Mayah is one of the founders of the clean beauty movement, Clean Cult. Clean Cult believes that a love for beauty doesn’t mean you have to get dirty, but instead that beauty welcomes in the new era of natural and safe products, with attitude. They are talking about wellbeauty: the evolution from wellbeing that believes a healthy outside can make a healthy inside too. So what exactly is clean beauty? And how can you get involved? We ask Mayah this and more in our interview.
How did you first get interested in natural and organic beauty?
We all came into the world of natural and organic beauty from different places. For some of us, it was the realisation that we were spending huge amounts of money on beauty products that were doing us little to no good, whilst for me the main motivating factor was a concern for the environment. You suddenly start to piece together that everything from your toothpaste to your mascara could actually be having a bigger negative impact than you think.
What was the motivation behind launching Clean Cult?
To put it simply, clean beauty has been booming in the UK in recent years, but the one thing that was missing was big, all-inclusive events to bring everything together. We figured if no one else is doing it, why don’t we?!
“You suddenly start to piece together that everything from your toothpaste to your mascara could actually be having a bigger negative impact than you think.”
What is your mission with Clean Cult?
We want people to realise that natural beauty isn’t what it used to be. Thanks to innovative and committed entrepreneurs and formulations, you can now find a clean alternative for everything in your beauty cabinet and makeup bag, and there is no compromise. They not only look the part packaging wise, but most importantly, actually outperform conventional beauty products in many ways. We also want to build more of a community to connect everyone behind the movement. So much stuff is limited to online now, and we want to bring it into the real world with events; it feels good to connect with likeminded people in this way for a change.
Can you tell us a bit about your ‘wellbeauty’ concept?
It’s all about tying together wellness, wellbeing and beauty. We can’t see them as separate things any more – what we use on our skin, hair, and everything inbetween has a direct affect on our health. It’s just as much about feeling good as it is about looking good too. Skincare can no longer just serve purposes like anti-ageing (if there’s such a thing), it has to work in harmony with your body and have a positive impact on your sense of self.
“what we use on our skin, hair, and everything inbetween has a direct affect on our health.”
What exactly is ‘clean beauty’?
Now that the industry has evolved, a lot more people are opting to use the word clean over natural. Firstly, natural is ambiguous word…petroleum is technically from natural sources if you trace it back, but it doesn’t mean we should be putting it on our face. Clean is more all-encompassing; it suggests a lack of certain synthetics and practices which can have a detrimental effect our on health, environment and are ethically questionable.
Why is clean beauty so important?
As far as priorities go, we wouldn’t put beauty up there as one of the most important things in life, but we think that if you have a love for it, then you need to be considering what you put on the outside of your body as much as the inside. Consumers have more power than they think they do to power change. The more people demand ethical products, the louder the industry will hear the call.
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learnt, so far, from working in the wellbeauty industry?
Personally it’s to not always take things at face value. Even if something says it’s natural and organic, it’s really down to you to unpick the ingredients list and see if it’s up to your own standard. It can take time to learn what’s ‘good’ and what’s ‘bad’ in an ingredients list, but you get there eventually! On top of that I’ve realised that a beauty routine doesn’t just have to focus about how you look; so many clean beauty products have a wellness element through therapeutic scents and textures which make you slow down and take the time to really focus on you.
“Even if something says it’s natural and organic, it’s really down to you to unpick the ingredients list and see if it’s up to your own standard.”
How can people find out whether their products are clean or not?
It’s mostly down to the ingredients list. Legally, every beauty product on the market in the UK needs to have what they call an INCI list, which lists every component in Latin (this is because it’s universal when it comes to chemical and botanical names, but most brands will also put it in English). Things at the top of the list are highest in concentration, and vice versa. Sites like the EWG database are always useful for beginners with their simple ratings of ingredients, but I prefer Truth In Aging who give a more comprehensive and unbiased explanation of many ingredients. It’s also important to do some research on the brand you are buying from; how do they source their plants, where are they made; if they’ve included some synthetics, then why? Honest product makers will answer the questions you have, and these days it’s easier than ever to reach out to them via email or social media.
What are your three favourite natural beauty products?
That’s a toughie! Cream blush has been somewhat of a revelation for me…it just looks so much more fresh and natural than powder in my opinion. My favourite ones are by Vapour Organic Beauty and Kjaer Weis. Body oil is also a game changer! Massage it onto damp skin after every shower and it will change your life, seriously. I’m currently dying to get my hands on three new ones from Bodhi & Birch which we we got a sneak peek of at Clean Cult London – they felt and smelt incredible. Last but not least I’m addicted to British brand Aurelia Probiotic Skincare’s Miracle Cleanser. I’ve tried so many natural cleansers and this thick cream option is by far the best and feels so decadent.
Your first Clean Cult beauty event in London was very popular. Do you have future events coming up?
Thank you! It’s clearly something people in the UK and London are dying for, so we definitely plan on more events – and maybe sooner than you think! Keep your eyes peeled in the next couple of weeks for our next announcement…