With so many different ingredients in beauty products, it can be difficult to know what to look for and what to avoid, especially when searching for clean ingredients.
Clean beauty means that a product is safe, non-toxic, and has transparent labeling of ingredients. With this in mind, we’ve created a list of clean beauty ingredient suggestions for you to add to your beauty routine, and ingredients to avoid to keep your skin healthy and glowing.
Great clean ingredients to look for
- Volcanic Ash - From volcanic rock and clay, volcanic ash is an antioxidant that’s great for exfoliating and absorbing excess sebum. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great product to add to your routine 2-3 times a week.
- Hyaluronic Acid - Found naturally in our body, this is a must-have for keeping your skin hydrated, moisturized and plump. It works by retaining the water on our skin, thus increasing moisture retention and reducing dryness. Perfect to use morning and night if you need an extra boost of hydration.
- Polyphenols - A group of antioxidants that not only help protect your skin against UV damage, but can also help to reverse signs of dark spots and fine lines. Use daily to help protect your skin from UV rays and pollution.
- Vitamin C - With strong antioxidant properties, vitamin C helps to heal and regenerate your skin by protecting it from free radicals, and activating your skin cells to produce more collagen and elastin.
- Rose Oil - Anti-inflammatory and can help with hydration and the appearance of scarring and redness. Rose oil is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and can help with a radiant-looking glow.
- Aloe Vera - You’ve probably used aloe vera if you’ve ever sat out in the sun too long and ended up with sunburn. Aloe Vera has antibacterial properties, is rich in vitamins E and C, it moisturizes and can help with inflammation, as well as with reducing the appearance of dark spots and scars.
Ingredients to avoid
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) - These are often found in body wash, bubble bath and shampoo, but can cause skin irritation so are best avoided.
- Synthetic fragrances - Fragrance is a term that brands often get away with putting in beauty ingredients without having to disclose the harmful chemicals that they use to acquire the fragrance scent.
- Phthalates - Known to add a fragrance scent, phthalates are harmful to the body. Try to look for essential oils or natural scents instead. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies one type of phthalate, diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), as a possible cause of cancer. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) says that DEHP “is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
- Formaldehyde - A known carcinogen, look out for this in nail polish and nail polish removers in particular. Formaldehyde releasers are also good to avoid; these chemicals are cosmetic preservatives that form into formaldehyde.
- Parabens - Introduced in the 1950s, parabens are used to prevent mold and bacteria forming in products, thereby extending their shelf-life. Parabens have been seen to penetrate the skin and take hold in breast tissue. They are also believed to disrupt hormone function by mimicking oestrogen. Too much oestrogen can trigger an increase in breast cell division and growth of tumours, which is why paraben use has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues.
- Lead - as a heavy metal and neurotoxin lead is best avoided, as is petroleum (in Vaseline for example), which can be absorbed and ingested. Try a natural, clean lipstick or lip balm formulation instead.
https://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/a19671302/polyphenol-benefits-skin/ https://www.allure.com/story/vitamin-c-benefits-for-skin https://greatist.com/health/aloe-vera-for-face#benefits https://www.elle.com/uk/beauty/skin/articles/a36356/what-are-parabens/ https://www.cancer.ca/en/prevention-and-screening/reduce-cancer-risk/make-informed-decisions/know-your-environment/phthalates/?region=on