we decided to (only) sell ‘Clean Beauty’
If there’s one thing that this strange Covid 19 world has brought home to me, it’s that self care actually matters. Small daily rituals that normalise the extraordinary, rituals that bring structure and coherence if only for 10 minutes a day have become essential tools for coping & even a daily beauty routine counts. Personally I’ve always been a “wash & go” kind of person, but right now, with nowhere to actually go - I’ve found myself spending more time on the wash element and considering more deeply what I actually put on my skin and why… Given that I’m shielding from a virus and washing my hands multiple times a day, is what I’m using actually “Clean” and frankly does “Clean” matter?
When we decided to sell beauty products at TWIIN it was always really important to me that we kept it simple and only sold products that we believed in and used - we’re not a beauty platform after all. Key to the decision making process were the brand’s values - their commitment to sustainability, use of natural, organic ingredients etc - but at the time I’m not sure we were referencing the term “Clean” - but with hindsight, we totally were. I’m no Gwyneth, but do I care that what I use on my skin is poison free, hasn’t been tested on animals or caused harm to the environment? Absolutely. Layer in the fact that US cosmetics are full of ingredients banned in Europe and you can see how essential finding a “clean” brand was….
But what does “Clean” actually mean?
Well, not just the opposite of dirty…. In this context clean means a product that is safe for us and safe for the planet. A product that relies on plant based ingredients (ideally organic) for the active elements and contains no toxic ingredients. Harpers Bazaar has a really good article if you’re looking for a more in depth analysis.
The trouble is the beauty industry is totally self regulated - any brand can call themselves clean, or green or natural, and still have a list (in incredibly small print) of ingredients common to a science lab...clean washing is just as much a thing as green washing. So what to do? Well knowledge is everything and transparency vital - that’s the reason that once we chose NOTO we decided (as they do) to list all the ingredients on our product pages - so you can see exactly what you are buying into.
So - NOTO - I’m not going to lie, selecting the brand that we bought for Twiin was not a hard day at the office. Testing this brand’s gorgeously uncomplicated line of products packed full of high performing organic ingredients was one of my better buying experiences, and finding some personal “heros” - the deep serum (with its beguiling blend of carrot seed oil, pink grapefruit oil, sea buckthorn, rapeseed, marula and green coffee oil - is the only serum I now use) and the resurface scrub, without doubt the best exfoliator I’ve ever found - was an absolute delight.
Whilst the brand doesn’t call itself “clean” its commitment to not doing harm to the planet, to using natural plant based ingredients & to not including toxins in any way definitely guarantees it “clean” status in my book.
So that brings me back to today, day 77 of my isolation, and answering the question: why did we choose to only sell “clean beauty” at TWIIN? Well for all the reasons above and for one more - throughout lockdown I’ve been testing the latest addition to the NOTO range THE WASH - a gently foaming wash based around cedarwood, neroli, coriander, black pepper and aloe - a feel good, gorgeously scented product that has now become part of that vital daily ritual I spoke about earlier and frankly when personal hygiene can save your life and potentially the lives of your loved ones - what better reason to make sure that your hand washing is “clean” in every sense…