Inspired by the huge prize offered up by the Royal Society of Chemists ($2.3 million)  for a chemical free personal care product I got thinking,  can we groom in a less chemically consuming way?

People ask for “chemical free” for a number of reasons. The main ones that I have found are:

1) Health – not wanting to expose skin to irritants or ingredients that can accumulate in the body.

2) Environmental Concerns

3) Economics / Simplicity

The term “chemical free” has been misused so much in the marketing and advertising of cosmetics that nobody is quite sure what it really  means.  The term, while pretty useless and totally untrue has been used to feed on peoples fear of  the unknown and has been amplified by various scare stories that the internet has fed rather like a snowball rolling down a ski slope.  An odd dichotomy has developed which sees many  high end  (and chemically laden) anti-aging creams and tablets fly off the shelves while at the other end of the scale  vast swathes of consumers talk over cappuccino and chocolate muffins about the fact that their beauty products contain “nasty chemicals” and “toxic impurities” that are not fit to wash your garage floor with. Conclusion:  Humans are complicated, Chemicals are unavoidable.

Until the cosmetics industry and the aligned sales and marketing companies decide on a reasonable explanation of what “chemical free” means we should construct our own.  If you want products that make you look great, are not going to be able to penetrate your skin (well, not unless you have a tragic accident) and are not going to be released day after day into the environment you can’t go past the tool shed…..

I am talking about those often overlooked and hard working tools that no well groomed person should be without.  The toothbrushes, flannels, sponges, tweezers, compact mirrors, combs and nail scissors that we all have (somewhere) and may not be using to their maximum potential. For anyone looking to reduce their environmental impact, simplify their life or just make their cosmetics go further, invest in tools is my advice!

Getting personal, my two favorite beauty tools would have to be the toothbrush and the tweezers.  Even without the toothpaste it is amazing how refreshing a quick brush with water can be, especially after a parsley infused meal (I can’t eat out without ending up with green flecks in my teeth!). I  am an old fashioned girl in the toothbrush department and tend to stick to the manual brushes. I do love the fact that you now get tongue cleaners on the back of some brands but rarely have the time or energy to go there!

Tweezers are also close to my heart. I was born with stubborn eyebrows! They are not overly bushy and are also quite fair but I do still have enough rogue follicles that just don’t want to play ball.  Now, add to that my hormonally charged chin hairs and we have a major job on our hands. Without my tweezers I would be looking like Queen Kong in a very short while – Why is it that even blond girls grow dark chin hairs?   Is it the same genetic twist that gives dark haired men Ginger beards? I need to investigate further….

Anyway, tools it would seem, rule when it comes to chemical free beauty but can they really substitute your lotions and potions? Well, not completely, but you may be able to get more “bang for your buck” with a bit of cleaver thinking!

Exfoliation: The good old fashioned flannel makes for a cheap and portable exfoliating cloth for the face and body.  You can use this to make your facial wash or soap more abrasive or just go with some water for a refreshing morning reviver.  A loofa or one of those body buff puffs are great for an all over scrub and can be used again with just water or to make your favorite product go further.

Relaxation: If the hot towel is good enough on the plane, it is good enough for a pampering night in!  Hot towels help to open up your pores, making it easier for the dirt to be washed away.

Extraction: Whether it be hairs, splinters or bee stings tweezers are a useful thing to have around the house.  Take care to wash and sterilize them after use and remember to ensure you have enough light to work under.  For innovation I really like the tweezers from byAngelique – Tweezeme as they come with a little light attached, great for the visually challenged such as myself!  We took some time out to speak to Angelique about her business and where she finds her inspiration. To read the story click here: byAngelique.

For a chance to win these innovative tweezers  and find out more about chemical free beauty come along to see us at the Australian Science Festival or Greenfest as anyone signing up to our newsletter at the event will be in the running to win their own Tweezeme set. We have five to give away!

tweezeme1

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to beauty tools, hopefully you will be inspired to work out new ways of using the tools in your bathroom to reduce your reliance on all things chemical.   We would love to hear about your favorite beauty tools so please write in and share your best buys with us.

Have fun

Amanda