Why Clean Beauty?
Why Clean Beauty? Clean makeup is a really hot topic in the beauty community right now, and it's for good reason. Clean beauty products, sometimes also referred to as clean cosmetics or natural cosmetics focus on using ingredients from nature rather than anything man-made. Clean beauty products tend to be free of synthetic ingredients, paraben and sulfates - all of which have been shown to have negative effects on both human health and the environment!
But what about my favorite brand or product? What if I can't use clean items? Unfortunately, many brands do not give details on their labels about whether their products contain any synthetic elements.
Well, that all sounds good to me - so what do I buy first? When starting with clean makeup, you don't need a ton of products - in fact, one of my favorite makeup looks can be done with three items: foundation, concealer and lip gloss.
How do I know which brands use sustainable ingredients? Sustainable ingredients are those that would naturally occur in nature without human interference - whether it's an herb or some kind of mineral (think salt!). Clean cosmetics don't just mean that you aren't using chemicals - it also means that the brand you've chosen is doing their part to make sure they are operating within a level of sustainability. Clean cosmetic brands tend to use organic ingredients whenever possible, recycled packaging and water-based dyes over chemical dyes, and manage waste properly to avoid pollution.
How can I tell if a company uses sustainable materials? Clean beauty companies tend to be really transparent in how they operate online - this information is usually on the About section of their website and sometimes even in blog posts or FAQs! Check out Leaping Bunny as well for companies with cruelty-free products. Clean beauty companies also tend to label which ingredients are in their products.
Clean beauty brands tend to use organic ingredients whenever possible, recycled packaging and water-based dyes over chemical dyes, and manage waste properly to avoid pollution. Clean cosmetics companies also tend to take extra steps like using glass instead of plastic for packaging or having recycling bins in store so consumers can return used containers for a refill (or at least be more mindful of how much they are using).
Ingredient alternatives – When formulating any product, there are lots of available ingredient options. And there’s a reason that things like talc are still so widely used in cosmetic production. They’re cheap! But a good profit margin no longer means success and longevity when cosmetic companies are being held to higher standards. If you wanted to create your own mineral makeup line, you could go to a variety of vendors around the world and you would be offered menus of ingredients with purity and grade levels that range from top of the line to bargain basement. But never will the phrase “you get what you pay for” be more obvious than when you’re putting these ingredients on your face. Here are some good comparisons to consider:
Talc – Talc has been used as an abrasive in cosmetics for a very long time, so long that it has turned into a ‘safe’ ingredient that most consumers don’t even think about. But talc is actually classified by the FDA as a possible carcinogen. Asbestos is often found in cheap talcs and when inhaled, can led to deadly disease such as lung cancer. Although Monsanto claims their talc products are free of asbestos, this claim has not been validated and no third party testing organization has confirmed these statements.
This is only one of a number of reports that show the possibility for talc to harbor carcinogenic activity. Another problem with talc is that it has been shown to be highly absorbent, able to suck up other potentially more harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene. Talcum powder has also been linked to ovarian cancer .
The answer: Avoid cheap products and look for ‘organic’ on the label. If you decide that talc isn’t going to cause you any harm as an infrequent cosmetic user (like myself), there are still better alternatives out there. Organic powders have anti-inflammatory properties and can aid in skin conditions such as acne. They also provide a smoother application than talc and are more luxurious feeling.
Clean beauty is exciting, we recommend researching the ingredients that go into your products!