We’ve already delved into the more popular components of a “clean” routine, from the no-no ingredients to the difference between “natural” and “organic.” But as eco-conscious beauty continues to evolve, so does the terminology to describe it all. One word that’s thrown around quite a bit is holistic.
We know it means something is generally healthy or at least somewhat safe to use, but is it any different from something labeled as green or clean? And if you want a beauty routine that’s truly holistic, where do you start? Ahead, Global Makeup Artist and Educator for Jane Iredale cosmetics Hannah Hatcher helps us make sense of it all.
The Difference Between Holistic and Clean
Before knowing the difference between the two, we need a clear definition of each one respectively. Clean beauty is the more general concept. It simply means being conscious of what’s going into your products. On the other hand, Hatcher says holistic means “the whole is more than merely the sum of its parts.”
“A holistic beauty regimen would be a regimen based on what many consider as a completely ‘organic’ approach to beauty. Meaning that everything you use is safe and natural and good for you,” she says. However, remember that labels can be deceiving. Not everything that is “natural” is 100 percent good for you, and certain things without an “organic” label aren’t necessarily bad for you.
For instance, “poison ivy, mercury and arsenic are all naturally occurring elements in nature, but that doesn’t mean that we want to start rubbing them all over our faces and incorporating them into our morning beauty rituals,” says Hatcher.
On the other end of the spectrum, mineral-based makeup isn’t necessarily natural, but there are skin perks that would qualify it as holistic.
“Most mineral-based makeup brands grow their minerals in a lab instead of harvesting them ‘naturally’ in nature. This allows for a clean mineral to be produced and not contaminated with heavy metals (like arsenic and mercury),
says Hatcher. “It also keeps us from depleting Earth’s natural resources and also allows for consistency and quality control. So, in a sense this is not natural, but it sure is a clean way of getting a safe beauty regimen that is healthy for your skin.”
Products to Avoid
Watch out for irritating ingredients. One of the largest culprits of this would be artificial fragrance. Stay away from anything labeled “parfum” or with artificial fragrance added. Rely instead on certain botanical extracts and essential oils to provide a healthy way to provide a pleasing aroma to your key products.
Artificial preservatives and radiation are extremely toxic and unnecessary for certain cosmetic preparations. Ingredients such as pine bark extract, essential oils and compression can provide a clean version of preservation. Certain chemicals are another concern in our beauty ingredients. Sunscreen, while necessary and good for us by creating a shield on our skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, can create inflammation as well as be irritating to the eyes. Search for a physical type of sunscreen such as zinc and titanium oxides to give you a broad-spectrum block instead of chemical.
Products to Use
Look for clean cosmetics that contain skin-healthy and -benefiting ingredients. A liquid foundation, such as Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals a Foundation, that can provide coverage but also help hydrate and plump the skin by using ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, coenzyme Q10 and a non-acidic form of vitamin C can have amazing results on the skin while providing light to medium coverage.
Look for a concealer, like Jane Iredale Active Light Under-Eye Concealer, that creates hydration, the thin delicate skin around the eye area is the first area to show signs of aging and dehydration. Cucumber and white tea extracts can help decrease puffiness, while avocado and sunflower oils can help nourish and hydrate the skin. Finding ingredients that are clean and skin friendly is ideal for creating a more holistic approach to your beauty routine.
When to Try DIY
DIY is best left to crafting projects. When it comes to your beauty routine, leave it to the experts. So much research and technology is put into the clean cosmetic arena. These cosmetic chemists know exactly how much of each ingredient is ideal for the skin and also create it in a controlled and clean environment. They also know what ingredients work synergistically together. DIY might sound fun, but to get true skin-benefiting results, stick to choosing products designed by a chemist or a brand that values clean and healthy ingredients.
How to Get Started
Start by going through all of your products and creating three piles: one to replace immediately, one to replace when it runs out, and finally a pile that is OK. Start by combing through all your products ingredients. Ingredients that look suspect put in the replace pile; products that are on the fence, go ahead and use them up until you run out. Your keep pile might be the smallest, but it is a great jump-off point.
The best place to really begin is with your skin-care products. These are the products that you wear day and night and rely on to wash off the makeup of the day. Starting there and then working with your makeup regimen will lead you to healthy skin in no time.