Clean Beauty 101: What It Is & Why You Should Care
There’s no shortage of information about the benefits of clean eating and its effects on your body, but how much do you know about the contents of your beauty products? Up to 60 percent of what you apply to your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream, which is why it’s just as important to know about what you put on your body as you do about what you put in it.
What is clean beauty? The term refers to a product’s toxicity. Clean beauty products are not harmful to humans or the environment. They have ethically sourced ingredients, they’re free from chemicals that traditional beauty products contain, and they’re transparent about their ingredients.
Why should you care? Because harmful chemicals affect your health and the environment. The U.S. doesn’t have the same strict regulations for beauty products as other countries. Europe, for example, has banned more than 1,000 chemicals commonly found in personal care products compared with the U.S., which has banned only 11. Companies whose products aren’t actually clean often use misleading language on labels—words like “green,” “eco,” and “natural,”—which can cause people to think they’re buying a clean product when they’re not.
Where should you start? Be proactive. Make a habit of regularly checking ingredient lists and updating your collection accordingly. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, check out some of our favorite brands (we’ve already done the research so you don’t have to!)
Things to avoid. Here are some chemicals to look out for when making the switch to a clean beauty routine. Parabens, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, Triclosan, Synthetic Fragrance, Siloxanes, SLES, SLS, ALS, PEGs, Petrolatum, Phenoxyethanol, and Octinoxate/Oxybenzone. For a complete list of harmful chemicals to avoid and why, check out this helpful resource.
Bottom Line. Clean beauty isn’t perfect, it’s man-made after all. Clean beauty is safe, non-toxic, and transparent. It’s about eliminating as many toxins from your products as possible. It doesn’t have to be organic, preservative-free, or all-natural. These buzzwords may dominate the industry, but they hold little weight unless they can be found alongside a list of all-clean ingredients. So just know that as long as your product doesn’t contain anything harmful or toxic, you’re good to go.
Do you have a favorite clean beauty product? Tell us why you love it in the comments!