If you're someone who tries to steer clear of things like GMOs and pesticides and other shady chemical additives that may or may not actually be safe for human use, then you're probably at least curious about the clean beauty movement (if you haven't fully embraced it already). But what does clean beauty mean, exactly? Is it different from green beauty? And what are some of the best clean beauty products on the market right now?
Basically, "clean" is a term used by beauty brands to designate products that don't contain ingredients (whether synthetic or natural) that are considered to be potentially unsafe (think phthalates and parabens). "'Clean' beauty includes nontoxic and noncontroversial products that are proven safe and effective," cosmetic chemist Ginger King told Popsugar. "It does not have to be 100 percent 'green,' as green may not be efficacious," she continued.
"Consumers have been greenwashed so bad that they think as long as it's natural, it's good for you. That is not necessarily the case. Synthetic materials can be good [in products], as long as they are proven safe — having gone through various testing — and do not harm people, animals, or the environment."
While there are no official standards for products to meet in order to make the "clean" claim, there are enough legit clean brands on the market to meet all your beauty needs... and it's absolutely worth making the switch to clean whenever possible. As Good Housekeeping reported, U.S. laws for cosmetics safety have remained "virtually unchanged since they were created back in 1938." If that's not alarming enough, consider the fact that over 1,300 unsafe ingredients have been banned for use in beauty products in Canada and Europe — while here in the U.S.A., only 11 ingredients have been banned by the FDA for use in cosmetics.
The following products are from clean beauty brands you can trust, and they just so happen to be absolutely amazing. Trust me, you won't miss those phthalates and parabens one bit.
1. Free + True
3. Wander Beauty
Get maximum results for minimal effort with this gel-like mask, which helps to tighten pores and fade fine lines in minutes. Formulated with glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids to clear the build-up of dead skin cells, this insta-facial also contains meadowfoam seed oil to "lock in" moisture.
For an instant dose of calm, this soothing gel-cream is made with hyaluronic acid, aloe, vitamins C and E, and even caffeine to help firm and brighten. Can also be used as a mask in a pinch. Something else to feel good about: 100 percent of the sales of Deep Moisture Fix from every Monday in April and May will be donated to Every Mother Counts.
If you're not a cleansing oil convert already, this product will do the trick. The kefir-based formula gets rid of makeup down to the last traces but still manages to make skin feel moisturized, and it's made with cool ingredients like arctic-winged kelp.