Hygiene is always a hot topic in health and beauty but it’s only with the rise of ‘Cleanfluencers’ that clients want in on the action too. Meet the new breed of beauty brands causing a stir on the clean scene…
It might not come as a surprise that the leading light of the new ‘Cleanfluencer’ trend is a former hairdresser. Essex-based Sophie Hinchliffe, or Mrs Hinch, as she’s known to her fans (aka the Hinch Army) has gone from cut and colours to cleaning sensation. Since she started her Instagram feed last March she has amassed over two million followers and reportedly earns a whopping £4,900 every time she posts a picture of her cleaning tips and hacks.
Together with other hygiene headliners like the self-professed Queen of Clean, Lynsey Crombie, (who featured on Channel 4’s Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners), these cleanfluencers are changing an entire generations approach to cleaning and people born in the early 80s to mid-90s are now reportedly the cleanest generation ever.
The rapid rise of the ‘Cleanfluencers’ highlights people’s growing awareness of the toxicity and possible dangers of the products they’re using, not just on their bodies (as the rise of the clean beauty trend demonstrates) but in their environment too. But nowhere is it more vital to ensure cleanliness and hygiene is top of the list than in salons and spas where treatments are performed head to toe and a lack of care can lead to serious health problems.
Which is why we’re starting to see a new generation of innovative products coming on to the market to meet the demand for more hygienic methods of cleaning. According to a 2016 study by Health Promotion Perspectives, 95% of shared products in beauty kits are contaminated with bacteria. That’s why ISOCLEAN (sponsors of the Make-up category at this year’s BABTAC Awards) developed a fast drying, antibacterial make-up brush cleaner that kills 99.9% of bacteria on contact.
“Dirty brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria and viral activity which can result in skin infection and conditions such as boils, conjunctivitis, cellulitis, impetigo, acne, congestion, rosacea, herpes and staph infections,” explains ISOCLEAN director, Ben Moffatt. “Contaminated tools not only spread microbes across the skin but, in turn they transfer bacteria onto make-up products resulting in a constant cycle of bacteria and germs being reintroduced to the skin.”
Wiping brushes with a tissue or even spritzing them with sanitisers is a popular go-to but while it might eliminate product and pigment, the bacteria still survives. Which is where products like ISOCLEAN are filling the gap. Quick and easy to use, it gets rid of stubborn formulations like lipstick and foundation, prevents skin infections and prolongs the life of brushes while conditioning and softening them. “Clean brushes not only perform better by achieving better coverage and stronger pigmented colours, but naturally they’re more hygienic,” says Ben.
It’s not just make-up brushes getting a thorough clean. Former beauty therapist and salon owner, Rebecca Crawforth’s concern for tool hygiene led to the creation of Navy Professional and an exclusive range of high standard, vegan and cruelty free, professional tools for brow, lash and nail technicians.
“When I owned salons, I was always very thorough with cleanliness and hygiene but felt restricted in what I could do,” she says. “The tool hygiene available in the UK is primarily traditional blue disinfectant and to clean as often as required would cause rusting in the tools meaning they would then need replacing. I could never understand why beauty professionals didn’t have the same resources and tooling as other professionals. It had to change.”
After being diagnosed with a rare brain condition and undergoing major surgery in 2015, Rebecca sold her salons and explored her new business idea. She found a manufacturer in Sheffield, the home of British Steel, and produced her range of Navy Professional tools with unrivalled standard of hygiene - bacteria can’t adhere to the tools because they’re coated in titanium which also gives them extra strength and durability.
Despite only launching in October last year, her tools and products have already been endorsed by A-listers including Oprah Winfrey and Kylie Jenner. She is now on track to make £700k in her first year and her fastest seller is the Ethel cuticle pusher with 5,000 sold worldwide so far.
As well as what you’re using on your clients, think about your hands as they come into contact with more than anything else during our day. Seeing a jar of traditional blue Barbicide at a trade show, after 25 years of working in infection control and supplying cleaning and hygiene consumables, Bognor-based Neal Eason switched business direction and launched Saloncide in April 2011.
A one stop, alcohol-free, disinfectant hygiene system that’s effective against MRSA, clostridium difficile, e coli, salmonella, hepatitis, HIV, influenza A and more, it doesn’t cause the micro cracking other chemical cleaners create in PVC and leather which is where bacteria can breed. Instead, Saloncide creates a bio film that’s resistant to further cleaning, prolonging the life of both salon furniture and equipment.
With no chemical hazards, it also ties into the trend for more natural alternatives. Especially with the increase in skin sensitivities. It’s this that led therapist, Wendy Stirling to expand her Botanicals skincare range with a Sanitising Spritz. Soil Association certified organic, 100% natural, vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, it gives her clients peace of mind if they’re concerned about reactions. Containing organic alcohol derived from sugar beet, lavender and tea tree essentials oils, it delivers effective antibacterial protection without any petrochemicals.
“Like many professional therapists, I’ve become increasingly concerned about the growing use of chemical-based liquid soaps and the potential health risks they pose,” says Wendy. “I decided to offer therapists a natural, organic alternative which was equally effective but kinder on the body and pleasing to use.”
There’s also the fact that these new hygiene helpers look more appealing. As well as their own Instagram feeds and followings, it means you don’t need to hide unsightly bottles out the back or in a cupboard. With clients and consumers demanding more transparency from brands, it’s another way they can feel confident in their choice to see you as a therapist.