Lovers of all things natural and organic, we chat clean beauty, wellbeing and must-haves with the founders of ftoxins, Ariane and Delphine.
Tell us more about your day jobs.
Ariane: My background is in PR and Social Media/Content Creation and while I still work on a few projects here and there my main focus right now is on the ftoxins. I’m also working on a few other natural and organic projects, but I don’t want to say too much about them yet…
Delphine: By day, I’m a digital editor who works on branded content across titles like Cosmopolitan and ELLE and by night, I freelance and write lifestyle features and first-person pieces on everything from dating to food and travel.
Describe what clean beauty means to you.
Ariane: Clean Beauty means enjoying skincare and makeup products that are not harmful to either yourself or to the planet. Ultimately, anything that can cause damage to your health or to your surroundings is anything but beautiful.
Delphine: To me, it means products that don’t compromise health and wellbeing for profits or ease.
What sparked your passion for all things natural and organic?
Ariane: Our Mama is a homeopath so we always lived a relatively natural and organic life but once I started researching the potential harmful effects of everything from the pesticides in our food to the synthetic chemicals in our beauty products it became impossible for me to ignore. Good health is truly the most precious gift we can have so I believe in protecting it as much as we can. When people know better than can do better which is why we are so passionate about making sure people are as informed as possible. I have friends with daughters and it fills me with so much joy knowing they are being brought up to use natural and organic beauty products.
Delphine: I’ve always been sensitive to the bigger picture – it’s why I’ve been vegetarian for just over 12 years now – and the more aware I got of supply chains and what/where our ingredients came from, the more my interest in natural and organic grew. Plus, Ariane and I have been raised on the holistic side (thanks to our mother) and we were taught to ask questions and not necessarily trust what’s being sold to us as gospel. I didn’t start using exclusively natural and organic products until my mid 20s though as it was a slow (but hugely rewarding) process.
What do you think the biggest misconception about clean beauty is?
Ariane: There are two misconceptions about clean beauty that really bug me. The first is that a lot of people worry that clean beauty isn’t as effective as mainstream beauty and the second is that clean beauty is too expensive. People seem to forget about the conventional products they’ve bought that don’t work or the amount of money they have spent on these products.
Delphine: That it’s enough to just say ‘clean’ or ‘natural’ on the bottle. There are sadly so many brands that greenwash out there and are jumping on the clean beauty bandwagon because it’s popular rather than because it’s right. For the moment, it’s not a label that works for all because it might mean they aren’t using parabens or SLS but it doesn’t mean they don’t contain any other harmful ingredients.
Clean beauty must-haves?
Ariane: For me it has to be an organic lip balm and a good quality organic oil that I can use on my hair, face and body. Makeup wise, I will always fill in my eyebrows and use an organic cream bronzer and highlighter for a bit of contouring and glow.
Delphine: I’m obsessed with Hurraw black cherry lipbalm, Benecos lipliner in brown (which I use to line but also to fill in my lips for a matte effect) and Lavera’s soft glowing highlighter in golden shine which I always have in my handbag for when I want to apply a little glow. I also love a multi-purpose balm like Bybi’s babe balm which is housed in an eco-friendly biodegradable sugarcane tube and is perfect for any slick wet eye looks or for using to stick glitter on your face! (Watch this festive space…)
Top tip for upgrading your beauty routine.
Ariane: This seems a little counterintuitive, but I believe the best upgrade you can make is to simplify. You’re better off investing in one good quality organic facial oil than six face creams.
Delphine: Invest in a skincare routine. Not only will your face thank you, it’s so nice to build a habit that gives you time for yourself! I lean my phone on my bathroom windowsill, put on a podcast like ‘Stuff Mom Never Told You’ and listen to it while cleansing (with a konjac sponge and organic muslin cloth), toning and moisturising with a night cream and some eye cream. The following morning, I’ll use a light toner again and will put on a day cream before applying make-up.
Do you follow any specific rules when buying beauty?
Ariane: I will always read the ingredients label. Greenwashing (when brands put a natural and organic spin on products that aren’t actually natural and organic) is a real thing so you can’t trust what it says on the front of the bottle. I also like to read the ingredients list to make sure I’m getting good value for money. Something might be genuinely natural and organic but made mostly of cheaper, filler ingredients that will do nothing for your skin.
Delphine: Absolutely! I always look at the ingredients list, even from brands I know and love because you never know when a nasty ingredient might sneak its way in – or when your beloved brand has been bought out by a bigger corporation and changed.
Which beauty ingredients are a definite no no?
Ariane: There are so many… aluminium, parabens, petroleum, sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate, synthetic fragrances, talc. I also avoid all plastics and silicones. These can sneak into your beauty products under lots of different names, so I always say if an ingredient sounds like it could be used in a bathroom renovation, it’s probably best to avoid it.
Delphine: We have an ‘Ingredients To Avoid’ section (http://www.ftoxins.com/skincare-ingredients-to-avoid/) on our blog which feature the most common culprits that companies use like SLS, parabens and propylene glycol. These are all irritants and skin penetrators so can disrupt your endocrine systems and even permeate your tissues.
Other than clean beauty, what other elements of healthy living are most important to you?
Ariane: I believe to live a truly healthy lifestyle all areas of your life need to be cared for. There are the obvious things like diet and exercise, but you also have to look at your thoughts. For me personally, training my body is a piece of cake compared to training my mind. Unhealthy thoughts are probably more toxic to your wellbeing than any mainstream beauty product could be.
Delphine: I think once you’re aware of all the toxins to avoid in your beauty products, it’s only natural that you start questioning the food you’re eating, the cleaning products you’re using at home and everything from the candles you’re burning to relax to the sanitary products you use during your period. I always aspire to lead a clean lifestyle when I can control what I’m consuming.
Your top piece of beauty advice.
Ariane: You can’t out facemask an unhealthy lifestyle. You can buy the most amazing skincare products but if you’re not getting enough sleep, drinking enough water and eating a well-balanced diet tailored to your unique needs, you won’t see the results you want.
Delphine: I have become obsessed with concealer recently. A make-up artist once told me that you should always put it around your nostrils to blend your nose into your face and it’s been a gamechanger. I now love the look of filled in eyebrows, curled eyelashes and a little bit of concealer to blend in my eyebags and then I use a brush to gently put some around my nose. It leaves you looking so fresh and dewy.
The last beauty product you bought?
Ariane: The last beauty product I bought was the Plume Eyebrow Pomade for my Mama. I’ve been using it every day for months now and absolutely love it so wanted to treat her to it. I’m obsessed with makeup that doubles as skincare. For example, this eyebrow pomade fills in your eyebrows while also conditioning them and encouraging growth.
Delphine: I last invested in Green People’s pressed powder in ‘caramel light.’ I don’t wear foundation at all so I use a pressed powder all over once I’ve finished the rest of my make-up to set it, keep me looking matte and to even out my skin tone. I usually wear ‘caramel medium’ but with winter upon us, I thought I might have to downgrade to a paler shade!