7 Clean Beauty Brands That Are Great For People With Autoimmune Conditions and Allergies
Taking good care of our skin is one of the best methods of self-care. Truth be told I’ve neglected mine for some time now. I used to use far too many products on my skin without educating myself on what was in them. For me, it used to be about what a product offered me aesthetically.
Anything that promised brighter, more dewy skin was either in my skincare cupboard or on my list of things to try. Anything that advertised a natural glow pricked up my ears. That ‘Kate Bosworth in Blue Crush’ natural glow. Don’t get me wrong, I would love my skin to have these qualities — but not at the expense of my overall health.
If you’re someone who manages sensitivities, allergies or autoimmune conditions, this might resonate with you. I recently connected with Ashli Templer, founder of skincare brand Yours Only. The journey of creating Yours Only has helped Ashli transform her health and she is passionate about offering that education and support to others on their own health journey.
Ashli has spent her entire life battling allergies and intolerances. After finally receiving a diagnosis for various autoimmune conditions, and a food chemical sensitivity (in particular salicylates and amines), Ashli became aware of the limitations in clean skincare. There weren’t any products on the market that were free of salicylates, sulphates and parabens that catered to her sensitive skin. So she decided to create her own!
Skin is our largest organ and protects our body. So, in other words, skincare plays a massive role in our overall health and educating ourselves on safe ingredients is very empowering.
Several years ago I found out that I had endometriosis; a chronic condition that may have links to autoimmune conditions. I started reading about some of the things I could do to a) help my body heal after surgery, and b) help my body in general. It was quite a scare for me. From that point on, I made the choice to take better care of my body. At the time I was already quite conscious of the foods I was eating (and avoiding), so I figured if I was drinking green breakfast smoothies, I should also be applying cleaner products that I knew were safe and compatible with human skin.
Ashli and I spoke in great detail about ‘clean beauty’, what constitutes this definition, and the difference between clean and natural:
“There is no regulatory body that defines what clean beauty is and every brand has their own definition of clean.” For Ashli, it’s more about what ingredients are not in Yours Only products: parabens, phthalates, PEGs, ethanolamines, chemical sunscreens, synthetic fragrance, BHT, and BHA.
Founder of Bond Clean Beauty, Clare McGrowdie, defines clean beauty really well. Clare has formulated an easy to follow list of chemicals and nasties to avoid in your skincare. She calls this the Bond’s Baddies guide.
Natural products use ingredients sourced from the environment and some botanicals, just like synthetic ingredients can be irritating. I spoke to the CEO of Lesse, Neada Deters, who said Lesse formulates their products for efficacy but also to help treat and prevent irritation and sensitivity. Neada shared with me; “Lesse uses organic ingredients because it’s a way to ensure those botanicals are high quality and safe, and not grown in a damaging way to the planet. But you can formulate for sensitive skin using botanicals if done considerately, with essential oils greater than one per cent.”
Skincare is not an exact science and is, therefore, a subjective journey. The source of someone’s reactivity or condition makes a difference.
During our first lockdown last year, my skincare routine went out the window. I washed my face with water and my skin would be lucky to see a serum or cream most days. Astonishing though, after a few weeks my skin was actually looking better than it had in a while. Maybe less was giving me more, and this is when my skincare transformation started to take place.
I started building my products and I am still going through the process. It’s important not to get overwhelmed thinking you have to do it all at once. Do your research and if you’re not sure about any particular ingredient, email the brand in question and ask — I have found this process extremely helpful. Stores like MECCA and Sephora also have their own clean skincare platforms, making it a little less daunting as they have done the work for you.
Over my journey I have compiled a list of clean beauty brands I love:
Lesse products are like a miracle for the skin. I particularly love the Ritual Serum ($70) with key ingredients including organic turmeric, organic calendula, organic rosehip, and organic jojoba. Neada says “these are some of the most anti-inflammatory, soothing, and reparative ingredients in existence — not just from the botanical world.” This product is used widely by those with rosacea, eczema, and sensitive skin.
A game-changing brand crafted with ingredients to nourish and protect sensitive skin. Yours Only has transformed my routine and looks cute in my bathroom!
Sustainably produced and free from harmful ingredients, the Ethique range features over 40 vegan and environmentally-friendly cleansing beauty bars for hair, face and body.
Drunk Elephant formulates without what they call the suspicious six: essential oils, drying alcohols, SLS, chemical sunscreens, silicones and fragrances/dyes, which they believe to be the root of many skin issues. The Lala Retro Whipped Cream ($85) is pricey but very beautiful.
When Felicity Evans was diagnosed with an auto-immune condition she became determined to change her life for the better. She struggled to find clean, effective and clinically performing products that would help her on her health journey so she formulated Imbibe. I love the Collagen Lips ($32).
Bond Clean Beauty is also a brilliant online library of brands across skincare, haircare and fragrance and is definitely worth checking out. Doing your research and going back to basics is a great place to start if you’re embarking on a clean skincare journey.
Have fun with it and enjoy learning about the process from the brands and how this can help your overall health. With any new products, it’s good to do a small spot check on a lesser-seen skin area.
If you are worried about skin reactions or sensitivities, you can speak to a dermatologist who can help guide you through this process. If you suspect you have a food chemical intolerance, seeking the help of a trained dietician is a great place to start!