clean beauty

What Is Clean Beauty

What is clean beauty? According to the beauty industry, clean beauty products are made from ingredients that are not known to be harmful to humans. When companies make these products, they instantly do not use harmful ingredients. Clean beauty products avoid the use of cancer causing chemicals, formaldehyde, and other controversial ingredients that can be toxic. 

Some companies take the definition of what is clean beauty a step further, saying that clean beauty products are created keeping both the body and planet in mind. These products are considered both clean beauty and organic. (The organic part is when the environment is kept in mind, but a lot of companies consider that clean beauty.) Either way, you are supposed to be able to trust that you’re getting makeup with non-toxic ingredients when you opt for clean beauty products. 

I do participate in affiliate programs, including Amazon Affiliates, and may earn a small commission if products are purchased through links on the site.

Is Clean Beauty A Hoax?

clean beauty a hoax

While it seems great that companies want to create makeup that is free from cancer causing chemicals, there are actually quite a few people against this practice. Their reasons are pretty sound too. 

The FDA Does Not Regulate The Term Clean Beauty

Some businesses truly go above and beyond to provide their clients with clean beauty products that are free from synthetic ingredients, and great for the skin. However, that doesn’t apply to all businesses that advertise clean beauty products. That’s because no one has technically defined the term clean beauty outside of the beauty industry. That is why so many people are left wondering what is clean beauty?

The FDA offers no guidance for companies that slap this label on their latest mascara. To me, clean beauty means that it’s all-natural. To another person, it means that it doesn’t have really harmful ingredients, such as those cancer causing chemicals. Others that are less likely to be absorbed into the skin are fine. Likewise, ingredients that have not been proven to be harmful to humans are also fine. 

Because of this, some businesses are using this as a marketing tool, plain and simple. You can pick up a mascara or lip liner that is from a clean beauty brand, but you still need to double check the ingredient list to guarantee that what you are getting is actually free from harmful ingredients. 

Another common concern with the lack of regulation regarding this term is that companies can use it for any of their products. One company can say something is clean, and back it up with the fact that there is no formaldehyde in the product if they want to. It’s a bit disturbing, and part of the reason why this is such a controversial topic. 

Clean Beauty Products Can Still Cause Irritation

irritated skin

Natural products seem like they would be better, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, beauty products with natural ingredients can still cause some damage. This is especially true if you opt for products made from a company that doesn’t take special consideration into the ingredients. 

This article, gives a brief summary of an editorial written by leading dermatologists in the Philadelphia area. They didn’t write this article to stir the pot, which is interesting. Instead, their main goal was to raise awareness about how companies are using the term clean beauty as a marketing tool, and it’s backed up by the number of people that suddenly have skincare issues, such as dermatitis, as a result of using them. 

They weren’t the only ones to point out problems with clean beauty products. This article highlights the problems that clean skincare products have. My favorite quote in this article, and it really explains why clean beauty doesn’t always outshine other products, is “poison ivy is natural, and it absolutely causes irritation.” 

Several dermatologists, and even people behind clean beauty brands, seem to agree. Companies are cutting out ingredients because that’s what consumers want, which means that’s what brings in their paycheck. That doesn’t mean that their products are free from harmful ingredients, though. 

Clean Beauty Isn’t A Bad Thing

Alongside the studies and articles by dermatologists, there are plenty of people claiming that clean beauty is actually a bad thing. 

That’s where you have to draw the line. Yes, clean beauty ingredients can irritate your skin. It’s true that some companies are using this as a marketing gimmick to encourage customers to spend extra money. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s bad, either. 

The concept is wonderful. Why use toxic ingredients if you don’t have to? What’s the point in slathering your face with unknown ingredients if you can achieve the same thing with natural ingredients?

This is the appeal behind clean beauty, and most of us love it. It’s not that clean beauty itself is bad, it’s that the belief that it’s instantly going to be great for your skin is incorrect, and companies using it as a marketing tool to earn more money is not okay. Clean beauty itself, however, is a great thing. 

So, Should You Buy Clean Beauty Products?

clean beauty

Because the topic itself is controversial, it can be a bit confusing. There’s no right or wrong answer. You should do what’s best for you and your skin. Take all of the information you can into consideration.

Science Actually Backs Some Toxic Ingredients

This is where things get interesting, and the reason why some people really don’t care about clean beauty. According to numerous studies, some of the toxic ingredients found in beauty products are safe and pose a minimal risk when used at low levels, such as the ones found in cosmetics.

There are other ingredients that are not considered safe nor unsafe. For example, we know that parabens are not good for us. However, the FDA continues to investigate whether they pose a health hazard when used in cosmetics. 

Do Your Research

It can be easy to fall for the hype of the beauty industry. When you hear that formaldehyde is found in our lipstick, it grosses you out. You can’t help but think of dead people. However, when you find out that it’s also naturally produced in our body and in the air all around you, you realize that it’s not that bad at minimal levels, and, if it is, you’re already exposed to it anyway. 

Companies and articles that hype the dangers of cosmetics in an effort to promote clean beauty brands should probably be ignored. Instead, travel down the google hole to learn more about the ingredients found in cosmetics and whether they are actually going to hurt you or not. 

Follow the links in this post to find some useful information from reliable sources. You’ll learn a lot. If you click on the link to the FDA website above, you can read about common questions, why they don’t regulate cosmetics ingredients and find out which ingredients to avoid. They might not regulate those ingredients, but they do their best to keep you informed of dangers when they find them. 

How To Find Clean Beauty Products That Are Actually Clean


Keep these things in mind to get the cleanest beauty products possible if you choose to invest in clean beauty. 

Read The Ingredients List

Most companies exclude common ingredients that are known to be bad for you, such as lead, when they make clean beauty products. However, there are quite a few ingredients that most consumers don’t know about that still make it into beauty products. This is why reading the ingredient list is important. Look up words that you don’t know. See if there are scientific studies to support that something is good, or bad, for you.

Only Use One New Product At A Time

When you first decide to switch over to clean beauty, you’ll want to buy a complete line of skincare products and use them all. No matter how tempting this is, it’s important to resist the temptation. If your face becomes irritated, you will have no idea what caused the irritation. 

Vitamin E oil is supposed to be wonderful for your skin. However, too much of it can cause dryness. Essential oils used in high concentrations they can cause a significant amount of irritation. Even though ingredients are natural, they can still irritate your skin. That’s why you should only try one new product at a time. 

Avoid Products With Fragrance In Them

When companies use an ingredient for the fragrance of their product they are not required to list the individual ingredient in the standard list of ingredients. Every single ingredient that is used for fragrance is under the umbrella term “fragrance.” 

If a company uses an ingredient that is toxic, but it’s used for the fragrance of the product, that means that you will be using it and not know it. When you combine that with the fact that no one regulates the term clean beauty, it makes sense that you really don’t know what is in a product. You need to choose products that do not have a scent. Read the list of ingredients to make sure that it doesn’t include the word fragrance.

Final Thoughts

I think the separation between clean beauty products and other beauty products shouldn’t determine what you buy. If avoiding synthetic ingredients is your goal, try out some DIY recipes. Make sure that you read labels carefully. To learn more about skincare ingredients, check out this blog on colloidal silver! 

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