What is Slow Beauty?
The slow beauty movement has been around for a few years now, but far from being yet another flash-in-the-pan beauty trend, it's reflective of how our attitudes to consumption are changing, and for the better. 'Clean' products are mainstream. Cruelty-free is increasingly demanded. And the lower the environmental impact the better.
Cue slow beauty, a natural evolution. A move towards a lifestyle that prioritises health, wellbeing, and connection with our environment and communities, so that we achieve our beautiful potential, inside and out.
Why is Slow Beauty Important?
Much like slow fashion and slow food, the slow beauty movement is actively addressing a problem that reaches far into our society, namely a short termist, wasteful, ‘throw away culture’. Our environment and the state of our mental and physical health are on a spiralling trajectory, without the kind of intervention that is turning around the fashion and food industries we will continue to see rapid decline.
As the name suggests, slow beauty and indeed slow skincare, takes time. Not least to grow and handcraft the seasonal, natural ingredients required for products, but importantly to take time for you on a daily basis. Time to reconnect and practice being yourself.
Slow Beauty in action
The idea of slowness here is multi-faceted. By taking time for yourself in this fast- paced world you are improving your emotional wellbeing and naturally becoming beautiful from the inside out.
In the longer term, it encompasses the rejection of fast-moving, frantic, mindless and reactive behaviour, and encourages thinking about what we really need from the things we consume and spend time on, and how we choose products, which will ultimately have an effect on our perception of 'beauty'. In the end, we become totally comfortable with our bodies and how they change as we move through life.
Good things come to those who wait
Did you know that it takes at least 4 weeks for active ingredients in skincare to start having an effect? This is because it takes 28 days for the skin to renew, so that's when you should see a difference.
Given that there are quick-moving, mass-production machine brands out there who can deliver trendy skincare products overnight at ever lower price points, it's not uncommon for people to try a product a few times and then, when they don't see immediate results, leave it in a drawer and move onto the next big, shiny thing.
It's the equivalent of fast fashion, and the beauty industry knows exactly what it's doing. I've definitely been guilty of this in the past and, when it comes to natural, less concentrated, less refined plant-based formulations, it could take even longer. Trust us, patience is a definite virtue.
Lower-impact, plant-based living is on the up. Packed with essential, naturally occurring vitamins and minerals (along with other skin-supporting nutrients), plant extracts and oils that have taken millions of years to evolve are just what you need to shrug off any accumulated toxic load. Gently active, nourishing and traceable, plants have got some serious goods to bring to the modern lifestyle table.
Think natural AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) found in the organic hibiscus in Ma's Pink Clay Mask Powder, that are brilliant at buffing away the skin's surface to brighten dull or mature skin. Plus, Helichrysum (present in both our Intensive Beauty Balm and Eternity Serum) contains molecular compounds proven to fade age-related dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Powerful stuff.
It's true that a lot of synthetic ingredients are designed to be 'safe', and synthetic ingredients are often cheaper and last longer. But is an endless shelf life ever really that good a thing? When using plant-based ingredients and formulating organically your hands are tied (with vines, presumably), Fresh products behave how they're meant to. In turn meaning you're getting the full benefit of every natural nutrient within.
Slow = Sustainable
Sustainability is so hot right now. It's swept through all industry sectors over the last decade, and rightly so. The complete opposite of the fast 'n' cheap, the high-octane, the mass-produced and the disposable. Sustainability encompasses a long-term approach to lifestyle.
When it comes to beauty, this means, both, that it's important to develop a personal program that focuses on balance and quality of life, and that you're ensuring the products you choose are mindfully produced with conscious practices and quality ingredients (that work with what you've got, not against it).
The environmental impact of our choices is absolutely imperative. Where natural skincare producers have the edge, is that they often prioritise conscious processes, and use exclusively renewable ingredients, whilst rejecting the use of synthetic, lab-produced compounds and non-renewable petrochemicals.
Across the board, the shift to more mindful living is a wonderful thing, and even though the idea of Slow Beauty might seem overwhelming just remember taking some time for yourself with a relaxing skincare routine is the perfect place to start. Just beware the beauty brands offering quick fixes and overnight miracles.
Tips for adopting a Slow Beauty lifestyle
- Including a ritualistic element to your skincare routine is a great way to start working slow beauty into your life.
- Carving out some time where you won't be disturbed, and drawing on Japanese Zen, where the actions you undertake are deliberate, and completely engaged with.
- Using beauty products with natural ingredients, try careful blending using tactile tools; controlling consistency; inhaling aroma; applying evenly using simple massage techniques; rinsing, cleansing, hydrating and healing.
- Look for brands with a conscience, the ones that are purpose driven and stand for something. More often than not these businesses are set up to positively contribute to their communities, to craft their products sustainably and ethically and to make decisions based on more than just profits.
- Look out for Slow Skincare, formulated with local and seasonal ingredients, made with natural and sustainable inputs and , made with plant based materials,
- Deliberately block out 10,15,20 minutes a day to focus on yourself. This might be to write a gratitude diary, enjoy a face mask or just sit quietly away from electronic devices / children.