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As we become more self-aware as to what ingredients are in the food products that we buy, it is only natural that this too would hit the personal care industry. When it comes to ensuring that the products we use on our bodies are safe, the clean beauty movement is now breaking the wheel of how beauty products are made and how we view personal care products overall.
It is not surprising that Millennials have been the biggest driving force behind the clean beauty movement so far. What is shocking, however, is just how unregulated this industry has been until now in the United States.
Unlike in Europe or Canada, where over 1,300 unsafe ingredients have been banned from use in personal care products, the FDA has only prohibited at least 11. In fact, the FDA currently doesn’t have to approve any beauty or skincare product before they are ready to be put on store shelves.
With more and more people shopping sustainably and consciously, the beauty and skincare industry has had to stand up and take notice. Many brands are now fighting to prove to consumers that they are not only cruelty-free but also part of the clean beauty movement.
But what exactly is clean beauty? As of yet, there is no set definition for this term. Yet, many personal care brands note it as being the mindful creation of products without proven or suspected toxic ingredients.
Many people following the clean beauty movement often fall victim to believing the misconception that these products are made only of natural ingredients. This isn’t true.
Clean beauty embraces both natural and man-made ingredients. So, the focus is firmly put on safety rather than the source. As we know not all natural ingredients are safe for human use. Similarly, not all synthetic ingredients are considered harmful.
Now that we know this, why should we be thinking about clean beauty and how we choose beauty products? As there is a lack of regulation in this industry, this means brands can get away more easily with using misleading buzzwords on their products.
We’ve all seen beauty brands claiming that their products are “100% organic”, “pure” or even “botanical” all across the label. Yet, the packaging does not always truly convey the ingredients that are contained inside. So, how exactly are we supposed to trust the products that we are buying?
As the packaging of beauty and skincare products aren’t always truthful, it is important that you become aware of the ingredients that you shouldn’t be using if you want to follow the clean beauty movement. Educating yourself on these ingredients is really important when shopping consciously for skin care products.
Below, we have listed some of the main ingredients that you need to be aware and most importantly, avoid when looking for clean beauty products.
Parabens are essentially preservatives. These are commonly put into skin care products and cosmetics to prolong shelf life. They work to stop the growth of fungi and bacteria within the products. Doesn’t sound too bad so far, does it?
But research has linked parabens to increased cases of breast cancer, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity and skin irritation. This is due to the fact that parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen and are known as being an endocrine disruptor.
Although many brands have vowed to remove these from their products, there is growing concern that they will be switched for an ingredient that is just as toxic.
These ingredients are highly toxic and are easily absorbed by the skin and nails. Often found in the plastic packaging of cosmetics to increase fragrance shelf life and nail polishes to maintain flexibility. Phthalates are banned in the EU but still commonly used in the United States.
It is important to make sure that any personal care products that you purchase do not contain these chemicals. One way to know is by checking the label for these abbreviations DBP, DEHP, and DEP. Phthalates are also hormone disruptors and have in some cases damaged the reproductive systems of both female and male consumers.
Formaldehyde is a colorless gas which is often used by beauty brands in nail polishes and hair care products. Similarly to parabens, this acts as a preservative to prolong use and shelf life.
Many may already be aware that exposure to high levels of formaldehyde is extremely harmful as it is a known carcinogenic. However, not many people are aware of its use in cosmetic products. This is due to the fact that it is often not clearly labelled.
Brands will never openly use the word formaldehyde on their packaging. However, if you do notice any of the following on your skincare label then you are guaranteed that your product contains this ingredient:
This is an ingredient added to many products intended to prevent bacterial contamination. Triclosan can often be found in antibacterial soaps, body washes, toothpaste and cosmetic products.
Although we are still unaware of the full extent of how harmful this can be for humans, it is thought to affect thyroid function and increase the possibility of skin cancer. Triclosan is also harmful to the environment especially as it can easily contaminant water supply.
Petrolatum, also known as petroleum jelly, can come as a shock to many showing up on a ‘do not use this ingredient’ list. A lot of us may have been smothered in petroleum jelly or Vaseline as a child and may still use it to this day.
The reason that this is on the list and why many brands looking to produce clean beauty products are against is because there is a growing concern that mineral oil hydrocarbons are cancer-causing agents. While it is only classed as a moderate hazard right now, many brands are choosing to go petrolatum-free.
There are many resources available that allow you to screen the ingredients found in beauty care products such as EWG, GoodGuide and MadeSafe. These screening resources ensure that the products you are using are truthful about the ingredients they are using.
At The GreenLine, we use these tools to screen all our Beauty & Personal Care products before we put them on offer. So, you can rest knowing that your products are 100% safe to use.
While it is great to know exactly how the ingredients in beauty products affect our health, we also need to think about their impact on the environment. The personal care industry is a leading contributor to environmental pollution.
Not surprisingly, this is mostly due to the packaging and ingredients that they use. Much of the plastic packaging that is used has to be extremely durable. This is so it won’t be broken by the chemical ingredients inside. This means it could take thousands of years before this plastic starts to decompose.
Similarly, the chemicals found in most personal care products do not break down. Meaning that they easily accumulate in our planet’s ecosystem. Each time our facial washes, shower gels or hand soaps get washed down the drain they are adding to the pollution of the planet.
The clean beauty movement is also heavily focused on ensuring that our beauty and personal choices are not having a disastrous effect on the environment. That is why choosing products which don’t contain toxic ingredients is becoming much more attractive.
Clean beauty products are paving the way for more sustainable and green-friendly personal care consumers. Brands are bowing rapidly to the pressure to create products that are safe for both human and environmental use.
The great news is that there are loads of cosmetic and skincare brands dedicated to this movement already and finding clean beauty products is not impossible. Here at The Greenline Market, we believe in only offering products that are clean, healthy and safe for both you and our environment.
Make sure to check out the great selection of organic beauty products and natural skincare we have in stock that we know that you’ll love. And don’t worry, those aren’t just buzzwords either.
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