Clean Beauty: Better for You and the Planet

amber colored dropper bottle in basket surrounded by rose petals to signify clean beauty

“Glowing skin is always in”

But at what cost? And we don’t mean numbers on the price tag of your favorite cosmetics. We are talking about the long-term impact of your beauty and skincare products on both your health and the environment in general. 

Clean beauty is the answer to these concerns. Here, the meaning of ‘clean’ is three-fold: safe, non-toxic, and transparent about the ingredients. However, this definition barely scratches the surface of what clean beauty is all about in practice.

It took some time, but the impact our actions have on the environment has finally dawned on us. While the previous generations focused solely on growth and development, we want to focus on sustainable options for the same goals. Every little action in the right direction counts. Today, we’ll dive into how switching to clean beauty can have a positive effect on our planet.

Earlier, we looked at a brief definition of the term clean beauty. However, before going any further into what it entails, let us first gain a better understanding of clean beauty.

What Is Clean Beauty?

You may be wondering when exactly did clean beauty become so popular and why you’re only just finding out about it. Clean beauty was once a very niche term that was promoted by very few brands like Goop. Today the clean beauty movement has taken off, with nearly every brand in the beauty and skincare sector releasing their own clean beauty lines. Beauty retailers aren’t far behind either. Sephora’s Clean at Sephora initiative labeled over 2000 products as clean in the selection they offer. Ulta launched an in-house certification called Clean at Ulta Beauty that certifies products free from a list of harmful ingredients like parabens, phthalates, etc.

These initiatives show that clean beauty is very mainstream now. Moreover, thanks to the internet, the newer generation of consumers are much more informed and concerned about what goes into the products they use every day.

For many beauty brands, the term “clean” signifies that their products are free from controversial or unsafe ingredients, like parabens and talc. For others, it means the ingredients are sourced naturally and ethically. Some consumers may be drawn to an organic product, while others prefer a ‘vegan’ option. But what exactly is clean beauty? We feel that the term clean beauty lends itself best to products that are free from known toxic ingredients. These products should contain plant-based actives or safe yet effective synthetic ingredients. Going a step further, clean beauty products should also be cruelty-free.

That’s the best way we can sum up the concept of clean beauty. But we’re sure you may be wondering about some of those new terms that came up. 

Well, now that we’ve gained a fair idea of what clean beauty means, let’s look at some of the common terms associated with the idea.

Clean Beauty Buzzwords and What They Really Mean

You may have come across some or all of these terms while browsing through beauty products at your local drugstore or supermarket. But what do they mean? Let’s find out:

  • Clean
    • This means the product is safe for use as well as the planet. Clean beauty products should use non-toxic chemicals as the baseline and contain plant-based actives.
  • Cruelty-free
    • Cruelty-free means that the product is not tested on animals anywhere along the line of manufacturing. It also means that animal-derived ingredients weren’t sourced at the expense of any animal’s welfare.
  • Green
    • Green means the product or its ingredients shouldn’t cause environmental harm. Ideally, this would include biodegradable packaging as well.
  • Natural
    • Natural means that the product’s ingredients are from nature, like plants or minerals, and are minimally modified.
  • Non-toxic
    • Non-toxic means that the ingredients in the product shouldn’t be toxic at any dose, as verified by a reputed third-party organization such as the Environmental Working Group.
  • Organic
    • Organic means that the product uses ingredients that are produced without the use of harmful pesticides. 
  • Sustainable
    • Sustainable means that the ingredients are ethically sourced, the product and the packaging should not cause any harm to the environment in use. Single-use plastics and exfoliating microbeads are a strict no-no.
  • Vegan
    • Vegan means the ingredients are not sourced from animals or use animal by-products such as beeswax or tallow. 

Now that you understand what these terms mean, you can pay attention to them the next time you shop for beauty or skincare products. 

Now that we got the buzzwords out of the way, let’s focus on the importance of clean beauty.

Why Is Clean Beauty Important?

It is the best way forward in these trying times for the planet. We all know the drastic impact that manufacturing units and factories have on the environment. The beauty industry was no different. Moreover, these products contain chemicals that can cause significant personal harm over a long period of exposure. Do you think we’re exaggerating for effect? We’re not. Some of our daily use products contain ingredients that are known irritants, carcinogens, and endocrine disruptors!

The growing clean beauty movement is helping to educate and empower people. In addition, it has helped to advocate for better standards and safer beauty products. Talk about a win-win!

Another factor vital to conversations about cleaning up beauty is the lack of regulation in the beauty industry. For example, only 11 cosmetic ingredients are banned by the FDA in the US, while the EU has banned or restricted 1300. This puts the burden on the consumer to be well-informed and decide which products are better for them and the planet. That’s why awareness of these ingredients is so important.

Plants and naturally derived ingredients have a lot of benefits for our skin. Moreover, clean beauty brings the concepts of wellbeing and natural beauty together. 

Now that we know why it is so important, let’s look at some more benefits of clean beauty.

Benefits of Clean Beauty

Better for your health, better for the planet. If that wasn’t enough to get you to switch to clean beauty, we’re hoping this list of benefits might just convince you:

  1. Safer ingredients ensure that your skin gets nourishment without any harmful side effects.
  2. Banning Irritants and allergens linked to eczema, rosacea, contact dermatitis, etc., can control unwelcome flare-ups.
  3. Reduce your risk of irritation, redness, and sensitivity to OTC skincare products.
  1. Banning potential carcinogens significantly lower your risk of cancer.
  2. Banning potential endocrine disruptors lower your risk for hormonal dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, infertility, etc
  3. A decrease in your daily chemical exposure lowers your body toxicity.
  4. Better skin is linked to enhanced immunity and overall health and wellbeing.

If you’re convinced that getting clean is the way ahead, then we can help you start that journey.

How to Get Started With Clean Beauty

When it comes to switching out beauty and skincare products, start by surface area. Skin, we mean skin. So the products that you use for your body include shower gels and bath scrubs. Switch to paraben and sulfate-free options. Next, look at the products that stay on for the longest time. These would be sunscreen and body lotion. Switch to reef-safe sunscreen and body lotions without mineral oil. 

One of the most critical parts of clean beauty is education. Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to pore over chemistry and medical textbooks. All you need to do is be cautious of the most commonly found harmful ingredients and avoid buying products that contain them.

The first step is always to read the labels! As intuitive as this may seem, people don’t seem to read the product labels often. And when we say label, we also mean the back of the products with the ingredients list. We know that ingredients lists are notoriously challenging to read or understand. Beautypedia, Incidecoder, and Skincarisma are some valuable resources that help you decode the ingredients on those lists. Just search for the ingredient, and you’ll find relevant information that can help you choose the right product.

Clean beauty is more than a popular buzzword today. More and more people are focused on this movement. Ensuring that their beauty and skincare products are suitable for them as well as for the planet. Sustainability is the only way ahead. Innovative technology has made sustainability a reality in many fields. 

The beauty industry is all set to grow with the right values. And as consumers, we can encourage this growth by investing and using clean products. Hopefully, soon enough, it will be the golden standard.

We hope you liked this article and if you believe that clean beauty is essential, share it with your friends.

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