If you’ve ever wondered what the clean beauty movement is all about, then look no further. In this post, I’m going to be looking at what clean beauty is, why it’s important not to view it as just another trend and how you can get started with cleaning up your beauty products. Clean beauty is kind of similar to green beauty, and so I’ll be looking at both aspects of this as we go on.
Simply put, clean beauty is all about carefully choosing your skincare and beauty products, so that they’re considered to be safe and healthy for both humans and the environment. This means that they’re free of toxins and other chemical ingredients that have harmful effects on both your skin and the planet.
Finding clean beauty products can be tricky, but with more of the industry now reflecting consumers’ desires for natural, non-toxic skincare, toiletries, make-up and hair care, there’s now a lot more information to help you do so.
It’s fair to say that there’s been a global swing towards making more sustainable, organic and healthy choices in the beauty industry, and that’s a great thing. Still, for many of us, it can be hard to know if a product is really clean. Misleading packaging and unclear labelling is still a huge problem. While it’s great to see so many beauty and cosmetic brands addressing this, there’s definitely more to be done.
If you’ve been wondering how to clean up your beauty products or if you wanted to find a straightforward guide to clean beauty, then let’s jump in and find out why it’s so important.
This post contains some affiliate links to clean beauty products and to some places that you can buy them, if you’d like to.
Clean beauty for beginners
Basically, clean beauty is an overarching concept, and a lot of it boils down to making informed choices. It encompasses the idea of products that are ‘free-from’ a lot of toxins and chemicals. You know, those long ingredient lists full of unpronouncable additives? Well, clean beauty products are ones that try as much as possible to eradicate ingredients that have harmful effects on people and the environment.
Some of these harmful ingredients include some olf familiars I’ve looked at in my curly girl method product guides. That’s right, our old nemeses sulphates and silicones are also hugely present in a lot of non-clean make-up and skincare products.
Other harmful chemical additives often found in beauty products include mineral oil (which is basically highly processed petrol), parabens and phthalates (often used as preservatives), added fragrances and even heavy metal substances like lead, which is often found in lipstick.
How seriously should I take clean beauty?
Pretty seriously, to be honest. Recent research has shown that parabens and phthalates in particular are disruptive to the endocrine system, and mimic human hormones. Even in small doses, these chemicals can have a wide range of health-based repurcussions for those using them. According to the research carried out by an endocrine research foundation last year, this is worrying because a large number of illnesses and conditions are known to be impacted by disruptions and anomalies in human hormones, including diabetes, fertiliy issues, thyroid problems and ADHD.
There are also a lot of unknown factors about how these chemicals will interact with one another once they’re actually absorbed into the skin and into the body. When you think about the harmful chemical effects of cigarette inhalation, it’s definitely an interesting parallel.
While it’s difficult to say how extreme the problem of unclean beauty products is for human health, it’s certainly an area of concern. Which is why perhaps more and more consumers are beginning to seek out healthier, safer brands and products for themselves.
How to get started with clean beauty
Firstly, if you’ve never paid much attention to the contents of your make-up bag, now’s the time to start. Go through it with a fine-toothed comb and just purge anything that you think is old, out of date, or chemically questionable. Get rid of anything you’re unsure about, or you can go through the ingredients lists if you’re really keen to hang onto something.
Do the same for your haircare and skincare products. It may feel weird at first, but try to just get rid of the bad stuff, recycle the bottles they came in, and move forward. Your skin will thank you for it later!
Once you’ve deep cleaned your product collection, you may be feeling like the cupboards are a bit bare. That’s ok – there are plenty of places that you can get started with brand new and potentially safer replacement beauty products. Check out some of my recommendations here.
My first port of call would be Green People, a UK-based company specialising in organic lifestyle products, including make-up, skincare and sun protection. They have a range of suitably clean beauty products for children and men too. Cruelty-free, organic and free of synthetic chemical additives, Green People’s range is fantastic for anyone looking to clean up their beauty routine.
A great starting point for clean beauty products is at Yes To. Their full product range is a minimum of 95% natural ingredients and they’re all cruelty-free too. Their product formulations are all free of SLS and parabens, as well as being free from silicones.
Five Dot Botanics
If you’re looking to go truly minimalistic with your new clean beauty regime, then start with Five Dot Botanics. They only use a maximum of five ingredients per product! Cruelty-free, vegan and also delivered free in the UK, you’ll find some really high-quality organic skincare products here.
This is a great one-stop-shop for all your clean beauty buys! Check out their full range of brands for guaranteed non-toxic, natural make-up, hair products, body washes, deodorants and everything else. They also have a range of eco-friendly detergents and laundry products which can help you take your clean beauty regime further up a notch.
Made in Australia, Sukin’s range is naturally created with no chemical additives, animal derivatives and they’re also carbon-neutral. Check out some of their best-selling products for yourself.
Other ways to clean up your beauty routine
If starting over with a whole new set of products seems like a drastic change, then make gradual shifts in your beauty routines instead. Once your current product is used up, switch to a non-toxic version next time. Take it slowly, and try to remember the benefits to moving towards a more natural health and beauty regime.
We’re all becoming increasingly mindful about what we put into our bodies, and our skin should be no exception to that. Consider the sheer number of chemical ingredients in your products, and prioritise those you can change first.
You can also start to scale back on the number of products you’re using in the first place. Do you really need that silicone-packed primer? If not, try going without for a little while and see how you feel. Your skin might thank you for it too!
Getting started with clean beauty doesn’t have to be complicated
Hopefully this post has given you a few things to think about when it comes to your beauty products. You don’t have to do anything drastic, but by making more informed choices about the substances you’re exposing your skin and hair to, you can start to make small changes.
It may seem trivial, but these changes could have a really positive impact on our overall health and wellbeing. So, you’ve got nothing to lose by trying to clean things up a bit!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you’ve got any feedback, tips or suggestions for getting started with clean beauty please let me know. You can leave a comment in the box below or catch up with me over on Twitter or Instagram.
If you’ve found this post helpful then please do share it or give it a pin on Pinterest. Keep an eye out for more articles on clean beauty, and don’t forget to check out my list of ingredients to avoid in the curly girl method too!