The highly unregulated cosmetic industry has been making products that rose many concerns among customers.
Are we paying for our beauty with our health?
In this post, you will learn more about the movement that demands healthier and less toxic beauty products, and what you can do to introduce healthier and cleaner beauty habits.
The “Clean Beauty” Movement Explained
There is no exact explanation of what “Clean Beauty” stands for.
Rather, it is a broad definition, which allows each member of the movement to understand it as they see fit.
What is certain is that the movement is a response to the unethical practices within the cosmetic industry.
The ingredients of many cosmetic products are often of questionable quality, as the companies are looking for the cheapest options to maximize profits.
Or, the ingredients are artificial and only irritate the body instead of nurturing it.
Apart from the issue of the controversial chemicals, there is a question of the entire production process.
People are no longer willing to buy from companies that test their products on animals or don’t invest in environmental protection.
For all these reasons, people are turning to products that contain fewer artificial chemicals and are eco-friendly.
They want to reduce exposure to dangerous substances such as parabens and phthalates.
For this reason, many choose products made from sustainably sourced plants or botanic skincare products.
The problem with these chemicals is not only that they irritate the skin.
Their negative effects can be very dangerous, especially for sensitive organisms.
- Parabens are proven to disrupt hormones in the body and even cause fertility problems.
They are abundant in shampoos, powder blushes, and sunscreens.
- A 2012 ‘Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology’ study found that parabens penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream.
And the study found that parabens can bind to estrogen receptors in the skin, potentially leading to health problems such as breast cancer.
- On the other hand, phthalates can damage the kidneys, liver, and lungs.
They can also interfere with normal reproductive functions.
Phthalates are abundant in nail polishes, perfumes, shampoos, and soaps.
Besides, both of these chemicals are cancerogenic.
In other words, people became aware that cosmetics can seriously affect their health, and are turning to natural ingredients to change that.
Is It That Simple?
As the Clean Beauty movement is growing, scientists warn that just because something is natural, doesn’t necessarily mean it is better.
For example, parabens are naturally found in carrots and cherries.
Actually, the human body produces parabens to regulate amino acids.
Also, organic coconut oil is definitely a good moisturizer.
However, people who are prone to acne are not recommended to use it.
At the same time, some serious skin disorders, such as infections, can rarely be treated with natural ingredients only.
Or, if they can, the treatment can last much longer and have more significant consequences.
Besides, some industrial beauty products don’t have a natural equivalent, such as sunscreen for example.
Finally, there are opinions that the Clean Beauty movement is not only about the cosmetics we put on our skin.
Instead, they understand Clean Beauty as a new, holistic approach to beauty.
Instead of good looks, beauty is now understood as an equivalent to health, as glowing from the inside out.
How to Practice Clean Beauty?
As you could see from the previous section, the Clean Beauty problems come in many shades of gray.
Therefore, before you join the movement, it is a good idea to explore the topic in more detail and know your body well.
Here are some common practices people adopt in order to achieve a non-toxic beauty treatment.
Pay Attention to the Ingredients
The easiest thing you can do, of course, is to check which ingredients your favorite beauty products contain.
Be sure to read the skin product’s ingredient list on the back of the product label.
Avoid skincare products that contain ingredients you’re allergic to or suspicious ones.
If you have questions about a skincare product’s safety, talk to a licensed dermatologist.
A dermatologist can assess your skin health and recommend the best skin care products for you.
Apart from the aforementioned parabens and phthalates, what you are looking to avoid are certain fragrances, dyes, and preservatives:
- Parabens like Propylparaben and Iosbutylparaben;
- Chemical UV filters Octinoxate and Oxybenzone;
- Diethanolamine (DEA);
- Phthalates like Dibutyl phthalate;
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS).
At the same time, acceptable and desirable chemicals are hyaluronic acid, panthenol, and glycerin.
Also, Zinc oxide and Vitamin C are particularly beneficial for your skin and health.
If you are looking for skin-friendly sunscreen, Zinc oxide is a good option.
Apart from these, you want to look for:
- Alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid for evening skin tone);
- Beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid for acne);
- Bakuchiol (a retinol alternative, used to address fine lines and wrinkles).
Products For Cleaning the Skin
- In order to clean the skin, use the good old micellar water.
Look for colorless and odorless versions, as they are the most neutral.
- For protection, you want to use an antioxidant serum.
Remember that you don’t have to buy serums, as there are plenty of DIY serum alternatives.
- Also, use SPF moisturizer based on titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
- If you have problems with acne, look for products with salicylic acid.
It is extracted from the willow tree bark and is very beneficial for skin issues.
In addition, you must also check for safety seals in the skin care products you buy.
Some of the most common safety marks or certifications for skin care products include the Leaping Bunny, awarded by the Cruelty-Free International organization for products not tested on animals.
On the other hand, the USDA Organic Seal is awarded to products made with at least 95 percent organic ingredients.
Find the Right Morning and Night Routine
Your Clean Beauty morning and night routine will depend on your skin type.
If you have oily skin, thoroughly clean the skin in the morning.
However, if you are dry and sensitive, pure water might be all you need.
Then, put on a vitamin C serum and an SPF moisturizer to protect the skin from UV radiation.
Remember that you need SPF during winter as well.
Although counterintuitive, our skin doesn’t burn because of the heat.
It burns because of UV, which is there despite the clouds and cold weather.
The evening routine requires a bit more attention.
Again, gently clean the skin from dirt and makeup.
Then, treat the skin with a comforting cream suitable for your skin type.
Finally, apply a plain moisturizer, and your Clean Beauty routine is done!
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