Ethical conscious beauty

Embrace the conscious beauty movement with these smart products

Want to make more conscious choices when choosing beauty products but don't know where to start? Our guide with help

Embrace the conscious beauty movement with these smart products

One of the best things about 'conscious beauty' - a term used to describe a shift in the way people choose their beauty products, according to their personal values - is that there are many ways to tap into it. This makes it an accessible, affordable way to switch up your daily routine.

Generally, conscious beauty refers to products that contain fewers chemicals and pesticides, those that are organic, those that are cruelty-free (not tested on animals) and those that are eco-friendly when it comes to ingredients and packaging.

We asked three early adopter of the trend why they made the change and asked for their expert opinions on the brands blazing a trail. Scroll on to find out more.

KEeping things natural

Delphine Chui, 30, co-founder of beauty blog @ftoxins, switched to organic after linking skin breakouts and headaches to her make-up.

Delphine says: ‘As a teen and young adult, I was obsessed with beauty. Blue mascara, glitter eyeshadow, vibrant lipsticks – you name it, I wore it. I used to get spots and suffer from headaches that would magically disappear after I took my make-up off. This made me wonder whether the ingredients in my make-up were the problem – and sure enough, I noticed positive results pretty quickly when I switched to organic brands. ‘I started to look into all the ingredients in my usual kit and realised that many conventional products contained chemicals known to have harmful effects. It really opened my eyes – and inspired my sister and I to start our organic beauty and lifestyle blog, @ftoxins.

‘Now I’m further along in my conscious beauty “journey”, it’s become about more than just the health benefits. It’s also about the social and ethical impact the beauty industry has on the planet – for example, whether the people producing the raw ingredients for the products have been treated and paid fairly, too.

'It's important to do your research. There are lots of brands guilty of jumping on the organic beauty bandwagon, so be wary of terms like "natural" without any certifications. I also swear by the Skin Deep cosmetics database, which allows you to search ingredients to see if they're harmful or not.

'I was pleasantly surprised to see a major brand like Garnier develop an organic range that's certified by the Soil Association*. I was lucky enough to try the day cream before its release - it's quite thick but isn't greasy, which means I'm able to apply my make-up quite soon after using it. I also find it really helps to rehydrate my skin after a holiday in the sun has left it a little worse for wear.'

'Kids' body wash is great if you have sensitive skin. This formula from Child's Farm is cleansing, non-drying and smells incredible. A great option if you're trying to cut down on the number of products you use.'

Doing it for the planet

Lynsey Hope, 38, lives in West Malling, Kent, and is mum to Jacob, five and Olive, two. She reconsidered her beauty regime after starting a family, and worrying about harmful chemicals in baby products.

Lynsey says: ‘Before having kids, I didn’t really care which beauty products I used. I’d go for things with attractive packaging or whatever was easy to use, and never considered the impact they might have on the environment. After having Jacob, I thought more about the products I was buying. When I looked at creams for his dry skin, I was stunned by all the ingredients – chemicals I didn’t want to put near him!

‘I started to look at what I was buying for myself, too, swapping my face wash for one without microbeads, the tiny pieces of plastic used to make products more abrasive. Instead, I looked for products that used more natural ingredients. I’ve noticed a real change in my skin – it used to be prone to redness and spots, but it’s now clear and glowing, which I’m sure is down to using fewer chemicals on it.

‘Don’t assume all conscious beauty products have to be bought online or will be really expensive. It’s amazing to think you can walk into a supermarket and pick up eco beauty choices – at great prices, too! These biodegradable face wipes are my favourite product - they work well, even on waterproof mascara.

'When it comes to natural products for my kids, this moisturiser smells really nice and makes my daughter Olive's skin feel lovely and smooth.'

going vegan

Nicole Whittle, 25, became vegan at 13 and wanted her beauty regime to reflect that. too. She launched her blog @veganbeautygirl in 2015.

Nicole says: ‘I never really understood beauty products when I was growing up – I didn’t know how to find the right ones for your skin or how to apply them properly. My mum didn’t wear make-up and I had no YouTube gurus to turn to.

‘Before choosing vegan beauty, I mostly borrowed whatever I could out of my older sister’s make-up bag! I spent my teenage years experimenting with skincare and make-up – mostly wasting my pocket money on products that didn’t suit me. It wasn’t until I was in my late teens that I finally started finding the joy in beauty products.

‘Once I decided to commit fully to vegan beauty, I researched everything in my make-up bag to find out what I’d need to replace, then used up what I had left – that was important, as chucking things away is a huge
waste! I also got a vegan beauty box so I could try out new beauty products. And it all started from there!

'Vegan eyeshadow palettes can be hard to find as a lot of red pigments come from carmine (crushed insects). So I really love this palette from George. The pigmentation is amazing - the colours are so vibrant.

'Original Source has a special place in my heart as it's the first beauty brand I ever saw with the vegan logo on it. The coconut scent of their shower gel transports me to a tropical beach and the shea butter leaves my skin feeling hydrated.

'I've got quite sensitive skin so I love this delicate, vegan-friendy cream from nspa. It's a dream to apply and leaves my complexion feeling soft. I like that it's got SPF30 protection and helps to shield my skin against pollution.'

Have our conscious beauty bloggers got you feeling inspired to pick up some new products that are kind for both the skin and the planet? Make sure to stock up on everything from face wipes to foundation at or pop into your local store.

*Available online at from 9 September 2019.