Clean beauty is used to define products that have natural origins and don’t include synthetic ingredients considered to be ‘harmful’.
Many of the products we use on a daily basis are made with synthetic chemical ingredients, but is there any need for them? Are there alternatives out there that are just as effective and kinder to your skin and the environment?
If you choose to strip your products of synthetic chemicals, clean beauty is the way forward. The great news is that due to the popularity of natural ingredients, they are now readily available.
What are the benefits of clean beauty?
It’s free from irritation-causing ingredients
Sodium lauryl sulphate, or SLS, is thought to irritate the skin, causing itching and burning. You’ll find it in many of your bathroom favourites, like shampoo, shower gel and facewash, as it is used to turn liquids into a foamy lather.
It’s been a staple in toiletries for decades, but there’s a sweeter, natural alternative derived from sugar: glucosides are milder but just as bubbly.
Handpicked content: What is SLS?
They don’t contain microbeads
Unlike many synthetic scrubs and toothpaste, clean beauty products don’t contain tiny pieces of plastic known as microbeads.
When these microscopic beads are washed down the plughole, they eventually end up in the oceans, polluting the environment and harming marine life.
To scrub your way to smoother skin without impacting nature, swap to sugar, sea salt or coconut fibres, which break down naturally.
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It’s sustainable and ethical
Many ‘clean beauty’ brands take care to use ingredients and packaging that are organic, sustainable, recyclable and ethically sourced. Making products in an eco-friendly way limits the impact on the environment.
They don’t contain parabens
Parabens in makeup, sunscreen and hair products help to extend their shelf life and prevent the growth of bacteria.
Some research suggests that they may disrupt the way our bodies work, but so far there’s no scientific proof that parabens are related to any serious health conditions.
However, some beauty brands have crafted their products without this chemical to give you a choice about the products you buy.
Handpicked content: What are parabens and are they bad for you?
How can I tell if a product is ‘clean’?
As with clean eating, reading the ingredients list on products is essential.
Decode the labels for yourself by getting to know these terms:
To check for SLS, look out for sodium lauryl sulfate or its other names like lauryl sodium sulphate or sodium dodecyl sulphate.
If a product isn’t labelled paraben-free read the small print. Keep an eye out for any words ending in paraben: