Thank you for taking the time to tell us more about the Slow Cosmétique movement.
How long have you been working with natural and hand made brands?
As a cosmetologist and an aromatherapist, I’ve been working with essential oils, vegetable oils and natural ingredients for about ten years now. But I wasn’t into natural skincare at first. It is only after two years working with conventional brands and products that I realized that the majority of products on the market were filled with petrochemicals, silicones, and synthetic preservatives. All potentially harmful for the planet or our health.
What is a ‘Slow Cosmétique’?
There is no such thing as “a Slow Cosmétique” 😉 Slow Cosmétique is a movement of consumers that I’ve initiated in 2012. Slow Cosmétique tells us that we can consume beauty products in another way. Less products, but better ones. Slow Cosmétique fights for cleaner formulas on one hand, and honest marketing on the other hand. So, for instance, an aromatic blend of apricot kernel oil with 1% of lavender essential oil is a product that could be said “Slow Cosmétique”, perfect for mixed skintype. A product blending silicones, synthetic fatty acids and a little bit of tea-tree oil on the other hand would not be good enough to be Slow Cosmétique.
Where did the idea to create a ‘Slow Cosmétique’ movement come from?
I was inspired by the Slow Food movement I guess. They fight against junk fast food since 1988. In 2012, I realized most products, even luxury ones, were not what we think they are. Expensive face creams, including prestigious ones, do contain low quality ingredients. Petrochemicals, palm oil derivatives, silicones and plastics are not eco-friendly and do not bring much to the skin. Preservatives like parabens, phenoxyethanol or EDTA are suspected of being strong endocrine disruptors and not good for your health on the long term. This is a big shame, as everyone knows it is possible today to formulate beauty products in another way. I got the idea to launch the Slow Cosmétique movement to free people from misbeliefs and misunderstanding, to help consumers to be aware of what they put on their skin. It should be as good as what they choose to eat.
How many countries are currently involved with the movement?
The movement has its own Slow Cosmétique Association since 2013. Volunteers are there to share the message and promote Slow Cosmétique in France, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Canada.
Can you tell us how brands can get the ‘Slow Cosmétique stamp’ and why they should consider it?
Our Association gives the “Mention Slow Cosmétique”, our appreciated award, to brands that work with both clean formulas (with no synthetical ingredients at all) and an honest marketing (not too many promises, no lies about the products or its effect). Every year since 2013, we screen about 60 brands and about half of them are awarded with the Mention Slow Cosmétique. There are 100 brands now that proudly received the Mention Slow Cosmétique. We then list then on our official website www.slow-cosmetique.org , and if they wish to, they can promote and sell their products on our collaborative marketplace www.slow-cosmetique.com.
What would you suggest consumers should look for when choosing cosmetics?
Don’t trust the name of the product or its price. They don’t mean a thing. Read the INCI list instead! This list of ingredients is always mentioned somewhere on the package. Once you find it, read the first 7 ingredients, as they always correspond to 70% of the formula or more. If you find bad ingredients among the 6 first ones, then avoid the product. Bad ingredients are either dead materials that pollute (PEGs, Petrolatum, Paraffin, Silicones…) or low quality oils (hydrogenated palm oil derivatives, fatty alcohols). Also try to avoid most common endocrine disruptors like phenoxyethanol, benzophenone, phthalates in perfumes…
You are a best selling author with “ Adoptez la Slow Cosmétique“. How did this book come about?
It is a practical guide to help you adopt Slow Cosmétique rituals for your beauty. I wanted a simple book that showed us it is possible to have a radiant, beautiful skin, with just a few products like jojoba oil, hydrosols (floral waters), aloe vera gel, some clay, some honey, and a few essential oils.
Do you have a favourite brand or product?
I really like apricot kernel oil. This oil is non comedogenic and can be used for many purposes: you can remove make up with it, but also massage it on face and body for moisture and protection. Its vitamins give you a sun kissed look on the long term, as well as they enhance your defenses against the sun.
Could you share what product is a must in every bathroom and why?
What do you hope to inspire the cosmetic industry to achieve?
My dream is that one day so-called natural brands like Lush, Body Shop, Nuxe, Caudalie or Clarins stop using synthetic components. I also dream major brands like Lancôme or Clinique should be more transparent about the ingredients they use. Moving on to cleaner, more noble formulas for cosmetics is a must. I wish the cosmetic industry would use more noble raw materials like plant extracts and true vegetable oils.
Julien, thank you so much for your time and wisdom. I look forward to seeing more from Slow Cosmétique in the near future.