Going Natural with Belinda Hughes
Have you ever stopped to think about what you’re putting on your skin each day?
From the body wash you use in the shower to the make-up that you put on each day, you’re probably absorbing hundreds of chemicals through your body’s largest organ before you even leave the house! Toxic chemicals are used to help make your skincare and beauty products stick to your skin, feel smoother, last longer and even form a foam. It takes less than 30 seconds for things like Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Propylene Glycol and parabens to enter your bloodstream and they can have significant effects on your health causing allergic reactions, hormone disruption, headaches and even damage to your organs.
Owner or her own skin clinic in South Yarra, Melbourne, Belinda Hughes was ahead of her time when she started questioning the nasty ingredients in skincare and make-up products over ten years ago. Over the years she followed her vision and began treatments from a small pharmacy in 2016. She believes in corrective skin care that offers real long-term results for her clients so that they can have healthy skin for life. I can say that her customised facials are amazing! My skin was glowing after my first treatment. I had no irritation and I didn’t feel nauseas or have any headaches as all the products were natural. I felt so calm and was already thinking about booking my next one before I’d walked out the door.
Belinda admits to being ‘more than a bit beauty obsessed’. She sees natural beauty as not only work, but a lifestyle that includes what she eats and how she takes care of herself. Belinda finds that eating well and getting enough exercise helps to manage her stress levels. She’s grateful that the wellness movement came along at the same time that she started to assess her health challenges and learn more about the importance of gut health.
Belinda notes that the recent surge in the number of people seeking to actively change and better their lifestyles has influenced how she runs her business.
Here’s some more of Belinda’s insight into the world of natural beauty.
Why did you make the switch to natural beauty and skincare products?
When I was in beauty college back in 2006 I worked in a salon that focused on natural beauty. I learnt about ingredients and how they interact with the skin and I kind of put two and two together and thought, why are all these chemicals in anti-aging products? It just didn’t make sense to me. At this time, I was in the right environment to question what I was learning and do a lot of self-study. The more I dug, the more I realised that natural products were the only way to go. I’ve loved seeing how much the natural beauty industry has grown and evolved over the years to become quite sophisticated in a short space of time. It’s exciting.
Tell us a little bit about your skin clinic. What inspired you to launch it and what’s your vision?
As I worked quite differently to other therapists with my strong results-driven and all natural ethos, I didn’t picture myself working for anyone else so I decided to launch the clinic. It started in 2016, in the back of a small pharmacy and I did things my way, with my own services menu and techniques that I’ve continued to hone over the past decade. I would love if more salons switched to natural!
My vision is for people to come to my salon when they not only want a natural beauty service, but also someone who’s offering expertise and advice that they haven’t received anywhere else. I focus on corrective skin care that offers real long-term results to help my clients build healthy skin for life.
What are the top 3 skin conditions that you see and hear from clients?
Acne is by far the biggest issue and the one that we spend most our time correcting.
An impaired barrier and sensitivity of the skin which is usually caused by aggressive treatments that have been done elsewhere.
Rosacea which is another difficult condition to manage without correct skincare.
What services do you offer to help clients achieve glowing skin?
We offer facials that are customised to clients on the day of their treatment. This level of customisation gets the results that our clients need. Often we either do a good clean out of the skin with our enzyme exfoliants or give our clients a lift with our micro-current treatment which is great to firm all the muscles in the face. We then have a few lines of skincare and everyone gets their own prescription of what they can use on a day-to-day basis to maintain the results that they got in the clinic. This level of skin management is constantly tweaked overtime to suit the client’s skin needs and conditions.
Where do you suggest people begin if they want to start making the shift to natural products?
I would start with your body and showering products! We use these all over ourselves daily and they’re the easiest ones to change. Lots of companies are coming out with beautiful labels that look great in the bathroom, have delicious scents and are completely natural.
Skincare is a little trickier. If you’re already using professional skincare from your beauty therapist, get advice from a natural beauty salon that stocks natural professional skincare as they’ll be able to find you the best alternatives for you.
If your skincare routine is more relaxed there are heaps of products available in health foods stores and online. Brands like Mukti, Vanessa Megan and Antipodes are all great over-the-counter products.
What are the top 5 nasty ingredients we should avoid in our make-up and skincare products?
We’ve heard the facts about how quickly chemicals hit our bloodstream but from my point of view, they’re also terrible for your skin topically and don’t have any health benefits.
My top 5 are:
Sulfates as they will strip your skin terribly.
Propylene Glycol which is just yuck! It’s supposed to make products go on smoother but it’s terrible, especially around the eyes.
Parabens which people are pretty aware about these days as they disrupt our hormones. They’re in fewer products than they used to be.
Parrafin which is a skin softener that sits on top of the skin and washes off as soon as you touch water.
Fragrances which are chemical laden and often don’t have their ingredients listed as companies aren’t required to disclose what they use. Lots of people have chemical smell sensitivities these days so fragrances are best avoided.
Can you run us through your daily skincare regime?
I wash my face morning and night.
In the morning I:
Cleanse in the shower with Organic Spa cream cleanser.
Apply serum (at the moment it’s Roccoco Glowbiotic Serum and it’s giving my skin a serious glow!).
Then Roccoco Pomegranate Eye Balm.
Followed by a moisturiser. I have sensitive skin and because it’s pollen season I’m using Roccoco Rescue Balm for allergy skin.
I finish off with Organic Spa Beauty Balm in the ‘fair’ shade. It provides light, all over coverage and clarity to my skin.
In the evening I:
Cleanse to remove makeup with Roccoco Pore Cleansing Oil, then repeat to completely clean my skin.
Apply Roccoco Globiotic Serum and Pomegranate Eye Balm.
Then I finish off with Reactive Skin Cream or if I’m feeling like my skin needs to be exfoliated (or if I’m feeling lazy!), I use Organic Spa Night Renewal Treatment Cream.
What are three of your favourite natural beauty/skincare products and why?
It’s hard to only choose three and my favourites change as my skin does. I’m pretty attached to these three:
Organic Spa Beauty Balm because it rejuvenates skin while providing great coverage.
Roccoco Pore Cleansing oil because it dissolves blackheads like nothing else I’ve seen.
Roccoco Pomegranate Eye Balm because I can’t live without eye products!
* I can vouge for the pore cleansing oil- it’s amazing!
Would you like to see the difference natural beauty products can make, be pampered or get advice on how you can switch from some of your favourite, trusted brands to chemical-free products? If so, Belinda is kindly offering you 10% off your first treatment if you mention this blog when booking.
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