Meet Taylor Davis, The Owner of Femme, a Canadian online clean beauty store.
Taylor grew up in a family that always embraced holistic approaches to health & wellness. She was eating organic from a young age without any awareness of this being outside "the norm".
How did you get into clean beauty?
My family has always embraced holistic approaches to health & wellness since I was young, so I grew up learning about what many people consider "unconventional" approaches to health & wellness. For the most part, I was using fluoride-free toothpaste, mineral sunscreens, organic feminine hygiene products, and eating organic from a young age without any awareness of this being outside "the norm".
I also found that, for whatever reason, when I had experimented with conventional personal care products in high school (like deodorants, toothpaste, skincare, etc.) they did not work with my body. My hair would feel weighed down, my skin would react, and the deodorants and toothpaste were not effective. I was somewhat forced to continue embracing clean products and naturally became more aware of the toxic ingredients littered in personal care products.
There's so much confusion around what is 'clean beauty' , what's your definition and take on it?
To me, clean beauty encompasses all of the products we use along with the food we consume. I believe that outer beauty is a reflection of your health, so anything that we are applying, or ingesting, that can affect our health. This includes personal care products, cleaning products, candles, laundry detergent, and so on.
I don't think something needs to be 100% natural in order to be clean, rather, made without ingredients that are suspected to harm our health. Some natural ingredients are actually toxic, so just because it is all natural, doesn't mean it is necessarily "clean".
What's been the most rewarding aspect, moving to clean beauty?
The awareness that has come with it. A lot of the holistic health movement goes against what is currently deemed as "safe" by certain regulatory bodies (often later to be deemed unsafe) and it requires you do your own research. This awareness and introspection have trickled into all areas of my life. This awareness has also increased my appreciation for nature and my interest in preventative medicine that addresses the "root cause".
I have also found that the more I embrace clean beauty products, the more I embrace my natural beauty, and my "beauty routine" simplifies. I like to use simple, clean products and I have an increasingly minimalist routine.
What ingredients do you like to stay away from?
Synthetic surfactants, fluoride, triclosan, synthetic dyes (ex. color 5, color 6), synthetic fragrances, phthalates, parabens, chemical UV blockers, aluminum, DEA, MEA, TEA, mineral oil, silicones, petrochemicals, carbon black, PEG compounds, petroleum jelly, talc...I could go on! If there are ever any ingredients I'm unfamiliar with in a product, I search the ingredient's rating on EWG. In general, I like to look at the EU regulations over the Canadian and FDA regulations because they're more stringent.
What's your tips on switching to clean beauty, did you find it hard?
Switching to clean beauty can require some trial and error and it is difficult to navigate the sea of contradicting information on the web. This is largely why I created Femme. I wish I had a resource that simplified holistic health and that selectively offered effective natural products that I could trust when I was going through my own journey of navigating the world of clean beauty. This would have reduced a lot of wasteful over-consumption over the years. I am super selective with the products I carry on Femme as I want them to be just as effective (or more) as the conventional versions.
What products would you recommend switching to natural first and what’s been the easiest clean beauty swap?
It is hard to narrow it down to just one product. I would say to start with the products you are using on your body every day, so toothpaste, deodorant, soap, and skincare.
The hardest swap for me has, unsurprisingly, been natural deodorant. I think Routine Cream is best to start out with when transitioning over to natural deodorant as it is super effective at combating body odor.
What are your fav clean beauty brands?
Mother SPF (duh!) and all of the other brands featured on Femmé. Femmé is truly a collection of the beauty brands I love and use myself.
I also love to use products that I consume (ie. manuka honey, coconut oil, herbs, etc.) on my skin & body as well.
What's the biggest myth on clean beauty, do you think?
That it is pseudoscience.