The term “clean ingredients” is often used in the context of skincare, cosmetics and personal care products to describe formulations that are free from certain potentially harmful or controversial substances. However, it is important to note that the definition of “clean” can vary depending on individual Perspectives and the specific context.

Lets break some buzz words down:

Safe for people and the planet, clean means that a beauty product should have considered human and environmental health, using a nontoxic element as a baseline and plant-based ingredients for active results. Much like eating clean with no processed foods.

The word green means the product does no harm to the environment. Reef-safe sunscreen with biodegradable packaging would be labelled green. Kraft, card stock packaging, sugar cane, or bamboo is considered green.

Organic cosmetics are products containing ingredients of vegetable origin but are grown biologically and without using synthetic elements or GMOs.

When a beauty product is labelled nontoxic, it means that the ingredients have not been shown to cause adverse health effects at the levels found inside the formula.

A beauty product is vegan if it doesn’t contain any animal by-products or ingredients sourced from animals. This includes beeswax, honey, lanolin, and tallow. People assume vegan with clean, but this is not the case. A product can be vegan and still contain chemical ingredients.

A beauty product is cruelty-free if it has not been tested on animals right down the supplier chain before being sold. As well no animal-derived ingredients extracted at the expense of an animal’s welfare (like natural-fiber makeup brushes). A beauty product can be cruelty-free but not vegan, and vice versa. People assume it’s the same thing

Truly sustainable ingredients are those that are ethically sourced and proven to be safe for the environment, with sustainable or no-waste packaging being defined as glass packaging, biodegradable packaging, post-consumer recycled packaging. Very similar to green. In general these terms typically refer to formulations and packaging that avoid or minimize the use of certain substances that may have potential health risks to you or environmental concerns. However, it’s important to note that the above buzz terms which come under “clean” is not regulated or standardized in the Skincare or Cosmetic industry. There is no universally agreed upon definition, and can be subject to marketing hype or greenwashing. Some companies may use the term “clean” without clear criteria or full listings of ingredients.

Some ingredients that would not be in “clean” products:
1. Harsh chemicals: Clean formulations will avoid ingredients such as paragons, phthalates, sulphates, formaldehyde-releasing agents, and synthetic fragrance, which potentially irritate the skin or cause other adverse reactions.

2. Synthetic additives: Certain synthetic additives, such as artificial colours and flavours, may be excluded from clean formulations.

3. Petrochemical: Clean products avoid the use of petroleum-derived ingredients like mineral oil, petrolatum, and silicone used compounds.

4. GMO and synthetic preservatives: Some clean product may be formulated without genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and synthetic preservatives like BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene).

5. Animal-derived ingredients: This appeals to those who prefer Vegan,
and cruelty free products.

To make informed choices about “clean products” it is essential to read ingredient lists, conduct research, and understand your own preferences and sensitivities. If you have specific concerns, it’s advisable to consult with a dermatologist, allergist, or someone certified and skilled on this topic, who can provide personalized guidance based on
your needs.
I believe in taking a common sense approach to clean beauty: A product that stays on your skin all day or is covering a large surface area, should be switched to a clean alternative. Start by finding a natural replacement for your daily moisturizer, foundation, body lotion/wash, shampoo and sunscreen. 

For further help with skin challenges e-mail her at ask LeiLani

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