The Science Behind Clean Skincare: What Makes It Different?

Beauty

January 24, 2024
Author: Doré

Beauty

January 24, 2024

The Science Behind Clean Skincare: What Makes It Different?

Author: Doré
The term “clean beauty” is a highly unregulated term. It’s something we know we should be paying attention to, but there’s so many variations on what clean means, ie: non-toxic, chemical-free, all natural, and so on. But is there any scientific evidence for this? Do we really need to “clean up” the products we use to clean our face? We wanted to explore the science behind clean skincare, and what makes it not only different, but a non-negotiable when buying skincare.What is Clean Beauty?There’s maybe no other term in beauty that’s more loaded than “clean beauty.” Pretty much every brand you see launching today - including Doré - calls itself clean. But what does that actually mean? Part of the confusion is that there isn’t one clear standard to define clean beauty. While the EU has strong regulations around personal care ingredients and consumer safety, the FDA in the US is far behind when it comes to establishing its standard of clean. This had lead both brands and retailers to come up with their own definitions of what clean means, and it’s often a little different for everyone. For some, it means natural or organic. For others, non-toxic. And often, sustainability and ethical sourcing gets thrown into the mix. So Why Should I Care About Clean Beauty?Well, there are a few reasons as to why you might want to consider switching your beauty and personal care products to clean alternatives if you haven’t already. First, it’s important to know what ingredients are in your products. There are many ingredients that have been used in personal care products for decades that based on new research are now known to be disease causing. Some ingredients have been linked to endocrine disruption and even some forms of cancer. When you buy from clean brands, you know that you have less opportunity to be exposed to these sorts of chemicals, and by supporting clean brands, you’re also supporting larger, beneficial changes in the beauty industry. Environmental Impact and Transparency in the Beauty IndustryThe clean beauty movement also brought about a lot of conversation in regards to sustainability within the industry. Beauty is one of the biggest waste producing industry, and alongside the movement of clean beauty, we’ve also seen a movement in sustainability. That means more eco-friendly packaging, refillable and circular options, less single use samples and more sustainable manufacturing processes. Clean beauty has been great for raising awareness around how to build better beauty brands across both ingredients, packaging and manufacturing.Does Clean Beauty Have to Be All-Natural?The short answer is no. Just because something is natural doesn’t always mean it’s safe or good for you, or effective. Many natural ingredients can be just as harmful as synthetic ones, which is why it’s important to really do your research. Organizations like EWG have a very strict standard of clean when it comes to beauty and personal care that allows for safe synthetic ingredients, which can often make products more stable and efficacious. What ingredients should I avoid?Below is a list of ingredients to be mindful of in beauty and personal care products. Parabens PhthalatesParabens phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are used as preservatives in cosmetics and skincare products. They can be found in everything from shampoo to moisturizer to makeup. Parabens have been linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, and endocrine disruption.SulfatesSulfates are harsh chemicals that are used as cleansing agents in cosmetics and skincare products. They can be found in everything from shampoo to body wash. Sulfates have been linked to skin irritation, endocrine disruption, and reproductive toxicity. You should avoid beauty products that contain these ingredients, and look for products that are labeled “sulfate-free.”FragranceFragrance is a catch-all term that can refer to any number of potentially harmful chemicals and you’ll find them on an ingredient list abbreviated as DEP, BBzP, DBP, and DEHP. These chemicals can be found in perfumes, colognes, and other scented products. Fragrances are considered a trade secret and, therefore, do not have to be disclosed.TalcTalc is a mineral that is often used in cosmetics, baby powder, and other personal care products. Talc that hasn’t been purified can be contaminated with asbestos, a known human carcinogen. Talc has been linked to ovarian cancer, lung cancer, and respiratory problems. You should avoid skincare and beauty products that contain these ingredients, and look for products labeled “talc-free.”SilicaSilica is used in everything from oral care products to foundation. The science concerning silica is confusing, to say the least. Only one kind of silica is approved for use in cosmetic formulations: amorphous silica. Silica has been linked to lung cancer and respiratory problems. You should avoid beauty products that contain these ingredients, and look for products labeled “silica-free.”HydroquinoneA topical bleaching agent, hydroquinone is found in skin-lightening creams and serums, and used in the treatment of hyperpigmentation. Hydroquinone has been linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, and organ system toxicity. You should avoid beauty products that contain these ingredients, and look for products labeled “hydroquinone-free.”Refined PetroleumRefined petroleum products are often used in cosmetics as moisturizers, hair care products, and makeup. Petroleum products have been linked to cancer, organ system toxicity, and respiratory problems. A 2011 study found mineral oil to be the largest contaminant present in the human body due to accumulation over time possibly from cosmetics.How to Switch to Clean Beauty ProductsIf you’re interested in making the switch to clean products, start with taking a look at what’s in your medicine cabinet or on your vanity. You can use resources like EWG or Yuka to look up different products or ingredients to get better idea of what you might be safe to keep, and what you might want to toss. Then you can use resources like EWG Verified’s database to source clean products, or look for retailers with a clear standard of clean, like Credo Beauty or Beauty Heroes. Their teams are often trained to help you fine clean swaps for some of your current products. This is a great way to discover brands that are committed to clean formulations and that you know you can trust.The Bottom LineEven though clean beauty is a little fuzzy, what is undeniably good is that this movement has us paying much more attention to the products we’re putting on our skin, and that’s definitely a good thing. At Doré, all of our products are EWG Verified for your safety. We don’t believe that just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s always good for you, so you’ll find a mix of both plant botanicals and safe synthetic ingredients in our formulas that make our products safe and efficacious.
