What is clean beauty?

We've all heard the term "clean beauty", and it's looking as if it's a game changer for the beauty industry. Clean beauty products have natural origins and are free from synthetic ingredients that are thought to be harmful.

Many of the beauty buys we use on a daily basis are made with synthetic chemical ingredients – but are they really necessary? Are there alternatives that are just as effective, but kinder to your skin and the environment? If you want to avoid products made with synthetic chemicals, cleaner beauty is the way forward. The fab news is that, thanks to the popularity of natural beauty ingredients, it's easy to get your hands on them.

Read more and discover Clean & Conscious Beauty

The benefits of clean beauty

It’s free from irritant-causing ingredients Sodium lauryl sulphate, or SLS, is thought to irritate the skin, causing itchy skin and burning. You’ll find it in many of your bathroom favourites, such as shampoo, shower gel and facewash – it's used to turn liquids into a foamy lather. It’s been used in beauty products for decades, but there’s a sweeter, natural alternative derived from sugar, known as glucosides, are milder, but just as bubbly.

Handpicked article: What is SLS?

It doesn’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 end up in the oceans, polluting the environment and harming marine life.  To scrub your way to smoother skin without impacting nature, swap to natural beauy ingredients such as sugar, sea salt or coconut fibres, which break down naturally. 

Handpicked article: What are Microbeads? 

It’s sustainable and ethical Many clean beauty brands use ingredients and packaging that are organic, sustainable, recyclable and ethically sourced wherever possible. Making products in an eco-friendly way helps reduce the impact products have on the environment. It doesn’t contain parabens Parabens in makeup, sunscreen and hair products help to boost their shelf life and stop bacterias growing. Some research suggests that these may disrupt the way our bodies work (although parabens haven't been directly linked to any serious health conditions).  Many cleaner beauty brands have crafted their products without this chemical to give you a choice about the products you buy.

Handpicked article: What are parabens?

How can I tell if a product is "clean"?

As with clean eating, reading the ingredients list on products is essential.  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:
  • Methylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
  • Butylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
Read more? How to get "unready" Shop Natural Beauty
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