Natural Beauty product development specialist Lena Samji-Gives us an insight into the chemicals we need to watch out for in our daily skin and hair routine.
Lena Samji has been in the beauty industry for 10yrs. Having worked for the likes of Bobbi Brown, Mac and Natural Products. Lena is the perfect Gal to give us insight into what's in our hair and beauty products. She’s recently developed an affordable natural product range for Aromatherapy Associates, due for launch in Sainsbury’s this October.
Lena Samji-Beauty Product Specialist
People are very interested in what they are putting into their bodies now. Ethically sourced, organic, chemical free. What should we be avoiding in hair and beauty products?
Things like Parabens, SLS (which is a degreaser used by mechanics to get the grease off their hands) Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It’s used in hand cleansers/shampoos-it very hard to find one that doesn't have that-it strips the hair of natural oils. Then the hair over compensates, and over produces the natural hair oils, which will cause the hair to need washing every day, and it becomes a vicious cycle. Hair really only needs to be washed every couple of days.
Ok, if we want to stick to the natural theme, what can we use?
For shampoo, lemon grass, as it a
natural degreaser, and for conditioner Turmeric
If you’re looking to buy a good shampoo and conditioner, Aveda is very healthy, natural product.
However, every three months your body becomes immune to products. It builds up immunity’s you need to rotate shampoo and cleansers
Ok, what about cosmetics. There are so many on the market, all claiming there the best. How do we know who to believe?
Well again, you need to look at what’s in them. The things should look for is Parabens and Aluminium. There’s been a lot in the press about spray deodorants using aluminium, saying it causes cancer-so it’s better to use Roll On's, as they don't used aluminium.
Can you recommend a good moisturiser? I've used so many. An when they first go on they feel moisturising, and then when they dry, my skin feels dry again!
Silicones are used in moisturisers, it makes it feel soft, more tactile, then as you said you put it on and it feels soft, doesn’t mean it's moisturising on the skin.
Alcohol is also used in a lot of products. When I worked in the Beauty dept in a major high street, one brand in particular had so much alcohol in there toner it made my skin burn.
Let’s just say it starts with Letter C,
I then used it to take make up off my hands, and it removed my nail varnish.
No way, God that's frightening.
A great moisturising product I would recommend is Elizabeth Arden Vitamin E cream. Originally invented to moisturise race horses hooves. It was a medicinal product. It then went on to be trialled in hospitals, on burns victims, and they noticed (in some cases) 90% repairs to burns and scars.
Amazing, I love Elizabeth Arden's Vitamin E cream.
The best natural moisturisers I would recommend are Vitamin E and honey. Honey, it will bind moisture to the skin, and lock it in.
Ok, what about if we can't be bothered to make our own products from scratch and Elizabeth Arden is too expensive?
Well, unfortunately for most companies to avoid all these chemicals, it means the price point often takes a bit of a hit.
Lush is a good source for reasonable priced Beauty. But they can be perfumed. Which can mean there could be alcohol in them. As long as its natural perfumes such as lavender, then it is likely to have no alcohol in them.
Liz Earle-very natural, very good products-but you will have to spend a little more.
Kiehl’s-lovely natural products.
If you would like to contact Lena Samji: