Clean Beauty Guide: The Best Tips And Brands
Clean Beauty is the new keyword in the cosmetics industry. But it's not just a fast-moving beauty trend, it's a whole lot more of a movement. We explain what philosophy this follows, how the term is defined, and introduce you to high-quality clean beauty products.
More than a trend: everything you need to know about clean beauty
Clean Beauty is a movement that advocates cosmetics without controversially discussed ingredients (Blumarine, Spring/Summer 2019)...
What is clean beauty?
Translated, clean beauty means something like “clean cosmetics”. This means that manufacturers do without controversially discussed, potentially critical ingredients that have a negative impact on the environment and are suspected of having consequences for our health. Some labels also include care products in the clean beauty category that have been produced without animal testing and contain no irritating ingredients. Sensitive skin is meanwhile a more important topic than anti-aging.
The origin of the trend towards clean beauty cannot be clearly defined, but it is clear that it has become more and more present in recent years. Consumers are increasingly concerned with their care products and their ingredients and generally want more transparency and sustainability from the cosmetics industry.
The term clean beauty summarizes precisely this under a keyword that immediately indicates that the product is “clean” and thus makes more conscious beauty shopping possible.
Which ingredients does Clean Beauty avoid?
There is no generally applicable definition for clean beauty cosmetic products. The ingredients that are not used can therefore vary. Usually, however, the focus is on the following:
- Silicones are a synthetic ingredient that is used in both skin and hair care, gives shine, smoothes, and plumps up. However, silicone can clog pores and weigh down hair (especially fine hair).
- PEGs: PEG is the short form of polyethylene glycol and improves the consistency of cosmetics such as creams. PEG is made from crude oil and is difficult to break down, which is why it is anything but environmentally friendly. At the same time, the substance can trigger allergies. The raw material ethylene oxide is also considered to be potentially carcinogenic.
- Synthetic fragrances are particularly irritating to sensitive skin.
- Parabens: Parabens are used in cosmetic products as preservatives. These are viewed as critical because they have a similar effect to estrogen in the body and can thus disrupt the hormonal balance.
- Phthalates are plasticizers and can easily get into the body. They too are suspected of causing hormonal imbalances.
- Sulfates are chemical foaming agents that foam and cleanse beauty products. However, since these are aggressive, sulfates can have a very drying and even irritating effect.
- Mineral oil products like paraffin are unsustainable and can dry out the skin.
- Formaldehyde is found in most nail polishes. However, its vapors are considered toxic and potentially carcinogenic and can severely irritate our mucous membranes.
- Chemical UV filters such as oxybenzone are suspected of influencing the hormonal balance and causing allergies. At the same time, these are insoluble in water, pollute the seas, and are therefore not ecologically justifiable.
Important: In most cases, the consequences of the above-mentioned ingredients for the body have not yet been fully scientifically clarified. It is therefore only a guess.
Clean Beauty: What is the difference between natural cosmetics and Co.?
Clean beauty is often equated with trendy terms such as vegan, sustainable and natural. In fact, there are differences here. We have summarized the most important terms and what they mean for you here:
- Clean Beauty: These cosmetics do not contain any harmful ingredients. It can still contain synthetic or animal substances and does not necessarily have to be sustainable.
- Natural cosmetics: Certified natural cosmetics are based on raw materials of natural origin. It is important to understand that natural ingredients are not always gentle on the skin either. Essential oils are such an example - they are often used as a fragrance and care substance but can irritate the skin just as much as synthetic alternatives.
- Organic cosmetics: Contains natural ingredients from organic farming.
- Vegan cosmetics: Does not contain any active ingredients of animal origin. Examples are beeswax, silk proteins, collagen, or the red pigment carmine.
- Animal testing-free cosmetics: Was produced without animal testing.
- Sustainable cosmetics: Avoid substances such as microplastics that pollute the environment. Packaging waste is also drastically reduced here in order to achieve greater sustainability.
And: Of course, there are many labels that combine these aspects in their cosmetics, but basically, it is important to differentiate the terms.
How do I recognize clean beauty products?
Clean beauty is neither a protected term nor is there an official seal for “clean” products. Therefore, you should always look very carefully.
We recommend that you always check the list of ingredients yourself. Apps such as CodeCheck are particularly helpful here. At the same time, you can stick to the seals for vegan, cruelty-free, and controlled natural cosmetics, which often do without controversial ingredients. Many beauty shops also have their own categories in which you can find a selection of clean beauty brands.
What are the advantages of clean beauty products?
While we have long paid attention to origin, processing, and ingredients when it comes to nutrition, there is still a lot of catching up to do in the bathroom. Clean Beauty is the right step here to make the care and make-up routine more careful and safer and to gain more awareness of cosmetics and their ingredients. If you want to go one step further, you can of course also opt for sustainable products that have been produced without animal testing and under fair working conditions.