With the array of products you use everyday, learn more about what makes a product “clean beauty” and why it’s important.
From skin care products to makeup, many brands boast that they fall under the “clean beauty” umbrella. But what does it truly mean for beauty to be clean?
Many products on the shelves today contain harmful ingredients, such as chemicals, dyes, and perfumes that make the product harmful both to the user and to the planet. Although there is not a definition for clean beauty, products that truly are “clean” are safe for people to use and safe for the environment.
Here is what to look out for when shopping clean:
The product is free of harmful chemicals.
Many products contain chemicals that can be harmful to your body, such as PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) and parabens. According to the American Cancer Society, PTFE could be linked to delayed menstruation and breast and ovarian cancers.
According to the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, parabens mimic estrogen in the body and are hormone disruptors. As the group explains, “studies have shown that parabens can affect the mechanisms of normal breast cells and potentially influence their abnormal growth, leading to increased risk for breast cancer.” Parabens are also linked to ecological harm, as they can kill coral, according to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Although these ingredients are often included to preserve the product or make a product anti-aging, they can have serious healty effects. When shopping clean, look for products that don’t contain these ingredients for guilt-free use.
The product is free of perfumes and dyes.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of a product is the smell and the look. To achieve attractive colors and scents, perfumes and dyes are often used. About 75% of products that list fragrance as an ingredient contain phthalates, which is a hazardous hormone disrupting chemical. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, phthalates have been associated with a number of serious health problems, including infertility, testicular dysgenesis, obesity, asthma, and allergies, as well as leiomyomas and breast cancer.
Many products will read “unscented” or “fragrance-free” – these are the products you want to reach for.
The product is safe for the environment.
As important as it is to keep yourself safe from harmful chemicals, keeping the earth safe is just as important. Many products contain ingredients such as carcinogens and phthalates, which are not only bad for you, but also bad for the environment. Products that claim they are organic are usually a safe bet for you and for the planet. Do some research and find out which of your favorite companies have signed the “Compact for Safe Cosmetics” pledge, which promises to phase the 450 chemicals banned by the EU out of their products.
You can find the list of companies that have signed the CSC compact at www.safecosmetics.org.
Look for keywords: vegan, cruelty-free, organic and natural.
When a product is vegan and cruelty free, you can rest easy knowing that the product isn’t tested on animals and does not contain any animal-related ingredients. When checking the ingredient list, take note of the botanical ingredients at the top and the synthetic ingredients near the bottom. They will be in their latin names, so you may have to pull out your phone.