Clean Skin Care Products: The Essential Guide for Beginners

clean skin care products

clean skin care products

Clean skin care is a category in the beauty industry that is bringing more awareness to what is actually in our products and the curiosity of where those ingredients come from.  It’s a very good thing that it’s becoming more and more popular – not just for us as humans, but very good for our planet, plants and animals. 

Let’s run through some key points about what clean skin care means, as well as organic, vegan, and cruelty free:

What Does Clean Skin Care or Clean Beauty Mean?

Safe for people and the planet, clean means that a beauty product should have considered human and environmental health, using a nontoxic ingredients and packaging and plant-based ingredients.  Much like the food industry rejects highly processed foods and focuses on nourishing, plant-based produce that delivers all the vitamins and antioxidants needed for a healthy immune and digestive system, the same is true for clean skin care.

What Does Organic Mean?

Personal care products that are certified to be at least 95 percent organic will bear an official USDA Organic Seal. Products bearing the USDA Organic Seal must also comply with handling and manufacturing specifications, and the use of genetically modified organisms is prohibited. In an effort to avoid pesticides, the clean beauty industry has begun to use organic, plant-based ingredients in products wherever possible. 

What Does Vegan Mean?

A beauty product is vegan if it doesn’t contain any animal by-products or ingredients sourced from animals. Common non-vegan ingredients found in clean beauty products include beeswax, lanolin, and tallow. Many people associate vegan with clean, but this is not the case. A product can be vegan and still contain chemical ingredients of concern.

What Does Cruelty Free Mean?

A beauty product is cruelty-free if it has not been tested on animals anywhere along the manufacturing line or before being sold. It can also mean that any animal-derived ingredients were not 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.

“The environment is where we all meet, where all have mutual interest, it is the only thing all of us share.” – Lady Bird Johnson

Ingredients to Avoid on Your Clean Skin Care Journey

Parabens

Parabens are a group of preservatives and antimicrobial chemicals that prevent the growth of nasty things like bad bacteria and mold in your beauty products.

The problem: Studies confirm that parabens mimic estrogen in the human body, with evidence linking them to reproductive organ harm, thyroid disruption, hormone-related cancers, and obesity. Exposure to parabens through beauty products was recently linked to early onset puberty in girls, according to a study published in Human Reproduction. They’re also easily absorbed: Pregnant women who used more personal care products had a greater amount of parabens in their urine, according to a 2014 study published in Reproduction. The authors of the previous study noted that “toxicological risk assessments in humans do not take into account simultaneous exposure,” meaning the risks to the fetus are still unknown. A 2019 study also found a link between paraben exposure and gestational diabetes mellitus.

The European Commission banned several types of parabens for use in personal care products: isopropyl-, isobutyl-, phenyl-, benzyl-, and pentylparabens. All five are still approved for use in the United States. FDA scientists have reopened investigations into parabens and cosmetics several times and continue to monitor new data, but their conclusion remains, “At this time,we do not have information showing that parabens as they are used in cosmetics have an effect on human health.”

Fragrances and Phthalates

The word fragrance is a catchall term that can disguise up to 3,000 synthetic or natural chemicals used to make a beauty product smell delicious. Fragrances are considered a trade secret and, therefore, do not have to be disclosed. On a related note, phthalates, which help fragrances last longer, are a group of chemicals used to keep materials and products (nail polishes, hair sprays, plastics) pliable. You’ll find them on an ingredient list abbreviated as DEP, BBzP, DBP, and DEHP.

The problem: Where there is the vague ingredient fragrance, there are phthalates—most of the time, anyway. Phthalates have been linked to reproductive and hormonal harm in children and men. Some studies have linked phthalate exposure to obesity, type 2 diabetes, reduced sperm count, breast cancers, reproductive malformation, infertility, and cardiovascular events. A study from 2017 found that 70 percent of perfume and cosmetics salespeople had exceeded the cumulative risk of phthalate exposure. Fragrance on its own can also be a trigger for allergies and asthma attacks, since we don’t know exactly what ingredients are being used in both short- and long-term exposure. Cosmetics giants Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson have all committed to fragrance transparency in the last several years.

Ethoxylated Agents

Ethoxylated agents include polyethylene glycols (PEGs), ceteareths, oleth, and sulfates. Sulfates are responsible for the bubbles and lather in cleansers like shampoo. Some sulfates are synthetic, while others are derived from sulfur and petroleum, as well as natural sources like coconut and palm oils. PEG compounds are used as thickeners, solvents, and softeners in hair products, as well as some moisturizers and base products.

