The Clean Beauty Movement- What Is It And Why It’s Important?

The clean beauty movement, once a niche trend championed by the likes of Goop, has gone mainstream. A report released in early 2019 by the British Soil Association Certification revealed how conscious consumerism has pushed the UK organic beauty and wellbeing market to an all-time high, with millennials and Gen Zs leading the way.

𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗱𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗱𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗰𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗻 𝗯𝗲𝗮𝘂𝘁𝘆?

Clean beauty is still open to interpretation. “Claims such as ‘natural’, ‘clean’, ‘green’ and ‘hypoallergenic’ have no set definition as yet and without a standard, can be misleading and open to misuse,” says Année de Mamiel, founder of de Mamiel skincare and a pioneer of plant-based beauty. “Terms like chemical-free are silly because all ingredients are chemicals, whether they are from nature or synthetic.”

Rose-Marie Swift, founder of the organic make-up line, RMS Beauty, agrees. “Initially, the terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ were used to describe products made with ingredients that came from nature. As soon as marketers learned that consumers enjoyed the idea of non-synthetic products, the words began to appear on all sorts of products, whether they were truthful or not.” “‘Natural’ will no longer be enough of a credential for beauty brands in 2019,” Victoria Buchanan, senior futures analyst at The Future Laboratory adds. “As consumers continue to scrutinize what is in the products they put on their skin, zero-irritants will become the new standard of natural beauty.”

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝘁𝗼𝘅𝗶𝗰 𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁?

How toxic an ingredient is depends on where in the world you are. While the EU bans more than 1,300 ingredients from cosmetics, beauty is one of the least regulated industries in the US, where around 30 are banned. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic act is the only US government monitor of ingredients in cosmetics, and not much has changed since it was first passed in 1938 – meanwhile, the clean beauty industry has made its own rules.

Most clean beauty advocates are concerned with aggressive ingredients and synthetic chemicals. A survey in 2016 by US beauty brand Kari Gran, entitled the Green Beauty Barometer, found that 55 percent of women and 62 percent of millennials in the US read beauty product ingredient labels in order to avoid specific ingredients. Artificial colors are avoided as they make the skin more sensitive; while mineral oils (petroleum, petrolatum, paraffinum liquidum) can clog pores, and are a cheap by-product of the crude oil industry; and silicones (such as dimethicone) can also congest the skin. Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) strips moisture; while phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP, BPA) – emulsifiers found in synthetic fragrances, hairsprays and nail polish – can be absorbed through the skin. Parabens (methyl-, ethyl-, butyl-, propyl-) are a controversial preservative as they’ve been linked to breast cancer and reproductive problems.

Cult US skincare brand Drunk Elephant cut out the “suspicious six”: essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrance/dyes and SLS. Other brands, however – such as Balance Me, which offers products that are free from parabens, mineral oils, sulphates, pegs, petroleum, silicones, propylene glycol, microbeads, artificial fragrances and colors– opt in to the use of essential oils. “Many have been tried and tested over centuries such as benzoin, yarrow and spikenard, so we can trust in their efficacy,” says co-founder of Balance Me, Clare Hopkins.

Check out the link below for some of beauty expert, Bobbie Thomas’s, favorite “clean beauty” products.

Source: Clean Beauty: Everything You Need To Know. Ellen Burney. March 12, 2019

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