“Clean Beauty” and I are not friends.
Clean Beauty loves to boast how their products are free from [insert alleged scary ingredient here], toxin free, made naturally, safer, and somehow better. Clean Beauty is the bully that needs to go away.
Dig a little deeper and it’s painfully evident that the word “clean” is a misleading marketing buzzword with no set definition or certification, and the perpetrator of scientific distrust.
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know what this is: fear marketing. I don’t like it, I don’t support it, and it doesn’t pass the vibe check.
Free-from claims are gross sales strategies to deceive you into believing their products are “safer” because they’re free from XYZ ingredient. I think it bears repeating that single ingredients are not inherently good or evil. Absolutely ANYTHING can be toxic and even lethal when not used at the correct dose. So while an ingredient can be labeled as carcinogenic, that is at 100% usage rate and very few are ever used remotely close to that rate.
If you have been switching to more “natural” products, keep in mind that there are many more plant extracts and proteins found in these types of products. While your skin loves these ingredients, so does bacteria. Clean Beauty loves to brag about being preservative free but your cosmetics are preserved to keep you safe.
It’s also noteworthy to add that “natural” ingredients over synthetic ones does not make them better or safer. Synthetic ingredients are just as effective and often may be the better choice from sustainability, ethical, environmental, and cost aspects.
- Synthetics can be the more ethical route to ensure no child labor or animal cruelty was involved. Some ingredients used to be sourced through animal exploitation. I'm sure you don't want your cosmetics served up with a side of cruelty.
- Synthetics are lab purified which means their stability and effectiveness can be replicated where natural options can at times be unstable and have varied results.
- While synthetic fragrance oils are often demonized, consider the environmental ramifications of essential oils, often revered for being natural and safer, as the process of extracting these volatile oils require excessive organic matter and deplete resources from the environment.
Synthetics have their purpose and are not evil.
Pseudo-science, fear mongering, and greenwashing have no home here. Everything is a chemical, and they’re not bad for you or dangerous. Anything can be “toxic” at the wrong usage rates, so that term is also senseless and absurd.