The problem: Sodium lauryl sulfate is a harsh cleanser, which is why it gets a bad reputation in the world of hair care. It will strip your hair, but it’s not inherently toxic. To save your hair, sodium lauryl sulfate is sometimes converted into sodium laureth sulfate through a process called ethoxylation. A by-product of this process is 1,4-dioxane, a chemical the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists as a likely human carcinogen. On the FDA website, it’s noted that the agency “periodically monitors the levels of 1,4-dioxane in cosmetics products” and that “changes made in the manufacturing process have resulted in a significant decline over time in the levels of this contaminant in these products.” A 2018 FDA survey of 82 randomly selected personal care products marketed toward children found that only two had levels of 1,4-dioxane above 10 ppm, which is significantly lower than in the surveys conducted from 1981 through 1997. The agency also notes that 1,4-dioxane evaporates quickly, lowering the risk of transdermal absorption “even in products that remain on the skin for hours.” As of July 2019, Sephora is requiring brands to test for the presence of 1,4-dioxane.

Formaldehyde

The most notorious preservative in history, formaldehyde is commonly found in keratin smoothing treatments that rely on the chemical to lock the hair’s broken disulfide bonds into a straighter position.

The problem: Formaldehyde is recognized globally as a human carcinogen, and that’s why it (and its offspring) have been eliminated from most common cosmetic products, like nail polish. Salon keratin treatments often claim to be free of the f-word too. Except they’re not: What they contain instead are ingredients like methylene glycol, formalin, methanal, and methanediol, which release the carcinogenic compound when mixed with water during the treatment. This presents a risk to you, of course, but it’s most dangerous for the salon technician who styles hair in an enclosed space day in and day out. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists sore throat, nosebleeds, and itchy eyes as common side effects to formaldehyde exposure. The FDA also warns that formulas and products can claim they’re natural, organic, and/or formaldehyde free when that’s not true. The agency encourages consumers to always read the label, ask hair professionals for an ingredient list, and report all negative reactions.

Petroleum

Mineral oil (petrolatum, paraffin) is a widely used moisturizing agent sourced from petroleum and is often found in lip balms and face creams.

The problem: There are about a thousand reasons to avoid petroleum products from an environmental standpoint. But there are health concerns as well: A 2011 study found mineral oil to be the largest contaminant present in the human body due to accumulation over time possibly from cosmetics. A 2016 study called for the reduction of the amount of mineral- and petroleum-based ingredients “in the majority of cosmetic lip products” that are ingested. Untreated or mildly treated mineral oils used in manufacturing (not the cosmetic-grade kind found in your lip balm) are listed as carcinogens by the World Health Organization.

Hydroquinone

A topical bleaching agent, hydroquinone is found in skin-lightening creams and serums, and used in the treatment of hyperpigmentation. It’s sold over the counter in two percent concentrations, but stronger formulas are available by prescription.

The problem: Hydroquinone was approved by the FDA in 1982, but several years later, it was temporarily pulled from the market due to safety concerns (it turns out the products in question had mercury in them, so the adverse effects weren’t because of the skin-lightening ingredient). However hydroquinone itself been linked to certain cancers, decreased immune response, abnormal function of the adrenal gland, and a skin condition known as ochronosis. It’s because of the perceived risk that the European Union alongside Japan and Australia have banned the ingredient.

Talc

A common ingredient in face powders and eye shadows, talc is a mineral made from magnesium, silicon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

The problem: Talc that hasn’t been purified can be contaminated with asbestos, a known human carcinogen. In early 2019, eye shadow and contour palettes marketed to girls from Claire’s stores were recalled after the FDA found asbestos contamination during routine talc monitoring. Following the incident, the agency called on Congress to pass reformed cosmetics safety regulations. In December 2018, Reuters published an investigation claiming Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that asbestos was detected in its talcum-based baby powder products. Juries have awarded millions of dollars in high-profile cases that linked Johnson & Johnson baby powder products to cases of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.

Triclosan

An antibacterial and antimicrobial chemical, triclosan can be found in sanitizing hand and body soaps, mascara, and formerly in toothpaste.

The problem: Triclosan hasn’t just been linked to liver fibrosis, skin cancer, hormone disruption, and the development of bacterial superbugs, it’s also just not any more effective than soap and water. In April 2019, the FDA issued a final rule banning OTC hand sanitizers from using triclosan. “In today’s final regulation we finalized the FDA’s previous determination that 28 active ingredients, including triclosan and benzethonium chloride, are not eligible for evaluation under the FDA’s OTC Drug Review for use in consumer antiseptic rubs,” Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a release at the time. The agency added, “FDA has not received evidence that triclosan provides a benefit to human health. At this time, FDA doesn’t have evidence that triclosan in OTC consumer antibacterial soaps and body washes provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water.”

Silica

Also known as silicon dioxide, silica is used as an absorbent, anticaking, and abrasive agent in everything from oral care products to foundation. Silica is naturally occurring, but the kind approved for use in cosmetics is amorphous silica, not crystalline silica (also known as quartz dust).

