What is Clean Beauty?

Clean beauty goes by many names: green, nontoxic, natural, holistic, eco, organic. Despite the many names, all of these terms share the same principal: pure and free from ingredients that have been proven toxic time and time again. Slowly but surely, the world is picking up on the Clean Beauty Movement. Everyone has their reasons; whether you’re newly pregnant, an animal lover, or had an epiphany when using a certain product, you’re switching to clean beauty because you’ve realized the truth.

What is the Unfortunate Truth?

Ingredient Regulation

The truth is, beauty products lack universal ingredient regulation and appropriate safety testing. Some countries ban more harmful ingredients than others. The European Union bans over 1,300 chemicals while the United States bans less than 12!

Check out Canada’s impressive list of prohibited cosmetic ingredients!

Despite these varying prohibited ingredients, our cosmetic products are still swarming with chemicals! Companies are free to use any ingredient not prohibited or restricted without the government’s review. These chemicals may lack proper testing OR they may have testing that deems the product unsafe. Furthermore, cosmetics can contain byproducts or contaminants such as lead.

You’re probably thinking: So, wait, really? How does this happen?

Within most countries, companies create a product then run their own testing for short term adverse reactions like rashes, hair loss, and burning. If the product passes these tests, it is ready to go to market. That’s it. The product doesn’t stop anywhere for third-party testing in between the company’s factory and the consumer’s bathroom cabinet.

Animal Testing

There’s more.

Some countries still allow and even require animal testing to ensure a product can go to market. Great, there’s the testing we want as consumers, but it provides limited data in relation to humans and is expensive! And of course, it is all at the expense of harmless animals.

There are two points to this: 1) the alternative ways of testing are better and 2) if these companies were using natural ingredients they wouldn’t have to test on rabbits! Consider the ever-so-popular and universal coconut oil; there is no need to test it. Its effects are widely known!

Thankfully, the biggest offender of animal testing, China, is catching onto the Clean Beauty Movement.

How Can You Switch to Clean Beauty?

It’s obvious that the cosmetic world is a broken system. But, it has finally been cracked open, and consumers are consistently gaining more and more awareness.

It can seem daunting, at first, to switch all of your skincare, makeup, and personal care products in one fell swoop. So… take it one step at a time!

What ‘Ingredient’ Should You Nix First?

Fragrance: This seems like a silly, harmless ingredient. However, whenever you see the term ‘fragrance’ on a product label, this can represent far more than just some vanilla or lavender added into your product. Companies create complex, unique, fragrant concoctions to add into their products; this can include up to 5,000 chemicals mixed together!

So why does the label just say ‘fragrance’?

The company does not need to list every single synthetic ingredient used in their fragrance concoction because it is their trade secret. That way, no other company can simulate the same scent.

Okay.. Now What?

After switching your fragrance-laden products with a natural counterpart like those with essential oils, become a label detective! Just because something says ‘organic’ or ‘natural,’ doesn’t make it so. As we’ve discussed, there is such little regulation in the beauty world; companies can do and claim whatever they’d like!

Turn over the bottle and look for scientific-like ingredients. Then do your research; search the web or use helpful clean beauty resources like EWG.org or The Think Dirty App.

P.S. This is not to be confused with a natural ingredient’s Latin name. For example, Shea Butter is also known as Butyrospermum Parkii.

Where Can You Get Clean Beauty Products?

Thankfully, more and more consumers are becoming aware of the dangers of unchecked cosmetic companies, and retailers are listening to consumers’ demands! You can find clean beauty options at larger stores like:

Neiman Marcus

Additionally, so many amazing small boutiques have opened up all around the world; be sure to check one out in your area!

This guest post was written by Rachel Doran, a clean beauty blogger at For Beasts & Beauty.