Clean Beauty is not a new term, but lets talk about what Clean Beauty actually means in 2021, and how we define the term for our curation.
The term "clean beauty" along with pretty much all other terms in the beauty industry is completely unregulated. Meaning there is no clear cut definition of what "clean beauty" actually means or what is even required from a product or brand to be considered clean. There is also plenty of disagreement about what ingredients are actually considered clean and what are not. This will vary from brand to brand. However just because a brand or product advertises a "Free From" list e.g free from alcohol, parabens, sulfates etc it doesn't mean they don't have other questionable ingredients in their formula. Companies are also allowed to freely use terms like 'natural" "pure" green" etc on their labels regardless of whether their ingredients are in fact any of those things, with no legal ramifications whatsoever. Some of the big beauty retailers that have a " Clean At ..." list, include products that actually get mediocre ratings on the EWG"s skin deep data base or the Think Dirty App. "Clean" also does not necessarily mean cruelty free or organic for that matter either. Just like a vegan product isn't necessarily cruelty free and cruelty free isn't the same as vegan.
So all in all fairly confusing for consumers, right?
For each beauty brand or store that stocks them , it is up to them to decide and be transparent about what their definition of clean beauty means to them and their curation of products. Then customers can decide if that covers the list of ingredients they would like to avoid.
For us at Beauty Warrior, clean beauty means to us - "products that are mindfully and sustainably created and produced without any known or potentially harmful ingredients." We believe that transparent labelling is another crucial factor in clean beauty. Being 100% transparent about what ingredients are in a product is key. Hiding behind terms like "fragrance" that allow companies to hide a whole host of ingredients behind that one name is not transparent or clean.
There is of course plenty of controversy around clean beauty and there are those that believe clean beauty is nothing more than a marketing ploy that demonises a whole host of safe and effective chemicals, but I think we can all agree, there are absolutely a number of ingredients that our bodies and overall health are better off without. According to Scott Faber, senior vice president at EWG, although many chemicals in cosmetics probably pose little risk on their own, repeat exposure to some of these chemicals has been linked to serious health problems. In written testimony to a House Energy and Commerce subcommitee in the States 617 cosmetics manufacturers have reported using 93 chemicals that have been linked to cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm in more than 81,000 products on the market.
In light of the unregulated nature of the beauty industry many brands are now self regulating and opting for third party certifications such as EWG verified, ECOCERT and MADE SAFE to name a few. Of course these certifications can be costly and may exclude emerging brands that lack funds to get these stamps of approval.
It is up to all of us to become conscious consumers and decide what ingredients we want to avoid, and what brand philosophies we believe in and choose to support. Consumers need to vote with their dollars, it forces the industry to adapt to what consumers are demanding. "As consumers we have so much power to change the world by just being careful what we buy." - Emma Watson
For me, I choose products without potentially irritating ingredients that lighten the toxic load on my body and in turn support conscious beauty brands doing better, both for our health and the health of the environment, that are clean, green, sustainable and cruelty free.
We have published our "naughty list" on our website ( click here to read) that lists the ingredients you wont find in any of our products.