What the Heck is Clean Beauty Anyways?

posted on August 21, 2018 | by Chelsea Becker

What the Heck is Clean Beauty Anyways?

When scrolling through your social media feeds you probably see the words “clean beauty” plastered everywhere nowadays. It’s almost gotten to the point where they’re just buzzwords to get attention and clicks. But what does it really mean to use clean beauty? And how do you even know if the products you’re using are “clean”? What ingredients should you be watching out for? It can be so damn intimidating to try something new when you don’t feel like you have all the information you need. Not to mention confusing as f*ck.

So if you’ve been curious about this whole clean beauty thing, hopefully this post can provide some answers – in an easy-to-understand way.

What is clean beauty?

As far as advertising and marketing goes, a lot of products claim to be “clean” or “natural,” but that definitely doesn’t mean they are. Like I mentioned above, a lot of brands are starting to include those buzzwords in their advertisements because clean beauty is trending right now. So first things first, don’t be fooled by marketing. Just because it says natural on the bottle, doesn’t mean it’s a “clean” or safe product.

To me, a product is clean if its ingredient list is minimal, pronounceable or its formula is primarily plant-based. If it contains anything that is a known or suspected toxin, it doesn’t make the cut. There are a lot of indie brands that have been popping up that do a great job of defining what exactly clean beauty is. If you’re interested, I recommend checking out rms beauty, Kosas, W3LL People or Jillian Dempsey as a start. I also love the clean beauty subscription box Art of Organics since it takes the guessing out.

How to tell if a product is clean

When you’re shopping (online or in store) take a minute to read the ingredients and even do a quick search on Google. It’ll be pretty easy to tell at that point if the product is clean or not. A lot of the big-name brands are starting to make an effort and are coming out with new, cleaner products, so hopefully it’ll only get easier and easier to find safe beauty products.

Another quick and easy way to gauge whether or not a product is clean is by using the Think Dirty app. It’s still pretty new so it doesn’t have every product under the sun, but it provides great insight. All you do is scan the barcode of the product and if it’s in the Think Dirty catalog, it’ll give you a rating. One and two are the best and show up in green, which means the product is completely clean. The dirtier the product, the higher the rating and the colors change from green to yellow to red.

Ingredients to watch out for

There are dozens of crazy, unpronounceable chemicals out there – ones I can’t even spell! But as a general rule, these are the main ingredients you want to avoid in your beauty products:

-Heavy metals (lead and aluminum)
-Retinol (don’t worry—there are clean options! Read this!)

I really hope this info is helpful and gives some clarity. Providing this kind of information and suggesting clean brands is something we want to get into the habit of doing around here, so please leave any questions or suggestions you might have on this topic. And don’t worry, I’ll be sharing LOTS of my favorite clean beauty items soon.