Join the Clean Beauty Revolution by Lauren Sullivan
Updated: Dec 26, 2020
Every morning you put on SPF 30 and tinted moisturizer to protect from the sun’s harsh UV rays, and every night you slather your face with serums and moisturizers that promise to fix all your skin problems. But how much do you really know about what you’re putting on your face?
“Clean” beauty and knowing the ingredients in your skincare products and cosmetics is all the rage recently — and it shows. Sephora has an entire section of its website dedicated to clean beauty formulated without parabens, sulfates, and formaldehyde. And on Tik Tok, more than six million people rely on skincare guru Hyram Yarbro to review the performance of various skincare products.
Clean beauty is a step in the right direction because consumers deserve to know exactly what they are putting on their skin and how it is going to affect the rest of their body. However, product safety is a responsibility ultimately left to the customer because the US Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for testing the safety of cosmetics in the US, has little authority over the gigantic cosmetic industry.
The US pales in comparison to other countries when it comes to the safety of cosmetic products and restricting the ingredients in skincare and makeup. According to cosmeticsinfo.org, there are only nine ingredients in the US that are either restricted or prohibited from use in skincare and cosmetic products — a stark contrast to the European Union where 1,378 ingredients are prohibited.
The lack of regulation in the US leads to some questionable ingredients being put in cosmetic products. For example, talcum powder, which is banned in the European Union, can be found in products like deodorant and makeup in the US. Talcum powder has raised health concerns as it can sometimes contain asbestos, which has been linked to cancer.
Although talcum powder used in cosmetics is not supposed to contain asbestos, as a result of the lack of regulations in the cosmetic industry asbestos.com states that “there is a long history of asbestos remaining in talc that is certified asbestos-free.”
However, this is only one example of a potentially harmful ingredient that could be in a makeup product, signifying that it is more than time for a shift towards transparent and good-for-you skincare and beauty products. Luckily, this change is already in motion and it’s picking up speed every day.
A leader in the clean beauty revolution is Beautycounter, a skincare and makeup brand that is dedicated to using the best ingredients possible. In addition to following all of the FDA standards in the US and the EU, Beautycounter also conducts its own tests to determine if a product is safe. From the results of these tests, Beautycounter has prohibited the use of more than 1,800 ingredients in their products (beautycounter.com).
Celebrities and influencers have also been jumping on the clean-beauty bandwagon, and are encouraging their fans and followers to do the same. For example, supermodel Miranda Kerr has her own skincare line named Kora Organics that promises to be toxin-free and certified organic. Similarly, actress Jessica Alba created her own clean beauty and lifestyle brand Honest Beauty, which promises to be paraben-free, naturally derived and pregnancy safe.
There are some simple steps that you can take to develop a safer skincare and beauty routine. For example, shopping the clean beauty line at Sephora or buying from certified clean companies like Beautycounter is a great way to start. You can also use websites like www.ewg.org/skindeep to look up the safety of the ingredients in your products.
So next time you pick up a beauty product, don’t skip checking the ingredient list and make sure you know exactly what’s going onto your skin.