The term “clean beauty” is a highly unregulated term. It’s something we know we should be paying attention to, but there’s so many variations on what clean means, ie: non-toxic, chemical-free, all natural, and so on. But is there any scientific evidence for this? Do we really need to “clean up” the products we use to clean our face? We wanted to explore the science behind clean skincare, and what makes it not only different, but a non-negotiable when buying skincare.What is Clean Beauty?There’s maybe no other term in beauty that’s more loaded than “clean beauty.” Pretty much every brand you see launching today - including Doré - calls itself clean. But what does that actually mean? Part of the confusion is that there isn’t one clear standard to define clean beauty. While the EU has strong regulations around personal care ingredients and consumer safety, the FDA in the US is far behind when it comes to establishing its standard of clean. This had lead both brands and retailers to come up with their own definitions of what clean means, and it’s often a little different for everyone. For some, it means natural or organic. For others, non-toxic. And often, sustainability and ethical sourcing gets thrown into the mix. So Why Should I Care About Clean Beauty?Well, there are a few reasons as to why you might want to consider switching your beauty and personal care products to clean alternatives if you haven’t already. First, it’s important to know what ingredients are in your products. There are many ingredients that have been used in personal care products for decades that based on new research are now known to be disease causing. Some ingredients have been linked to endocrine disruption and even some forms of cancer. When you buy from clean brands, you know that you have less opportunity to be exposed to these sorts of chemicals, and by supporting clean brands, you’re also supporting larger, beneficial changes in the beauty industry. Environmental Impact and Transparency in the Beauty IndustryThe clean beauty movement also brought about a lot of conversation in regards to sustainability within the industry. Beauty is one of the biggest waste producing industry, and alongside the movement of clean beauty, we’ve also seen a movement in sustainability. That means more eco-friendly packaging, refillable and circular options, less single use samples and more sustainable manufacturing processes. Clean beauty has been great for raising awareness around how to build better beauty brands across both ingredients, packaging and manufacturing.Does Clean Beauty Have to Be All-Natural?The short answer is no. Just because something is natural doesn’t always mean it’s safe or good for you, or effective. Many natural ingredients can be just as harmful as synthetic ones, which is why it’s important to really do your research. Organizations like EWG have a very strict standard of clean when it comes to beauty and personal care that allows for safe synthetic ingredients, which can often make products more stable and efficacious. What ingredients should I avoid?Below is a list of ingredients to be mindful of in beauty and personal care products. Parabens PhthalatesParabens phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are used as preservatives in cosmetics and skincare products. They can be found in everything from shampoo to moisturizer to makeup. Parabens have been linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, and endocrine disruption.SulfatesSulfates are harsh chemicals that are used as cleansing agents in cosmetics and skincare products. They can be found in everything from shampoo to body wash. Sulfates have been linked to skin irritation, endocrine disruption, and reproductive toxicity. You should avoid beauty products that contain these ingredients, and look for products that are labeled “sulfate-free.”FragranceFragrance is a catch-all term that can refer to any number of potentially harmful chemicals and you’ll find them on an ingredient list abbreviated as DEP, BBzP, DBP, and DEHP. These chemicals can be found in perfumes, colognes, and other scented products. Fragrances are considered a trade secret and, therefore, do not have to be disclosed.TalcTalc is a mineral that is often used in cosmetics, baby powder, and other personal care products. Talc that hasn’t been purified can be contaminated with asbestos, a known human carcinogen. Talc has been linked to ovarian cancer, lung cancer, and respiratory problems. You should avoid skincare and beauty products that contain these ingredients, and look for products labeled “talc-free.”SilicaSilica is used in everything from oral care products to foundation. The science concerning silica is confusing, to say the least. Only one kind of silica is approved for use in cosmetic formulations: amorphous silica. Silica has been linked to lung cancer and respiratory problems. You should avoid beauty products that contain these ingredients, and look for products labeled “silica-free.”HydroquinoneA topical bleaching agent, hydroquinone is found in skin-lightening creams and serums, and used in the treatment of hyperpigmentation. Hydroquinone has been linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, and organ system toxicity. You should avoid beauty products that contain these ingredients, and look for products labeled “hydroquinone-free.”Refined PetroleumRefined petroleum products are often used in cosmetics as moisturizers, hair care products, and makeup. Petroleum products have been linked to cancer, organ system toxicity, and respiratory problems. A 2011 study found mineral oil to be the largest contaminant present in the human body due to accumulation over time possibly from cosmetics.How to Switch to Clean Beauty ProductsIf you’re interested in making the switch to clean products, start with taking a look at what’s in your medicine cabinet or on your vanity. You can use resources like EWG or Yuka to look up different products or ingredients to get better idea of what you might be safe to keep, and what you might want to toss. Then you can use resources like EWG Verified’s database to source clean products, or look for retailers with a clear standard of clean, like Credo Beauty or Beauty Heroes. Their teams are often trained to help you fine clean swaps for some of your current products. This is a great way to discover brands that are committed to clean formulations and that you know you can trust.The Bottom LineEven though clean beauty is a little fuzzy, what is undeniably good is that this movement has us paying much more attention to the products we’re putting on our skin, and that’s definitely a good thing. At Doré, all of our products are EWG Verified for your safety. We don’t believe that just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s always good for you, so you’ll find a mix of both plant botanicals and safe synthetic ingredients in our formulas that make our products safe and efficacious.
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