Clean Beauty: What is it, Best Brands, and How to Look for It

*By Grace Greenwald*

If you take a look at my YouTube homepage, half of the videos will consist of skincare and makeup routines. 

Whether it’s Hailey Bieber’s skincare routine or a tutorial to achieving the perfect “natural going out makeup look,” these videos fuel my skincare and makeup obsession. 

However, whenever I went to go look up the products that these influencers were using, I was shocked. An eerie amount of the makeup and skincare products used by the American public contains chemicals that do not belong on our bodies. 

I found it ironic: so many companies advertise products for an outcome of happy and healthy skin, but then use ingredients that in reality may do more harm than good.

Up until a few years ago, I never thought twice about what went into my beauty products. One Christmas, I was gifted beauty products from the company Beautycounter and automatically fell in love with their products. So, I evidently went on their website to do a little more research on their company. That is how I found out about the lack of care that really goes into some skincare. Beautycounter’s mission is to create a line of products that are safe for our bodies. They have created what they call “The Never List”– a list of over 1,800 harmful or questionable ingredients that will never make their way into Beautycounter’s products. 

Credit: Beautycounter

Why should you care about what goes into your skin products? 

When we are putting products directly onto our skin, especially as constantly as we do with makeup and skincare, the chemicals from those products seep into our skin and thus find their way into our bloodstream. 

Depending on the chemical, the effect on our bodies differ. Many of the chemicals deemed harmful can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, affect hormones and even be carcinogenic. 

Even ingredients that seem as simple as “fragrance” is just another sneaky way to add harmful chemicals without having to state such on the ingredient list. 

“Fragrance” or “perfume” are outwardly vague ingredients that can contain a list of ingredients unknown to the user. 

The Skincare company, Nécessaire, has recently gained popularity for their awareness of ingredients, namely fragrance. Pick up your shampoo bottle, handsoap, or moisturizer and I guarantee you will find some form of fragrance on the ingredient list. 

Credit: Glamour

North America in general fails to prevent the use of these harmful ingredients. According to Gwenyth Paltrow’s website Goop, “To give you an idea of where we are, consider that there are 11 cosmetic ingredients currently banned by the FDA, while in the EU, over 1,300 ingredients are banned.” 

As a result of this issue, many companies such as Beautycounter have taken the initiative to step forward and supply clean skincare. 

Credit: Beautycounter

After years of trying clean skincare brands, I created a list of some of my favorites.

First and foremost, Weleda was one of the first clean skincare brands that I became familiar with and believe that it is not given the amount of hype it deserves. 

Their line of Skin Food products are the best moisturizer you will put on your body. Their original Skin Food moisturizer is a bit heavy, but they make a lighter cream that I love to use on my hands when the winter comes around. 

For my body I use the Skin Food body butter and the lip butter does wonders to my easily chapped lips. Additionally, I have done my fair share of natural deodorant testing, and their liquid roll on and spray deodorants come out on top everytime. 

Another one of my favorite brands is Cocokind. Cocokind has the best serums and moisturizers to add to your arsenal of skincare.

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Credit: Pinterest

I am currently using their facial repair oil every night and have been loving the results. What’s even better is that they aim to provide you with products that are good for your body as well as the environment. 

As for makeup, aside from Beautycounter, I often pickup my products from Whole Foods. This usually results in confused looks from my friends, but I promise it is totally worth it. In fact, many of the brands I have mentioned can be found there. 

When I don’t use Beautycounter, I am using Mineral Fusion. My favorite product from them is their mascara which arguably I find makes my eyelashes stand out a lot better than other brands (including Beautycounter!). 

1,800 ingredients are a lot to keep track of when shopping for skincare. That considered, the easiest and quickest ways I have found to make sure that the products you are buying are safe are using the app ThinkDirty and EWG’s Skin Deep. 

ThinkDirty is an app you can download on your phone where you can either scan the barcode of a product or manually put it into the app. It will give you a rating from 0-10 on how “dirty” the product is. The app even provides you with a breakdown of the ingredients so you can see why a product has a certain rating. 

EWG Skin Deep is a very similar concept but in the form of a website. A trusted website, EWG researches many of the chemicals in products and therefore can provide you with an in-depth analysis of the ingredient in question, it’s potential effects and if sufficient research has been done on the product. 

With resources like EWG and ThinkDirty, clean skincare is becoming more easily accessible to learn about and have confidence in.  

Credit: Electric Runway

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