This skin is our body’s largest organ. Its main function is to protect us from UV rays, bacteria, and chemicals. However, we diminish its ability to protect us against harmful and toxic chemicals when we slather those same chemicals on it every day as part of our “skincare” routine.
Making the switch to clean beauty products is the best way to keep our complexion looking healthy, vibrant, and youthful. No matter what you have in your bathroom cabinet, making the switch to clean beauty is easier than you think, and the benefits will amaze you.
Why Switch to Clean Beauty Products?
The United States hasn’t passed a law regarding the ingredients in personal care products since 1938. That law only prevented the use of a “poisonous, filthy, putrid or decomposed substance” in the products you use every day. Clean beauty thinks that’s simply not enough.
The lack of government regulation means companies can still freely use ingredients known to be hormone disrupters, carcinogens, and skin irritants. Goods that contain naturally derived ingredients and are free from anything known to cause health harm are considered clean beauty personal care products.
Keep in mind that there is no regulation of the term “clean beauty,” so it all comes down to ingredients — both good and bad.
Ingredients to Avoid
Take stock of the products you use. The average woman uses 12 different products every day, which can be a lot of toxicity going into your body day after day. Turn your bottles around, read the ingredients, and set aside anything containing the biggest toxic offenders.
Parabens are a group of chemicals used as preservatives. They’re meant to prevent the growth of microbes in products but are known to:
- Cause skin cancer
- Disrupt the endocrine system
- Be toxic to development and reproductive health
Look for MEA, DEA, and TEA in your products. These ingredients can cause:
- Hormone disruption
- Organ system toxicity
Fully refined, white petroleum is safe but is also very hard to find. Used in lotions and moisturizers, most petroleum is known to cause an increased risk of certain kinds of cancers. One study found that women with a high buildup of a certain compound of petroleum had a 50% increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone
These “toxic Ms” are used as preservatives in liquids like shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. In certain studies, these have been shown to cause:
- Weight gain and loss
- Reddened lungs
- Swollen intestines
- Severe allergic reactions
Only defined by the FDA as a “combination of chemicals that gives each perfume its distinct scent,” the word "fragrance" can include a number of harsh ingredients that are known allergens, irritants, and carcinogens.
More Toxic Ingredients
We’ve only listed the top 5 ingredients to avoid. You can find a more comprehensive list on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website. We encourage you to check it out anytime you’re shopping for personal care products.
Clean Beauty Ingredients
Now that we have the bad and ugly out of the way, let’s talk about the good! Clean beauty products are meant to restore balance naturally, deliver amazing results, and do no harm.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)
An antioxidant your body makes naturally, this powerhouse ingredient helps fight free radicals and the damage they cause. When used in skincare products, ALA can promote collagen production, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
MSM is high in sulfur and occurs naturally in our bodies. The sulfur in MSM is necessary for healthy collagen production. Products with this amazing ingredient can:
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles
- Smooth skin tone and texture
- Improve acne and other scarring
- Reduce the look of hyperpigmentation (age spots)
When added to body lotions, MSM can help with sore muscles and joints — all while keeping skin looking great.
A fat derived from the nut of the African shea tree, shea butter is a rich, natural moisturizer that provides a healthy glow and delivers long-lasting hydration. Not only is it hypoallergenic, but it also has healing properties that can reduce the inflammation of skin conditions like eczema and acne.
There’s a reason essential oils have a whole industry dedicated to them — they’re amazing! They provide natural fragrance without irritating or overwhelming skin. Most are anti-fungal and antibacterial while also reducing:
- Overproduction of oil
Other Benefits of Clean Beauty
The reasons to make the switch to clean beauty go beyond the ingredients. The most responsible product lines will also tout:
- BPA-free containers
All these reduce the carbon footprint of each product and give you even more reasons to feel good about the switch.
Making the Transition
Unless you’re ready to toss everything at once and invest in an entire clean routine, we suggest replacing your current products with a clean product each time you run out. This is budget-friendly and, in about three to six months, you should be completely switched over.
Because clean beauty products are full of natural and healthy ingredients, you’ll need fewer. The reason most people have so many products is that many ingredients they’re currently using are actually harming their skin and hair. This causes them to look for even more “fixes” — the cycle never ends.
A Simplified Routine
We suggest a pared-down, healthy routine. You don’t need 15 products to have glowing, youthful, and radiant skin.
Cleanser — Wash away impurities and get your skin cells ready to accept all the nutrients coming their way.
Toner — Great for balancing pH after cleansing and minimizing pores.
Serum — Made of smaller particles than moisturizer, it delivers nutrients to deeper skin layers.
Moisturizer — This will provide long-lasting hydration and encourage collagen production.
Eye crème — Made specifically for the delicate skin around the eyes, it reduces dark circles and fine lines.
That’s it! Say goodbye to endless bottles of products that do more harm than good and say hello to one simplified, healthy skincare routine.
We’re Here to Help
If you’d like to know more about making the switch to a clean beauty routine, we’re happy to offer advice and answer any questions you may have — just reach out. Your skin will thank you!