The problem: The science concerning silica is confusing, to say the least. Only one kind of silica is approved for use in cosmetic formulations: amorphous silica. So why is crystalline silica, a known human carcinogen, popping up in particles of respirable size in laboratory tests of various bath products and cosmetics? Some studies suggest that amorphous silica can be contaminated with the crystalline kind, which would help explain why it’s still detectable in beauty products. There are environmental concerns as well, particularly with the slippery silica by-product found in every beloved face primer: silicone. Refined silicones are not biodegradable.

Our natural and clean skin care formulated eye cream is a perfect example of clean, vegan and affordable:

Natural Anti Aging Eye Cream | Repair and Renew with Active Ingredients

clean skin care products

Hydrate and repair with our organically formulated eye cream, perfect for the signs of aging, puffiness, and discoloration. Featuring ingredients DMAE, sepilift, argireline, l-carnosine, niacinamide, and vitamin a and e.

Our natural anti aging eye cream fulfills your need for rich hydration, suppleness, and relief for dry, crepey skin around delicate eyes.

Improve the signs of aging and puffy eyes with important plant extracts and active ingredients like argireline, blue green algae, niacinamide, DMAE, L-carnosine and resveratrol to repair, soothe, and hydrate.

BENEFITS

  • Repair Stressed Eyes and Damaged Skin
  • Soothe Puffy Eyes
  • Increase Hydration 

.35 ounce glass jar (30-60 day supply)

HOW TO USE

Tap a small amount of our natural anti aging eye cream all around eyes with AM and/or PM.

Each product is made fresh the day you order it.

Enjoy free shipping in the US.

Chemical free, synthetic free, paraben free, sulfate free, cruelty free.  Organic and earth derived ingredients. Made with love, one order at a time.

FULL INGREDIENTS LIST IN ALPHA ORDER

Algae Extract, Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Althea officinalis (Organic Marshmallow Root) Extract, Anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Distillate, Aphanizomenon flos-aqua (Blue Green Algae) Tincture, Argireline (Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 EcoCert / Naturally Derived), Avena sativa (Oat) Extract, Azadirachta indica (Neem) Oil, Camellia sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Extract, Cannabis sativa (Hemp) Oil, Carnosine, Citric Acid, Cocos nucifera (Organic Coconut) Oil, Centella Asiatica, Coenzyme Q-10, Cucumber Extract, DMAE, Green Tea Extract, Frankincense Essential Oil, Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel), Hyaluronic Acid, L-Carnosine, Lavendula angustifolia (Organic Lavender) Distillate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Melatonin, Neroli Essential Oil, Niacinamide, Persea americana (Avocado) Oil, Reservatrol (Vegan), Prunus dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Oleoresin, Salix nigra (Black Willow Bark) Extract, Sepilift (Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline Ecocert / Naturally Derived), Silybum marianum (Organic Milk Thistle) Extract, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Stellaria media (Organic Chickweed) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Tomato Seed Oil, Urtica dioica (Organic Nettle Leaf) Extract, Ulmus fulva (Organic Slippery Elm) Extract, Vegetable Glycerin, Vitamin A, Vitis vinifera (Grapeseed) Oil, Xanthan Gum

HIGHLIGHTS

Our natural anti aging eye cream feels a lot like a creamy balm, and will soften fine lines and infuse skin with vital nutrients and active ingredients to soothe dry skin and reverse damage caused by aging and sun exposure.

Here are some ingredient highlights:

Coenzyme Q10: Is proven to even skin tone, reduces sun damage, improves skin hydration.

DMAE:  The benefits of DMAE in dermatology include a potential anti-inflammatory effect and a documented increase in skin firmness with possible improvement in underlying facial muscle tone.

L-Carnosine:  Carnosine is medically proven to reverse sun damage, offer significant wound healing, it is a strong anti-oxidant, and stimulates collagen growth.

Melatonin:  Melatonin is an anti-oxidant for the skin and can prevent and even reserve UV damage. 

Plant Derived Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline: This wrinkle-correcting agent will moisturize and smooth the signs of aging skin. It firms the tissues by stimulating the contraction of collagen fibers, by protecting the skin fibers from breakdown and scavenges free radicals.

Conclusion

It’s very encouraging to see the beauty industry diving right into the exploration of clean skin care products.  It’s just another great way to take care of ourselves and take better care of our planet.

Jeanette @ Claribelskincare.com | Owner, Formulator & Herbal Expert

Resources / Reference

https://bit.ly/3j6PDt0, https://www.businessinsider.com/clean-skin-care-brands, https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/skin-care/a28352553/clean-beauty/, https://thegoodfaceproject.com/articles/what-is-clean-beauty, https://seph.me/3laWvb5


Older Post Newer Post