Green’ beauty, ‘natural’ beauty, ‘pure’ beauty, ‘eco’ beauty, ‘organic’ beauty but what about the latest trend of ‘clean’ beauty? How does it differ? Why do we want it? Will it be a fleeting trend or a total game changer for the industry? Clean means that there are no known toxins in the formula. Products should be transparent meaning that every ingredient, including the components of the “fragrance” is listed. When you see “fragrance” on a product label, it’s a place where companies can hide ingredients they’d rather not list on the label.
How does it differ to natural beauty?
Natural things can be toxic. Poison ivy and arsenic are both natural! Clean is about nontoxic, meaning that there are no ingredients in the formula that have been linked to harmful health effects like cancer or hormone disruption.
Unfortunately because the industry is largely unregulated. There’s no legal definition of clean, or nontoxic, or natural, and even “organic” products can contain toxins as long as they have some organic ingredients. No governmental agencies are policing it and generally people don’t realize that something can be marketed as “natural” when actually only 1% of the product actually is. Most people are shocked to hear that their favorite products are made with toxic ingredients. It’s something that (unfairly) takes some research. If you shop at a retailer or with a brand that is totally committed to clean beauty, that’s certainly the easiest route. However, if you’re looking at a label, scan for the biggies it should be free of parabens and phlalates, at the very least. The ingredient “fragrance” is a red flag if the company doesn’t break out what’s in there. The active ingredients in sun products should only include titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, nothing else. Chemical sunscreens are irritating to skin, and some like oxybenzone have also been linked to hormone disruption.
There is legislation being brought in the U.S. goop is part of it, the Environmental Working Group is driving it, along with California Senator Diane Feinstein, among others. In the UK, The Cosmetic Toiletry & Perfumery Association do currently monitor that products are safe and investigate that cosmetics containing natural and organic ingredients do actually contain them. However, there is no single body clamping down on chemicals within products as yet. Clean beauty products took awhile to get up to speed in terms of color, texture, and quality with the rest of the industry, but they are now every bit as effective and luxurious.