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It’s Time to Come Clean: The Truth Behind Clean Beauty


It’s time for us to come clean.


Over the last couple of years, we have tried our hardest to eat clean, breathe clean and sleep clean. Now, we’re striving for a clean beauty regime. But what exactly does clean beauty mean?


It’s easy to think you must be a green goddess to care about the ingredients in your beauty products. Skincare shopping should be fun. But, when you’re trying to remember to avoid nine toxic ingredients, it can become a troublesome chore. Think parabens and phthalates, sulphates and artificial fragrances. How are we expected to remember this on top of everything else?


There’s the assumption that clean beauty has natural or sustainably sourced ingredients. So, clean should be virtuous and trustworthy – right?


We have researched to find out what it means to have a clean beauty regime. Furthermore, we found beauty experts that are shedding light on ambiguous labelling. They discuss how we should be more aware of greenwashing from beauty brands and more.


What is Clean Beauty?


Clean beauty as a term has not been set in stone. But it includes non-toxic products which are natural and free of active chemicals. There is not a standard definition of “clean”, so it can mean different things to different people. The Organic Pharmacy, define “clean” as organic ingredients, silicone-free, and Ecocert approved preservatives. For others, clean beauty is a conscious mindset when purchasing products. This definition focuses on the impact on the planet through the supply chain. It’s essential to consider the sourcing of ingredients and its packaging and manufacturing. Yet, others think that this term can be doing more harm than good. Georgia Barnes, Manager at The Soil Association, feels that “clean” doesn’t provide clarity. For her, it’s misleading because it can mean so many things to different people.


Is the term “clean” a form of greenwashing?


Greenwashing is where brands choose to deliberately mislead consumers. They trick them into believing the brand is more environmentally friendly than it is. There is a lack of official legislation for products to claim they are green or organic. But, there are specific certifications given by independent bodies to certify its legitimacy. The Soil Association Certification helps provide clarity and transparency in this unregulated industry. The green light products that have met the organic ingredients rule. Now, consumers can confidently shop without having to compile heavy research. This also includes the broader principles of organic certification, such as no pesticides, sustainably sourced ingredients and strict rules on labelling and packaging.



But is organic beauty better than non-organic?


The truth is, organic products are much better for you and the planet. They are packed full of high-quality ingredients that are beneficial for your skin. They also do not need any harmful ingredients or preservatives.


What ingredients should I avoid?


There are nine toxic ingredients we should avoid to have a clean beauty regime. The most common are Aluminium, Parabens, Synthetic Fragrance and Colour. The other problematic ingredients to remember are Formaldehyde, Triclosan, Propylene Glycol and Phthalates. All ingredients are visible in products for oily, dry, sensitive and combination skin. Another ingredient you should avoid is non-recyclable packaging. It may not be an actual ingredient, but it can turn your clean beauty regime into a recipe for disaster.


Clean beauty encompasses sustainability, so it is important to avoid damaging the planet. In 2018, the cosmetic industry produced 120 billion units of non-recyclable products. If you want to be a Clean Queen, then it is best to avoid these too.

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