Clean beauty is more than just skin deep.
The previously niche “Clean Beauty” movement has been driven into the mainstream, with large businesses now starting to take on the trend, thanks to a growth in conscious consumerism. But what does clean beauty mean, and why is it so popular?
What is Clean Beauty?
Clean beauty is a term for products containing clean and clear ingredients that are safe for skin, meaning they do not contain any unsafe components like natural or synthetic substances. Another name for a clean beauty product is ‘non-toxic’; this changed terminology focuses more on the effect of the product than its ingredients.
Progress is being made with more than half of all beauty and personal care products now paraben-free, while sales are growing for products that remove sulfates, phthalates, and similar ingredients. Overall, the clean consumer segment is growing rapidly and much like other health-related trends is soon expected to become the norm.
The Growth of Clean Beauty
Consumers are increasingly demanding cleaner products across the board, advocating for the removal of chemicals from the products they use and supporting companies that are more conscious of the environment. Manufacturers are answering the call by revamping their product lines with new, cleaner, greener products. In turn, retailers are using both their brick-and-mortar as well as online stores to help customers easily identify the items that meet clean standards.
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Why Clean Beauty?
Clean Beauty skincare products provide a wide range of benefits to the user. Here are a few:
Safe and clean ingredients
Clean Beauty brands prioritize the safety of ingredients. They make sure their ingredients are safe and void of toxins which ultimately helps lower your body toxicity. These products are linked to a decrease in your daily chemical exposure.
Holds brands accountable
Clean beauty holds conventional brands accountable for their use of potentially harmful and poisonous substances by refocusing our attention on the ingredients in our skincare and advocating for more natural, sustainable, and higher-quality products.
The clean beauty movement was the first to bring attention to what we were putting on our skin and hair daily. It urges customers to examine substances, particularly those that are hazardous, irritate the skin, or are carcinogenic to health.
The clean beauty movement is credited with starting a discussion in the skin care industry regarding environmental sustainability with clean beauty products, clean make-up, and clean skin care, slowly growing their presence around the globe.
What are the elements that make a clean beauty product?
They’re paraben and sulfate free. Parabens can easily absorb through your skin, and the daily application of beauty products with parabens can cause them to accumulate in your system. So always choose paraben and sulfate-free products.
Most of the ingredients in clean beauty products are biodegradable, making them harmless to the environment. They contain natural or plant-based ingredients that are better for you as well as the environment. They’re cruelty-free and the ingredients are ethically sourced.
Ingredients to avoid in skincare products
Clean beauty is a spectrum, but a case can be made that some ingredients should be avoided altogether. Below are the most common beauty ingredients of concern and the reasons why they’re so notorious.
- Oxybenzone and octinoxate: chemicals found in UV blockers like sunscreen that contribute to coral bleaching
- Triclosan: An antibacterial agent that's toxic to aquatic bacteria, algae, and dolphins
- Parabens: a family of preservatives that have been known to disrupt hormones
- Siloxanes: known to bio accumulate in aquatic food chains
- Plastic microbeads: microplastics that get consumed by marine life
What are the ingredients to look for in clean products?
Although clean beauty methods aren't always clear-cut, they have started to pave the way for more ingredient sourcing transparency in the industry.
Clean beauty brands like BiE have dedicated pages on their website on every ingredient they use in their products.
They go into detail about how it’s used, where it comes from, and what its benefits are. Clean brands have tackled the problem of unethical ingredients in skincare by replacing them with ethical alternatives.
Squalane - One big ingredient we find in clean products is squalane, an ingredient used to balance oil production in the skin. This ingredient is a lipid that can be found naturally in our skin as well as in plants. However, the cosmetics industry has been sourcing it from shark liver oil and adding it to everything from anti-aging cream to serums. Now, thanks to the greater demand for transparency, more brands are using synthetic and plant-based squalane which is far more ethical, sustainable, and safe.
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Botanical oils – Different plant-based oils have different benefits from anti-aging to skin-brightening to hydrating. Clean beauty products tend to stick to this plant-based ingredient as it has a lot of properties that can benefit the skin. Different plant or fruit-based oils like sunflower oil, geranium essential oil and marula oil can be found in skin care products.
Amino acids – Amino Acids are known to boost the reproduction of your skin's antioxidants and give it an overall healthy appearance. They’re also known for their anti-aging properties.
Peptides – There are several types of synthetic peptides composed of amino acids that help in skin care. We find them in clean products to help reduce skin inflammation and skin damage. You can find peptides in creams, serums, and other skin care products.
Stem cells - Stem cells naturally have antioxidant properties and they nourish skin cells which promotes cell turnover and increase collagen production. This could result in fewer lines and wrinkles, improved skin texture and tone, and younger, better-looking skin.
Plant flavonoids - Derived from plants, flavonoids contain high concentrations of antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals present in the environment. As a result, skin care products that include flavonoids are capable of contributing to maintaining the skin's overall quality and appearance.
Vitamin A complex forms – Different types of retinoids are examples of clean ingredients derived from Vitamin A. By promoting cellular turnover, slowing down oil production, and keeping pores clear, vitamin A is known to effectively resolve acne. Vitamin A is also a useful ingredient in evening skin tone, as it inhibits the excessive production of the enzyme needed for pigment production.
Vitamin C complex Forms - Vitamin C is an essential step in every skincare regimen, regardless of age or skin concern. Since vitamin C is volatile, it’s important to look for a stable form so that actives can be delivered to the skin at the optimum dosage without destabilizing the product formulation.
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) - Over-the-counter skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids have become increasingly popular in recent years. Creams and lotions with alpha-hydroxy acids may help with fine lines and wrinkles, irregular pigmentation and age spots, and may also help shrink enlarged pores.
Salicylic Acid - Salicylic acid removes dead skin and can improve the texture and color of sun-damaged skin. It penetrates oil-laden hair follicle openings and, as a result, also helps with acne. There are many skin care products available that contain salicylic acid.
Which are some of the best clean beauty products?
BiE sells a selection of some of the best clean beauty skin care products, from cleansers to moisturizers. So their products are a great place to start and you’ll end up going back to them, time and again.
The Fresh Forward Hydrating Cleanser is a nice, creamy cleanser. It has sunflower oil in it to deep clean the skin without drying it out. For a face wash, try BiE’s Micro Detox Face Wash which uses tea tree essential oil and activated bamboo charcoal to draw out dirt and toxins from your pores. If you’re looking for an effective eye treatment product, the Eyefinity All-in-One Under Eye Gel by BiE uses stem cells and soya flavonoids to give the skin under your eyes the nourishment it needs. BiE also has a vast collection of serums and moisturizers with clean and clear acne cleanser ingredients that’ll give visible results. Don’t forget to check out their other products like facial oils, masks, and exfoliators made entirely out of clean and safe ingredients.
Cutting through the clean beauty hype and learning the answer to, “What does clean beauty mean?” takes time and research, but finding brands that truly care about your health and the environment is well worth the effort. With BiE products, you don’t have to compromise health for beauty.
By taking a more conscious approach to the impacts of your beauty products, you can look and feel good while doing good. The first step in the right direction is a step worth taking. So what are you waiting for? Start using BiE products and go clean today!