Beauty means different things to different people, but soft, smooth, and supple skin are qualities that usually mean your skin is healthy and performing as it should. Beauty gurus will continue to swear on the newest trend that promises to be another holy grail product. But, sometimes we need to take a step back, question what we put on our skin, and consider the environmental impact of everything we do for our skin.
More people are embracing “clean beauty” in an eco-conscious effort to support products that don’t impact the environment negatively. Everyone steers clear of dirty words like parabens, phthalates, sulphates, oxybenzone, triclosan, artificial fragrances, and more, but are all-natural and non-toxic products truly a sustainable solution in the world of skincare?
What is Clean Beauty?
In an increasingly environmentally-friendly world, the beauty industry has started branding products as “clean” - A movement designed to combat the production of skincare items that contain ingredients that can be harmful to our skin, or the environment. While clean beauty aims to go greener, there is no official definition; that’s why it continues to spark debate. Generally speaking, clean beauty aims to meet the following criteria.
Clean Beauty Must Contain Cruelty-Free, All-Natural (or mostly natural) Ingredients
One of the primary goals of clean beauty is to provide sustainable, humane, and eco-conscious products. Two well accepted certifications that manufacturers can use to help them select more environmentally friendly ingredients is the COSMOS Standard and ECOCERT.
The COSMOS stands for the “COSMetic Organic and Natural Standard”. It is an agreed standard between 5 European certification bodies for organic and natural products.
ECOCert is a standard from France that ensures ingredients are at least 95% derived from natural sources.
Both standards allow a minimal amount of chemical processing to occur provided they adhered to green chemistry requirements.
Clean Beauty Must Contain Non-Toxic Ingredients
Beyond saving the environment from the potentially harmful effects of some mainstream beauty brands, Clean Beauty also dictates the ingredients should be non-toxic for your skin and hair.
This means the products should not put you at any risk, though some may be trickier to tell than others since many substances don’t impact the user physically. With that in mind, clean beauty promotes safe products that aim to boost your physical health and free any hormone disruptors or carcinogens.
It’s important to note that all regulations around the world require ALL products that are sold should be safe to use. There are also regulatory limits on many ingredients which must be adhered to for any product being sold.
Toxicity is always relative to dosage and time - even water can be toxic if you have too much of it. It’s important to not get caught up in fear mongering and to always check in with a few different sources for a balanced view.
We recommend this great write up from Lab Muffin here - https://labmuffin.com/clean-beauty-is-wrong-and-wont-give-us-safer-products/
Clean Beauty Should Be About Transparency
If you’re curious about a brand, its ingredients, or its ethos, you should simply reach out to them.
Ingredients lists use the formal INCI names by law so it always sounds like a bunch of (sometimes scary) jargon. Knowing the laymen's terms for these names often clears up a lot of confusion or misinformation.
Just ask the brand to explain to you what a particular ingredient means, and why they use it.
If you know you’re allergic or sensitive to something, just reach out and ask them if it's part of the formula. A good brand will be able to tell you all of the above.
Clean Beauty Should Straightforward, But It Isn’t
Clean Beauty is something that big brand marketing teams have taken and ran with. While it seems simple on the surface it’s actually based on quite a bit of misinformation.
Nourishing, earth-friendly, body-friendly skincare doesn’t need to necessarily be “all-natural”, “organic” or “preservative-free”.
Regardless of the muddy areas, we do think Clean Beauty is at least a net positive as it helps the world move towards greener products and ingredients - As long as it’s done with a science-forward approach.
Switching to a Cleaner Beauty Routine
Find what Clean Beauty truly means for you whether that’s all-natural, organic, vegan, cruelty free, or sustainable ingredients.
Ask the brand about it. Learn, learn, learn - especially from different sources!
Are You Looking for the Best Cruelty-Free Skincare in Australia?
Once we delved into the details about Clean Beauty, August Skincare landed on an approach that takes all areas into account:
- Let’s go Vegan and Cruelty-Free because animals shouldn’t be used for skincare
- Let’s weigh up the true environmental impact of natural vs synthetic ingredients and choose the ones that have the least impact (this sometimes meant synthetic is better)
- Let’s fall back on science for telling us which ingredients truly work. No fluff.
- Let’s reduce waste by only making orders when they come in. Every order, custom made for you.
This is what ‘Clean Beauty’ means to us. Try our 100% vegan face products and build a skincare routine with us today.