What is clean beauty? Many people have heard the term but can't truly define it. Put simply, clean beauty is a choice. True, shopping for skincare products is a choice, as is selecting your beauty routine. The difference with clean beauty is that you're choosing health over vanity in every instance. Clean beauty is about being conscious and opting out of any product that contains harmful ingredients or side effects.
When someone 'eats clean', they're choosing to stay away from certain foods and beverages in their diet. Of course they still eat, of course they still indulge in tasty foods, but they have a set of core values that keep them away from certain foods they know are potentially harmful to them and their progress.
1. Clean Beauty Puts Health First
This is the core concept of clean beauty. What differentiates a person going on a diet to lose weight and someone going on a diet to be healthy? One person chooses foods for an end-result, and the other chooses foods as a lifestyle.
Clean beauty is cultivating a health-first response to our outer appearance - by wanting to mimic the same beauty and cleanliness on the inside.
This means straying from products containing harsh chemicals such as:
I go into much more depth on some of these ingredients in a previous blog. Although we're touching the tip of the toxic ingredient iceberg, some of these ingredients are enough to do some long term damage. Clean beauty recognizes these ingredients, the same way a vegetarian recognizes which foods contain meat, and stray far, far away from them.
2. Less Irritants and Non-Toxic
That being said, restricting the amount of harmful ingredients in your skincare vastly reduces the risk of said ingredients irritating or damaging the skin.
Certain ingredients, such as fragrance or formaldehyde, serve no greater purpose. There are ingredients to enhance a smell, ingredients to preserve shelf life, and even ingredients to simply improve texture and give a rich consistency.
Clean beauty rejects these ideas and opts for non-toxic and irritant-free every time. Which we have to say, is going to do much more for your skin in the long run.
3. Reduces Chances of Developing Cancer
It's not an overstatement. Certain products are known to contain carcinogens, cancer-inducing ingredients and agents.
Carcinogens cover a broad range of chemicals. Some of these chemicals are used in fragrance, such as phthalates, (a chemical used to make fragrances last longer) and is linked to so many hazardous health conditions including reduced sperm count, liver and breast cancer and diabetes.
Fun fact? Phthalates are currently banned in such countries as the EU, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and even China.
Similar to parabens is a carcinogen known as formaldehyde, a common ingredient used as a preservative in most skincare products.
Another fun fact? When formaldehyde is present in the air at levels exceeding 0.1 ppm, some individuals may experience adverse effects such as: watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; wheezing; nausea; and skin irritation.
4. Keeps Hormones from Becoming Imbalanced
Hormones are integral to so many of your bodily systems including sex drive, sexual development, reproduction, metabolism, and more.
Like the hormone estrogen, certain toxic ingredients have the ability to disrupt the normal function of hormone systems in the body, which may affect function of both male and female reproductive systems, fertility, and even reproductive development.
According to a government study, although parabens have been used as a preservative for decades, their effect on the hormone, estrogen, was extensively investigated due to a "detection of parent paraben compounds in female breast tumors" in the recent years. Also:
Even breastfeeding mothers can transfer the harmful effects of parabens, as such chemicals make their way into milk. Clean beauty reduces such risks.
5. Most Products Are Eco-Friendly and Cruelty-Free
Harmful ingredients = harmful testing. While plenty of beauty brands have sworn off animal testing, some of the cosmetic giants haven't given it up, including:
- Estée Lauder
- Yves Saint Laurent
Even when some companies say they don't test on animals, it means they don't test them in the United States. The semantics oftentimes lead to their testing being done outside the US, often in China.
Clean beauty advocates products that hold core values, the same core values we aim to uphold for our health. This means good for the planet and good for the animals and life we share this planet with.
6. Boosts Confidence
What can we say? Clean beauty just makes you feel good. Isn't that kind of important? Doesn't it feel good to say "I have values and this is what I believe in" - even when the rest of those around you isn't doing the same?
Confidence doesn't just boost from appearance, it can also boost from healthy, consistent actions taken over time. The same way someone who exercises regularly begins to feel the affects of increased energy and vitality, the same applies to those who adopt clean beauty. Your skin will feel the effects, your mind will feel the effects, and with a body less riddled with toxins, harmful ingredients, and preservatives, your beauty will emanate from the outside in.
Adopting clean beauty leads us onto the path of longevity, health, and awareness. It's a simple choice; opting out of products that might potentially lead to cancer or health issues in the future. Remember, it's a lifestyle, not just an end-result.
Clean beauty starts with a choice, your choice, to live a longer life, love yourself unconditionally, and to never trade health for beauty. It's true, you can have both, but it's your conscious choices that matter the most. 2023 is the year of change and it's about time we change for the better. It's high time we start putting our health first, begin questioning popular skincare brands, and doing our own research to best-tailor our skincare routines and results.
Our skin is a reflection of ourselves, but so are our choices. The time for clean beauty is now.
And your body will thank you.
Until next time!