what is clean beauty

What is Clean Beauty and Why it’s Important to You

You take a shower and use shampoo, conditioner, body wash and shaving cream.  After that you use body lotion, face cleanser, toner, lotion, make-up, deodorant and styling products.  To top it all off you spritz perfume.  

Whew!!  We all put a lot on our bodies on a daily basis and multiple times a day too. Your skin absorbs some of what you put on it. Some even say that your skin can absorb 60% of what you put on and can reach your bloodstream in 26 seconds.  Though that statement can be up for debate between the scientist and the homeopathic, our skin is still absorbing.

So now you wonder, “What is clean beauty?” 

What really is in your beauty products?

Looking at your product labels, you have seen words like: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/ Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS/SLES), BHA – Butylated Hydroxyanisole or Parabens (Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, Proplyparaben, Ethylparaben).  Some of these common ingredients are carcinogenic, endocrine disruptors, cause cancer and even cause skin irritations or allergies.

Those are just a few of the harmful ingredients you want to avoid.  For a list of additional Harmful Ingredients you want to avoid in your beauty products, click here.

There are quite a few words on the labels that are so hard to pronounce, you would assume they were harmful. For example: Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylate and Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, are all safe.

What do you do to make sure that your body doesn’t absorb harmful ingredients?

Switch to clean beauty products. We all have our different meanings of clean beauty, but for the majority, it means non-toxic.  I like it to be cruelty free (no testing on animals), non-toxic for my family and I, as well as the environment. I prefer my products not have any animal by-products in them either.

Finding clean beauty products isn’t as easy as you may think.  When you see labels with “natural”, “clean” or “organic”, they must be safe, right?  Nope.

It is not illegal to put these false claims on their packaging.  It is only illegal to completely misrepresent. Example, they sell face wash, but it’s really a hairspray.

These words on the label are called “Green wash marketing.” This is the marketing way of trying to appeal to the growing trend of consumers wanting “clean” products.

Now you may be confused because one of them says organic.  Being labeled organic has a process all on its own. That is true, but harmful chemicals can still be organic.  Organic doesn’t equal non-toxic.

There has not been an update to the regulation of the beauty industry since 1938.  


Can you believe that?!?!  

There is a small group called the Personal Care Products Council (https://www.personalcarecouncil.org/about-us/), which represents 600 companies. They monitor and fund itself.  They are the ones that are supposed to be our voice in the beauty industry, but they aren’t doing enough.  

In the US we have only banned 11 harmful chemicals from our beauty products. Where in Europe, they have banned 1,328 harmful chemicals. (sourced: http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/regulations/international-laws/)

3 Ways to make buying clean beauty products easier

1. Knowing what companies test on animals will help you cancel out a lot of brands.  Some of the big companies that still test on animals are Unilever, Henkel, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson.  A good source when checking which companies are/aren’t cruelty free is https://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/

You can look at the back of the bottle of your product and they may have the logo of their parent company.  Now a couple of these companies’ state that they do not test on animals unless it is deemed necessary. Which usually is the case in China where a lot of products are produced.

2. I suggest picking one beauty product category at a time.  There are 5 that I like to break them down into: Body care, Hair care, Skin care, Make-up and Nail care.  By starting with 1 category at a time, it is less overwhelming, than trying to replace everything at once.  It also is more cost effective. You also have more time to research which ingredients to avoid and which companies have the same values as you.

3. Do your research before you go to the store.  It will be so much easier to walk in the store knowing that what you are buying is non-toxic, then walking up and down the aisle staring at all of your choices.  Plus, a lot of times we feel we have heard brands that are clean, but when you research their ingredients, they aren’t.

Two great apps to download to make this process easier is Think Dirty and Healthy Living.  You can scan the label of the bottle and it will grade the product from 0-10. It will also tell you which ingredients are harmful and why.  They don’t have all of the products in their system or always have the up to date ingredients, if the company reformulated. So, you want to have an idea of what the harmful ingredients are, as well.

Click here to grab your copy of the “Top Harmful Ingredients in Beauty Products” .  Then you will have it with you when you go to the store.

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