This is the first of a series of interviews we will be doing with influential people in the industry who share our ethos for natural, zero-waste and cruelty-free living.
First up we have Ariane and Delphine founders of F Toxins, a natural and organic living blog. The two sisters are pioneers of natural beauty and lifestyle products. Through initiating conversations and recommending their favourite products they want to show that switching to natural alternatives doesn't mean compromising on quality, or missing out on anything except synthetic chemicals.
G: What inspired you to start your blog F Toxins?
Ariane: Our friends and family were always asking us for natural beauty advice (and we're loving the results they were getting with our recommendations!) so we thought there might be other people out there who would enjoy hearing our ramblings about all things natural and organic.
G: Why is using natural and organic products important to you?
Ariane: Choosing natural and organic products is in my DNA - I couldn't imagine living any other way. Why use synthetic chemicals that could cause harm to both yourself and the planet if there are natural, effective and affordable alternatives? It's a no-brainer.
G: What prompted you to start using natural oral care products?
Delphine: Once you start delving into understanding ingredients’ lists, there’s no going back. After realising regular toothpaste was chock full of things like fluoride (which has more toxic properties than lead) and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (a known irritant), I went on the hunt for organic and natural toothpastes and mouthwashes that were as effective.
G: What’s your morning oral care routine?
Ariane: I try to oil pull first thing in the morning for 15 minutes but it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes all I have the time and/or motivation to do is brush my teeth!
Delphine: Brushing my teeth as soon as I wake up is just part of my routine now so it’s the first thing I do. Then I’ll eat breakfast and I’ll try to wait as long as possible to brush them again (and use mouthwash before running out the door), but if I’m rushing, this happens straight after I finish eating which I know is bad for your teeth!
G: Many people aren’t aware of the effects that synthetic chemicals in beauty products have on us and the environment - would you agree? How do you feel about this?
Ariane: It is very frustrating. Especially when I am met with the argument that "if it wasn't safe, shops wouldn't be selling it". Firstly, there are so many synthetic chemicals that were once deemed safe that are now banned. And secondly, it's about the cocktail of synthetic chemicals that people come in contact with by using several products every single day of their lives.
Delphine: I find it terrifying how things like microbeads have only just been banned from beauty products in the UK and it’s frustrating that greenwashing is so rife now that the organic beauty industry is booming so much. But, it’s also a really exciting time for sustainable and organic products as people are educating themselves and living their values in terms of what they put on their body and where it’s come from.
G: If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is just starting out on their natural beauty journey, what would it be?
Ariane: As with everything in life, be gentle with yourself. Swap to natural alternatives as and when your current beauty products run out. And follow some natural beauty bloggers - they inspire us on the daily!
Delphine: Enjoy trialing out natural and organic beauty products that double up as skincare because of their wholesome ingredients – and don’t be put off if you can’t find the perfect replacement for a mainstream product yet. It probably is out there - in fact, our Instagram swap series might help you find it.
G: What would you say to people who think that natural means less effective.
Ariane: The key word there is *think*. Just try them and you'll know for sure, either way. But, please get some recommendations first because in the same way that not all conventional products are good, neither are all-natural products.
G: What are 3 conscious swaps you couldn’t live without
1) A good organic oil (I'm currently using macadamia oil) that I use to moisturise everything - my body, face, and hair. I love anything that's multi-purpose.
2) As a lip balm addict, I have to have an organic lip balm on me at all times. I hate to think about how much petroleum I applied to my lips, and ingested when I was younger.
3) A fluoride-free toothpaste.
1) My refillable glass water bottle as glass is endlessly recyclable and contains no chemicals that can leech into your drink so it’s the eco-friendly and healthiest option.
2) Organic cotton handkerchiefs which have saved me throwing away (and buying) packs of tissues – and are also really cute to carry around.
3) An aluminium-free and organic deodorant since I wear it every day, I want to make sure it’s as gentle as can be – but still powerful, of course. I use Soapwalla deodorant paste or Elsa’s Organic coconut-oil roll-on.
You can find out more about natural and organic beauty and living, get inspired and find out Delphine and Ariane's recommendations for the best natural products out there at the moment on their blog here http://www.ftoxins.com/.
We are also big fans of their Instagram swap series, where they show toxic products with a natural alternative side by side, follow them at @ftoxins.