Jayn Sterland, number 1 of the ‘The Who’s Who of Natural Beauty’ shares her mission for ‘Honest beauty’ and her simple tips to clean up our beauty routines
Jayn Sterland is the managing director of Weleda UK and number 1 of the ‘The Who’s Who of Natural Beauty’ for the second year running. We sit in the show garden of Weleda whilst we talk about Jayn’s mission for cleaning up the beauty industry, eliminating green washing and getting the industry to be socially responsible for what they put on the shelf.
You’ve won who’s who in Natural Beauty for the second year running, what does natural beauty mean to you?
“Natural beauty for me comes from within. And means being really, really authentic. This is going to sounds really corny but it starts with knowing who you are. It’s nothing to do with the products you put on your skin. It’s the light shining through you. And I think when you know who you are, and you love yourself – the good and the bad and that’s where it starts for me. When you love yourself it just radiates out. Everything comes from that – confidence – not feeling insecure – and so on. Beauty starts with inner work.”
Why is cleaner beauty so important?
“For me cleaner beauty is about challenging the beauty industry and to give us as consumers the tools to really question what we are putting on our skin.
We don’t really understand what’s in our products and for me that’s the ultimate sin. Because there is a trust level there. We think ‘if it’s in a product then it must be fine’ and actually that isn’t the case because we don’t have the legislation there to product us.”
Cleaner beauty is about giving us as consumers the tools to really understand what chemicals we are putting on our skin so we can be conscious and make conscious choice.
The thing for me about clean beauty comes out of green washing. How can you go out as a sustainable brand and look at all of the lies that go onto the shelf?
There are some big brands saying how they are carbon neutral, use green power and so on… and then you look at their ingredients and you think, hang on a minute… you are just greenwashing.
Recently I was the Chair for a beauty conference. As a chair, you’re not meant to say anything… but I thought whilst I have everyone in the room for 5 minutes, I’m going to say something… So, I just stood up to 250-300 from the UK beauty industry – All of the big boys were there. I started talking about how our industry in the UK isn’t growing, the only area that is growing in natural. And the things that the beauty industry are doing, the things we are putting into the products is causing health issues.
My point, is that as people in the industry, we have to be socially responsible. We can just say it’s a job, its money… because then it’s like the tobacco industry in the 50’s. We now know we are causing health issues.
What can people do to choose cleaner beauty products?
“When people are picking up their products from the supermarket shelf we need to ask ourselves – how much of this is rubbish, that isn’t going to do me, or the world any good? And that’s where we need to get too.
What doesn’t go in you, that gets washed off your body into the water courses and it’s causing massive problems in the ocean. And I’m not talking about micro beads in particularly, I’m talking about micro plastics –endocrine and things like silicone that are killing coral reefs.”
“When we choose cheap products the cost of the ocean isn’t factored into those costs.”
What clean beauty trick do you think most people are missing in their lives?
“I think it’s going back to some really simple basics – I think we over wash. We certainly don’t need to shower twice a day like some of us do. And when we do shower, and this is particularly true for babies, you don’t actually have to use products.”
Which are you top 5 tips to clean up our beauty routines?
1) Ditch the bubbles. You don’t need them. They don’t do you any good.
The first thing I would say is question anything that bubbles. Do you need the bubbles? bubbles come from a product called sodium lauryl sulfate and what this does is it changes the surface area which creates the bubbles. It is only there for a pleasurable experience. It is even there in toothpaste which when you are stressed can even cause mouth ulcers. It’s a known skin irritant. It’s used in commercial detergents, sometimes it difficult to biodegrade. It creates bubbles but it also creates skin irritations so if you have sensitive skin, or if you have a baby in the family really checked visit sodium lauryl sulphate and ask yourself do I really need the bubbles?
2) Find yourself a really great moisturizer.
Because if you have a really great moisturizer that you can use anywhere where you have dry skin and that one product and maybe you could get rid of your facial moisturizer, your body lotions, your body oils and so on. and make sure that it’s just really, really great quality.
3) Look at the preservatives in products. They’re there for a reason, they are not there to benefit you.
They are there to benefit the company, the profits of the manufacturer to keep that product on the shelf longer sometimes 2, 3 or even 4 years.
4) Avoid perfumes, especially synthetic perfumes – they cause a huge amount of problems
They are known endocrine disruptors, that means they disrupt hormones. When you look at the synthetic body sprays that young boys use on their bodies and then look at the changing fertility rates there is a causal link. I have been working with Weleda for 10 years and now I do not use perfumes. They just smell artificial and we just don’t need it. And they are actually doing you can a considerable amount of harm.
5) Asking yourself ‘What is really important for you?
But actually, being very critical. And if after that you still want it then carry on, but do it consciously. Work out what’s really important for you in terms of your regime and your beauty and stick to it – really challenge where you spend your money. Ask yourself, do I really need it? You can really declutter your bathroom but asking yourself this question and just having the things that are really, really important to you.
What’s your favourite clean beauty product?
Skin Food is one of my all-time favourite products – it was created in 1926. And we haven’t changed it because, why would we? To keep reinventing it every year? We don’t need too. It just does what it says. And that’s to me is fantastic innovation. It’s ‘considered’ innovation.
So, your turn, what’s your favourite clean beauty product?