The clean beauty movement has graciously presented itself across the industry in recent months. The term is affiliated with natural beauty, green beauty, conscious beauty and even blue beauty. Many brands have associated themselves with different variations of the term, however definitions can be subject to change. Let’s take a look at what it actually means:
Clean beauty products are derived from natural sources and are free from any synthetic ingredients that are considered to be harmful to people and the planet. To be defined as ‘clean’, a product must only include ingredients that are safe.
Clean beauty is synonymous with non-toxic beauty. Non-toxic beauty usually defines products that are free from silicones, preservatives or any other ingredients that are seen to irritate the skin. (Source: Space NK)
Ingredients to avoid
It may seem like a tedious task to read through all of the ingredients on a product label, however once you’re familiar with certain words and terms, you won’t even think twice about doing so. Here are a few things to watch out for:
You are most likely exposed to Parabens on a daily basis. They are in most skin care products and are a chemical compound of para-hydrocybenzoic acid. They are used to preserve skincare and beauty products and stop them from going mouldy. They have undergone thorough investigation in the UK and only those that have been vigorously tested are allowed to be used. There is no evidence to confirm that Parabens are harmful, but multiple studies have shown that Parabens are able to penetrate skin and stay in your muscle tissue. They are believed to disrupt hormone dysfunction as the body can mistake them for oestrogen. High levels of oestrogen can cause the growth of tumours in the breast area, hence why Parabens have been linked to breast cancer. (Source: Elle)
If a product isn’t labelled as paraben free, have a look at the list of ingredients. Keep an eye out for any words ending in paraben such as Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, and Butylparaben.
Look for terms such as SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) and any of its variations (Lauryl Sodium Sulphate, Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate). These are a group of sulphates otherwise known as ethoxylated agents, and can typically be found in products such as shampoo, shower gel, face wash and moisturiser. This group of chemicals are used to create a foamy lather, however they are harsh and can irritate your skin and hair. (Source: Holland and Barrett)
Microbeads are tiny beads of plastic that are barely visible to the human eye. Unfortunately, they cause a lot of damage to the environment as they don’t dissolve and because of their size, they are able to get through water filter systems into our oceans and kill sea life such as fish and turtles. There are already millions of tonnes of plastic in the water, and micro beads are only adding to that number. They are made up of petroleum based plastics such as polyethylene, polystyrene and polypropylene, which are also used to make plastic bags and bottles.
If it’s considered green, does that make it clean too?
While you may think that something is clean because it states that it is vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly, sustainable, organic, or plant-based, that doesn’t mean that it does not contain toxic ingredients. Vice versa, a product may be considered clean or non-toxic but still be tested on animals or contain animal products. (Source: thegoodfaceproject)
Tips on switching to clean beauty products
Here at Level 7 Beauty Hall, we are committed to providing you with high quality, clean beauty products and only partner with brands that align with our values. Making the switch to clean beauty doesn’t have to be done all at once, but making small swaps such as your choice of shampoo or soap is a good place to start.