Our society is in an age of questioning. We’re examining our daily practices and products, asking why things are done the way they are, and investigating whether there’s a better way. This has taken place in nearly every part of our lives, and that includes skin care. From this drive to question and look for a better way, the clean beauty movement has been born.
What does that term mean, exactly, and is it something you should be looking into? Here’s your ultimate guide to clean beauty and why you should consider it in your health and beauty regimen.
What Is Clean Beauty?
In a nutshell, clean beauty is the practice of using products that have natural ingredients and no synthetic ingredients. It also involves avoiding ingredients that have potentially harmful effects. Clean beauty products typically contain no parabens, artificial dyes, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, or artificial preservatives, for example. The clean beauty movement goes beyond skin care to include cosmetics and other beauty products too.
There’s something important to note, though: there isn’t a consistent, definitive list of ingredients that a product must exclude for it to be considered “clean beauty.” Clean beauty is not an objectively defined term like “organic” or “vegan” – it’s more of a general philosophy and movement toward more natural products.
Benefits of Clean Beauty
There are several benefits to adopting a clean beauty routine, and they extend to your skin, your health, and our planet.
First, clean beauty products are less likely to irritate your skin. Synthetic ingredients are typically the top culprits for inflammation and irritation, so kicking them to the curb can help reduce redness.
Second, you lower your risk for long-term health issues like cancer, especially if you’re in the US. The US typically only bans ingredients in cosmetic products if they have been proven to cause serious problems through an extensive amount of research. The problem is that many ingredients show indications of increasing risks of cancer and other health complications but, due to a lack of funding, aren’t researched enough to lead to a ban. As a comparison, the EU has legally banned over 1300 chemicals in cosmetics while the US has only banned 11. As a result, it’s important not to assume that if a product is on the shelves, it is safe to use.
Third, you lower your risks for hormone dysregulation. Certain chemicals in skin care and other beauty products can affect your body’s ability to regulate natural hormones, often by mimicking specific hormones and making your body believe you have more of these hormones than you do. This can lead to a wide variety of issues, but you can minimize this risk by choosing clean beauty products
Fourth and finally, clean beauty products are typically better for the environment. In the case of many synthetic ingredients, the process of creating them has a significant impact on the environment, whether it comes from manufacturing, sourcing the materials, transporting the materials, or other aspects of the process. Synthetic ingredients often don’t break down as well either and can cause problems in bodies of water or garbage dumps.
Tips for Cleaning Up Your Beauty Routine
Planning on diving into the clean beauty movement? Luckily, there are more and more brands today that are embodying this philosophy, so you have plenty of options. Use these tips for a smoother transition.
Follow a Process
As motivated as you may be to kick synthetic chemicals out of your life, don’t do it all at once. Your skin needs to get used to one new product at a time. Otherwise, you’re likely to have some irritation and you won’t know which product caused it. Just swap one product at a time from your current routine for a more natural alternative. Start with a natural cleanser, for example, and wait several weeks before the next swap.
Don’t Assume Natural = Safe for Your Skin
Yes, artificial ingredients are more likely to cause irritation, but that doesn’t mean everything labeled as “natural” is perfectly safe for your skin. If you have sensitive skin, there are still natural products that could cause inflammation, and if you have acne-prone skin, there are natural products that are acnegenic.
As you’re shopping for clean beauty products, look for products that are designed for your skin type. If you’d like more personalized guidance, a virtual skin care consultation can help.
Choosing clean beauty can be a positive change to make for your skin, your health, and the environment. Skin Elite is here to help. Check out our selection of natural beauty products to start building your clean beauty routine today.