Guest Post by Chelsea March
Clean beauty has been picking up notoriety within the cosmetics world over the last few years. While clean beauty categories have been growing and taking up more and more shelf space in beauty stores and sites, there is still confusion as to what it really means to be clean, how to find product dupes that are clean and most importantly, if going clean is really for you.
Clean beauty has been a steadily growing category because of two reasons, the first, ingredient integrity and the second, product efficacy. Consumers are savvier now more than ever and want to know what ingredients/chemicals they are putting on their bodies. As there is no regulatory definition for clean beauty from the FDA, it is up to brands to decide what they believe clean beauty means to them. Many brands have created their own standards aptly called “The Dirty List” or the “No-No List”. These are lists of ingredients that brands refuse to use in their products. If you are new to the world of clean, there are some baseline ingredients that you should avoid. These include formaldehyde, BHA and aluminium which are known to be cancer causing, parabens and phthalates, which are hormone disruptors. Hydroquinone, methoxyethanol and sulfates cause skin irritation and strip skin and hair of their natural oils. Avoid Silicones, as these can be pore clogging.
I think it would be good to ground ourselves with what the heck clean beauty actually means. First thing to note is clean beauty is often coupled with natural beauty, but clean and natural are different. Natural products are free of all toxic chemicals, while clean are products that avoid any known or suspected toxic ingredients. With that in mind, I think it's good to talk through transitioning to clean beauty, and don’t worry, it’s not as extensive or hard as it sounds! One of the goals of clean beauty is to ease the havoc that developing beauty products reeks on the environment. That means, you don’t need to toss all of the products you are currently using. Transitioning to clean beauty is a journey, not a sprint to the finish line.
Secondly, start by doing some research in your free time. Read articles on clean beauty round ups, follow the #cleanbeauty hashtag on instagram and start checking out the clean beauty section at Sephora, Ulta, Target and Walmart. I think you will be surprised with how extensive it is! If you live in or near a city, there are clean beauty specific stores cropping up left and right. Stores like Credo, Follain and The Detox Market are great places to shop as they carry the top brands in clean and natural beauty at the moment.
If you want on-the-go information about ingredients used in a product, apps like Think Dirty and EWG HealthyLiving are a one-stop shop for all ingredient insight and their effects on the body.
Not only is ingredient integrity a big driver for the recent boom in clean beauty, but product efficacy has come a long way since the genesis of clean beauty. It has proved to even the most staunch traditional beauty fans that just because something is clean doesn’t mean you can’t get great payoff! Personally speaking, when my interest in clean beauty started, the biggest hurdle I found that I needed to jump over was finding a clean deodorant that was actually effective and haircare for my kinky/coily texture.
I naturally sweat easily and quite a lot. I am always looking for a product that not necessarily stops me from sweating (which would be an antiperspirant), but keeps me feeling fresh throughout the day, and stops the bacteria that grows in our pits which is what makes us stink!
More and more clean deodorants are popping up all over and I am so happy to see it. If you are looking for a deodorant that is non-toxic and aluminum-free, Type:A has you covered. With seven different scents to choose from, there is a little something for everyone. This product not only is gender-inclusive, but it’s sweat-activated so it releases its powerful odor-fighting formula throughout the day for a long-lasting affect. When transitioning to clean body products, it is important to stick with the switch. In terms of clean deodorants, it's important not to switch back and forth between aluminum-free deodorants and antiperspirants, which often contain aluminum. Switching back and forth reduces the benefits of eliminating the aluminum from your routine and can make the transition more difficult if you are experiencing a deodorant detox.
In the realm of haircare, I am happy to say that more and more hair care brands are popping up for all different hair types, textures and concerns. For those who want to address thinning hair or want to ensure their volume remains, clean hair care brand Collective Laboratories is the go to. Now, I have a lot of hair, so I mainly use their hair products to maintain and grow more because more is more right?! But for those who feel that their hair is thinning, I cannot recommend their Regimen system more. The Detoxifying Shampoo and Fortifying Conditioner will have your locs feeling fresh and clean without stripping them.
My personal favorite is the Activating Serum. This daily-use serum has become a staple in my haircare routine. It is packed with amino acids, minerals and powerful botanicals to help maintain healthy hair growth. As is true with the aforementioned transition notion, it is important to use all the products in the hair care system to receive their full benefits versus switching back and forward between clean and traditional products.
I could go on and on about all of the new and exciting things happening in the clean beauty space but needless to say, this is a pocket of the beauty industry that is only in its beginning. It has grown exponentially over the last few years and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. I am so glad that companies are finally listening to consumers and creating products that are good for both people and the environment alike. I encourage you to check out the clean beauty section the next time you are browsing around for a new product, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with what you find!