How to prep for your end-of-the-year party.
Download the app
Fitness memberships, workout classes, wellness services, beauty appointments and more.
Clean. Natural. Green. Nontoxic. Organic. It's easy to get overwhelmed by these wellness buzzwords. While we prioritize our physical and mental well-being, taking care of ourselves encompasses more than diet, meditation and exercise. We should be equally as discerning with the foods we're putting in our bodies as we are with products we are using and putting on our bodies.
When it comes to beauty products, steering clear of parabens and phthalates might be a no-brainer. But Decoding labels and marketing jargon isn't exactly easy, especially when there's a new "danger" or nontoxic product everywhere you turn! So, how do you know if your beauty and skincare routine is really safe?
At Ghost Democracy, we're helping you break down what clean beauty means to us, why it matters, and how it differs from natural, organic makeup—because who doesn't want to glow (and feel good) about what they use.
There isn't an "official" agreed-upon definition for clean beauty. Though many companies greenwash their products with labels like "natural" or "eco," that doesn't necessarily mean they're nontoxic. If you really want to find the safest skincare products, you have to take matters into your own hands —and that starts with looking at the list of ingredients.
To us, clean beauty means products made without ingredients that have harmful health effects. The U.S. restricts only 30 ingredients from being used in personal care and cosmetic products. Compare that to the EU, which has banned around 1,400. Now, you'll see why it's essential to look at each ingredient yourself and see what research (if any) has been done so that you can make the best decision for you.
Clean Beauty Tip: The Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Skin Deep Cosmetics Database can be a useful resource when reviewing ingredients in your beauty products. It's worth noting, though, that the EWG errs on the side of caution when it lacks information, so take its ratings with a grain of salt.
We know that some chemicals make their way into our bloodstreams through the skin, nose, and mouth. What we don't know is how much of these chemicals get absorbed or the long-term effects they have on our health. However, several common personal care ingredients have been linked to endocrine (or hormone) disruption and cancer, and many others contain irritants or potential allergens. At Ghost Democracy, we prefer to avoid these potentially harmful ingredients whenever possible, especially when there are so many effective clean beauty products that don't use them.
Another potential concern is body burden. Have you ever heard of it? From cleaning products to pollution, and, yes, beauty products, body burden is the total accumulation of chemicals in our body. By limiting our exposure to these potential toxins where we can—like by using clean skincare products—we may be able to lessen our overall chemical burden.
While, there's no single list of harmful ingredients to avoid, individual company's set their standards around what they will (or won't) allow in their skincare and beauty products. One consequence of the FDA having very little control over the personal care industry is that many brands get away without listing everything on the label. Seek out companies that are transparent about what goes into their products and don't hide behind the sticker.
At Ghost Democracy, we believe the best clean skincare products are paraben-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free, formaldehyde-free, dye-free, and talc-free. That's a lot of free! We also suggest steering clear of the following when choosing what products you use:
- Added fragrance
- Essential oils
- Mineral oil
- Drying alcohols
- Polyethylene glycol
Instead, look for beauty products with nontoxic, science-backed ingredients such as glycolic acid (a powerful exfoliator), bakuchiol (a natural alternative to retinol), and niacinamide (vitamin B3, which soothes and strengthens skin).
Clean Beauty Tip: When looking at labels, watch out for broad names like "fragrance" or "perfume"—they may be hiding less-than-stellar ingredients under the disguise of it being a trade secret.
Organic makeup generally means that the ingredients used were grown without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides—but organic says nothing about the product's efficacy or its safety. A beauty product can be organic and still contain potentially toxic ingredients or allergens.
The same goes for the term natural.
In theory, natural cosmetics are made with non-synthetic, plant-based ingredients, but just putting "all-natural" on a label doesn't make it so (remember, companies can market their products however they want). Natural ingredients aren't necessarily safer or better for you.
When we talk about clean beauty, we're referring to skincare products that use safe, proven, non-irritating ingredients that actually work.
Clean beauty products are even better if they are vegan (no animal or animal-derived ingredients) and cruelty-free (never tested on animals). It's a win-win for Mother Earth... and you!
Working on perfecting your at-home workout routine? Trying to take your yoga practice to the living room? Want to find a new mat and support local yoga studios from home? We interviewed SACRED yoga founder, Erica Simone, to get the inside scoop on the brand, wellness, and why SACRED yoga mats stand out among the rest.
SACRED is pulling the (yoga) mat out from under the industry. Because a basic search will likely lead many to believe that all yogis are young, physically fit, devastatingly good-looking, and well, white. Trust us, yoga doesn’t care if you look good in tight pants or if your outfit is cute. Yoga doesn’t care where you come from, what you look like, or how much money you make. Yoga isn’t about being flexible or being able to hold fancy poses. And you don’t need to take a ton of time out of your day—let alone be a skilled practitioner—to reap its amazing benefits.
SACRED’s mission is to create beautiful quality products, empower everybody to practice yoga, and to feel damn good about it. Our yoga mats are made with extreme grip, central alignment, eco-friendly natural rubber, reversible sides, and high vibration design. They’re extra long and wide, firm and comfortable, super durable, and very easy to clean.
Our PRO line is our most popular yoga mat because it offers all the best features you could want from a yoga mat, including being extra long and wide (26.7" x 72") and with thicker material (5mm). The CORE line is the same mat, buts a little smaller and thinner (24" x 70" / 3mm thick).
I designed the central logo, which was a symbol I 'channeled' a few years ago in one of my automatic drawing meditations. I often get geometric downloads that have some sort of cosmic connection and this one particularly evokes 11 elements (which can be read on the website), but essentially love and the all-seeing Universal mind.
Wellness is that sweet spot where health and happiness hold hands. It's making positive decisions and taking daily steps to giving your mind, body, and soul a warm hug in whatever you can. Whether it's focusing on keeping a healthy diet, exercising, practicing meditation, or even volunteering in your local community—whatever you need to do to keep your total being balanced.
I believe wellness is cultivated by self-love. The more you care for yourself and take all the steps in your daily life to self-nurture, the better you will feel and be able to show up in society for others. One of the major sources of disease is stress, which we can easily reduce by practicing a variety of wellness methods, including with yoga and meditation. By truly honoring your practices and deeming them sacred in whichever way you choose, you are activating a stronger connection with your inner self and therefore cultivating a greater sense of wellness.
How do you personally practice wellness? (taking time for yourself, etc.)
These days I take daily walks on the beach, hiking in nature, yoga, meditation, eating very healthy, not drinking, being creative, making art, and watching documentaries or taking online courses.
SACRED yoga mats provide a safe space to practice, physically and ethereally. Our mats are dual-sided and made with advanced grip materials, giving yogis great stability. All our yoga mats come with a central line, greatly helping with form and balance. Our PRO line is extra long and wide, providing ample space to practice. The central design is a cosmic activation, bringing loving and harmonious energy to your practice. SACRED mats are designed to offer yogis a full experience, where they can connect with themselves and practice seamlessly, not having to worry about slipping and sliding or having any stress whatsoever over their mats.
What trends and evolutions in the wellness space should we be aware of?
People becoming nicer and more loving :)
We work with yoga-related charities around the world, helping provide yoga mats to underserved communities.
Soon we will be releasing a fancy travel mat... I can't divulge too much, but stay tuned. It's going to be amazing!
Want to order one? Visit Sacredyogashop.com.
Ready to take it for a spin? Check out virtual classes on Mindbody and start flowing!