What to Look For when Buying Clean Beauty Products
The switch from standard beauty products to clean beauty products can be complicated at times. The term "clean or natural or organic" is shrouded in mystery as far as the beauty world is concerned. This lack of a standard makes it difficult for women trying to upgrade to safer, cleaner, and more organic products.
However, all hope is not lost. We are here to help you navigate the murky waters of standardization and clean beauty. We hope to help make it easier for you to make informed decisions.
What Is Clean Beauty
Clean beauty means different things to different people. To some women, clean beauty means only natural products. To others, it means products that have zero synthetic ingredients. However, a closer look reveals that these non –nuanced positions can be misleading.
A natural product, for example, doesn't necessarily mean a clean product. For example, Arsenic is a naturally occurring ingredient that is known to be a carcinogen and cause cancer. Despite having worrying chemistry names, some synthetic products do not necessarily spell as much doom as women may want to believe.
Here is a simple criterion to use when deciding whether a beauty product is clean or not:
You can only consider a product clean if it contains safe ingredients and is proven not to cause any bodily harm.
- Sustainable and Green
A green product is one that is considered eco-friendly. This means that the product itself or its remains is biodegradable, can be reused or recycled.
Natural means that a product or its ingredient is 100% derived from nature without the addition of any synthetic ingredients
Organic ingredients or products are derived from plants that were grown without the help of any pesticides or growth enhancers. Organic ingredients are usually eco-cert, or USDA certified
A vegan product should have ingredients that were not derived from any animal products or by-products
A beauty product can only be considered cruelty-free if no animals were used as tests to create that product.
A clean product must undergo all federal certifications and be credited as one that is safe for use by the public.
If the beauty products in your cabinet most or all the above conditions, congratulations girl, you are on a clean beauty routine.
Ingredients to Avoid in Your Hunt for Clean Beauty Products
Your beauty products are only as clean as the ingredients that make them. The industrial production of beauty products and the increase of industries has led to a decline in standards. Some toxins commonly found in beauty products these days have monstrous side effects hence the need to be a bit more vigilant.
Be on the lookout for some of these ingredients:
- Parabens and Alcohols
Number one on your list of ingredients to avoid should be alcohols and Parabens. You won't be searching for long in a beauty store before you find something with Parabens. This is a bit difficult to hide, so anything with the suffix "Parabens" is guilty. Parabens have been proven to cause hormonal imbalances that may lead to reproductive issues and cancer.
This is one notorious ingredient that you should be paying more attention to. Its never-ending list of side effects will baffle you. Research has shown that Phthalates cause congenital disabilities, hormonal imbalance, endocrine disruption, and diabetes, asthma, and cancer as discounts.
The word fragrances cast a wide net in terms of ingredients. This one label on a beauty product may stand for thousands of other compounds. Fragrances are added to beauty products to give them a scent. Fragrances are also known to cause allergies, skin rashes, and sensitivities.
Sulfates are a family of compounds that include Sodium Lauryl and Sodium Laureth. These compounds are what give shampoos and soaps their thick lather. Their benefits, however, do a terrible job at outweighing the costs.
Sulfates have been proven over time to de-moisturize hair and skin and strip you of beneficial natural oils. They hence lead to irritation and dry skin.
- BTA and BHT
BHA and BHT are compounds added to beauty products for preservation and shelf life. Recent research has concluded that BTA could be a potential carcinogen that may lead to lung liver and kidney cancer. BHT is not far behind in side effects as it leads to hormonal imbalance and may cause adverse reproductive effects.
A keen search in many shampoos, face washers, and shavers cream is bound to reveal Sodium Laureth sulfate or PEG as an ingredient. SLS has been used to create lather in these products for decades now. SLS is banned in Europe and Canada but still ends up on some American retail shelves. God Bless America. It is a harsh cleanser that will strip your hair dry, irritate your skin, and possibly end up in your bloodstream.
Triclosan has been a critical ingredient in soaps, shampoos, and hand sanitizers for a long time. When your antibacterial soap or shampoo is advertised as a vicious germ killer, suspect high levels of this compound. However, recent research has shown that instead of killing microbes, Triclosan does the opposite, making them resistant. Add this to a long list of side effects such as cancer and hormonal imbalance and surprise! You have a potential grim reaper.
The Good Stuff That Your Skin Loves
Though these terrible compounds spell the end of some synthetic products that you may love, it signals the beginning of many organic products and better ingredients.
You will never go wrong with beauty products that are based on the following plant extracts:
- Aloe Vera
The benefits of aloe Vera are unparalleled in the beauty industry. Aloe Vera based products are some of the best organic products in the market that will leave your skin radiant and moisturized.
- Green Tea
Apart from being an excellent anti-oxidant green tea comes with a big bag of benefits for your skin. Green tea-based products offer not only safety but also elegance.
- Snow Mushroom
Snow mushroom has now dethroned hyaluronic acid as the best skin hydrant. This ancient Asian product will leave your skin hydrated and protected for longer periods, among other benefits.
The Key Take-Away
The journey to clean and natural beauty becomes less complicated with research and information. The many blogs and magazines out there will help lead you into this next stage of well-being and skincare.