Clean Beauty 101

Image Credit: Heather Favell for Glamour France.

As a 100% natural skincare company, with a no-compromise approach, it has been a pleasure to see the clean beauty movement mature over the last 20-years and fantastic to see how to clean beauty products have made their way to the mainstream. 

We spoke to Kayla Tjia, Founder of Melbourne-based One Fine Secret, to explore the important factors which constitute a clean beauty product and her inspiration for opening her own clean beauty store.

What does ‘clean beauty’ mean to you?

For us at One Fine Secret, clean beauty means mindfully created healthy products, free from proven and suspected harmful ingredients and cruelty-free.

It’s about embracing wellness and choosing to live intentionally. Through my own journey into clean beauty and love for the artisanal brands like Sodashi, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for the healing powers of nature and the positive impact clean beauty has on our entire eco-system beyond our health. From organic agriculture, sustainability, and preventing harmful ingredients from washing off into our waterways back into our soils, everything is truly connected.

What was your inspiration for launching a clean beauty store? 

My exciting little adventure into clean beauty started when I attended a women’s wellness event a few years back. One of the speakers happened to be Therese Kerr, ambassador for Certified Organic Australia (and Miranda Kerr’s mum!). It was the first time I was confronted with the concept that our mainstream beauty and personal care products were often littered with ingredients that were far less than ideal for our bodies. I was absolutely shocked and was left inspired to dig deeper. I began switching out my own beauty and lifestyle products and became quite the label nerd.

When overhauling my beauty cabinet, I found it frustratingly hard to shop for clean swaps in Melbourne that were beautiful and effective. Too often the brands labelled ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ in the beauty stores turned out not to be as healthy as they appeared. Or the health store products were not providing the extraordinary experience I was after. As a trained makeup artist with a love for wellness, I dreamed of creating a nurturing space where you could shop easily for clean beauty with passionate experts to guide and inspire you.

When bringing new brands on board, what key ‘clean beauty’ factors do you look for?

When carefully curating our collection, we look for strictly clean brands that place high performance, ingredient safety, and ethical production at their core. We thoroughly check ingredient lists first, as well as the brand’s ethos, eco-focus, and presentation. With ingredients, we go beyond simply the major offenders and ensure there are no hidden nasties, including lesser-known skin irritants and potentially harmful preservatives that many natural brands class as safe. We look for brands that really impress and make us feel something special.

In your mind, what is next in the ‘clean beauty’ movement? 

A trend towards zero-waste, and even sub-zero packaging. We’ll see innovative eco-options that go beyond minimal, recycled, and refillable options to making a positive impact on the environment with every product too, e.g. through planting trees with every purchase and using packaging from waste materials or sustainable plant-based sources.

What are your current Sodashi favorites?

I’m loving the Enzyme Face Polish, it’s such a silky soft exfoliant that leaves my skin really smooth and supple.

The Rejuvenating Serum is also one of my favorites – face oils are an absolute essential day and night in my routine, and this divine oil is so luscious, reparative, and fast-absorbing.

I’m also adoring the Clay Cleanser with Sandalwood – such a luxuriously soft and pillowy texture, and its unique purifying clays with nourishing oil blend gently removes my makeup and skincare so beautifully.

One Fine Secret is a Melbourne-based Clean Beauty store, born from a desire to challenge beauty norms and to set higher standards from the beauty industry. Click here to find out more.