For years we’ve been bombarded with images and recipes of green smoothies and vegetable salads from the ‘clean eating’ movement, but when it comes to clean beauty things are a little hazy. Like, what does clean actually mean?
There has been a significant rise in the demand for ‘Clean Beauty’ products in recent years, with more people caring about what ingredients are inside those pretty packaged pots and bottles on their bathroom shelves (and where exactly they come from!)
But there’s also a whole host of brands claiming to be something they are not and ‘greenwashing’ their products.
Interested in knowing more? Have a read below for our guide on all things ‘Clean Beauty’. From what it is and why it’s so important, to what you should and shouldn’t be putting on to that beautiful skin of yours, Kinvara has got you covered.
Clean Beauty is a term still open to interpretation.
For us, put simply, Clean Beauty means a product that is safe for people and the planet. It is a non-toxic, plant-based product that is mindfully created, ethically sourced and made with both human and environmental health in mind.
Much like ‘clean eating’ avoids processed junk foods to focus on eating plant-based produce to feed your body vitamins, minerals and antioxidants; the same is true for clean skincare.
Every beauty product made also has an impact on our planet through its supply chain. Clean Beauty products consider where the ingredients are sourced from, how it’s packaged and who manufactured it.
If you’re reading this and wondering if it’s time you made the switch to Clean Beauty and began using natural products, our latest blog post ‘Is now the time to switch to natural skincare?’ can give you the low down on if it’s right for you.
The Clean Beauty movement seems to have arisen from ‘frustration over regulatory oversight of cosmetics and personal care products’. In America, the standards for beauty and skincare products and their ingredients were shockingly low.
This led to the Environmental Working Group and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to take matters into their own hands.
They classified certain ingredients found in commercial cosmetic and personal care products as harmful and not suitable for topical use.
This system was not in place before, and brands could get away with putting potentially dangerous ingredients in their products.
Thus, the emergence of Clean Beauty came about. What was once a niche trend championed by a few brands has now gathered some serious momentum due to the rise of conscious consumerism.
I mean, it’s true right? We all care now, more than ever, about what we put on our skin and in our bodies. We don’t want to put refined petrochemicals on our skin, just like we don’t want to ingest artificial flavours and pesticides.
Our founder, Dr. Joanne Reilly, champions this. With her remarkable background in natural science and her experiences with herbal medicine during expeditions to Sumatra, she has been able to develop plant-based, clean skincare products that actually work.
A few years before Clean Beauty became ‘fashionable’ by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba, Kinvara Skincare was born with the sole purpose to provide customers with effective and ethical natural skincare products. Kinvara products feel good, do good and are good - without a toxic ingredient in sight!
There are many toxic ingredients still used in skincare and beauty products that don’t fall under the category of Clean Beauty. Aggressive ingredients, synthetic chemicals and pesky preservatives are often of the most concern and should be avoided all together.
To name just a few, there are:
Parabens (ethyl–, butyl-, propyl-, benzyl-) – Parabens are a controversial preservative linked to reproductive organ harm, thyroid disruption, hormone-related cancers and obesity
SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) – SLS strips moisture from your skin, leaving it dry and irritated. It can cause severe redness and harsh skin reactions, especially for people with sensitive skin
Mineral oils (petroleum, petrolatum, paraffinum liquidum) – Mineral oils are known to clog pores and are a cheap by-product of the crude oil industry
Fragrances and Phthalates (DBP, DEP, DEHP) – Phthalates are a group of chemicals that help fragrances last longer. They can be absorbed through the skin and have been linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity and breast cancer
Other ingredients to be aware of are artificial colours which can make the skin more sensitive and silicones which can, like mineral oils, clog your pores and induce breakouts.
A little research never hurt anybody, so be sure to educate yourself on what sort of ingredients you want to avoid in order to make informed purchasing decisions and dodge being ‘greenwashed’.
In a nutshell, ‘greenwashing” is when brands act like a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’, if you will.
It’s a term used in many industries simply to describe brands who deliberately make misleading claims in order to trick the customer into thinking their brand or company is more environmentally friendly or ‘green’ than it actually is.
They pretend to be something they are not, because they know today’s customers want ‘green’ and ‘clean’ products, and care about the global effects of their purchasing choices.
It’s a deceitful advertising gimmick, so it’s important to really investigate the brands you use, sift through the facts and the fiction and check up on their claims when it comes to Clean Beauty.
Are there more plant oils than preservatives in their products? Are they certified? What percentage of their products are sustainable? Ask these questions and you should be able to avoid being conned, no matter who the brand is.
It’s important to put your products under the microscope before use. There are certain signs and certifications that can help you distinguish a products legitimacy.
We recommend thoroughly checking the list of ingredients on your skincare products to ensure there’s no nasties in there. You can:
Have a list of the ingredients you should be avoiding and cross reference them with the product in front of you. Remember, ingredients at the start of the list tend to have higher percentages than those at the end
Avoid brands that aren’t forthcoming with their ingredients- what do they have to hide?
Check if your brand formulates to COSMOS standards (the Cosmetic Organic and Natural Standard granted by the Soil Association). If your brand is honest about their stance on this, you know you can trust them, and you know which of their ingredients adhere to the certified organic standards
Look out for simple indicators on product packaging for if the brand tests on animals, is vegan friendly and easily recyclable
If you have high standards in terms of choosing ingredients and formulations that won’t be harmful to your health, or to the health of the world, then Clean Beauty is for you.
Kinvara makes sustainable plant-powered skincare with no false promises. Our products are 100% recyclable, vegan friendly, cruelty-free and free-from SLS, Parabens, Mineral Oils and Alcohol.
We are also multi-award winning, having been awarded Silver for Best ‘Free-From’ Skincare Brand, and Gold for Best ‘Free-From’ Eye care product ‘Eye Wow’ in the 2019 FreeFrom Skincare Awards. This award body has been celebrating the best in ‘Free-From’ skincare products, be that allergens, fragrances or harmful ingredients, for nearly 10 years!
Here at Kinvara, we use plants because they are natural sources of ingredients rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, omega fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and numerous active ingredients.
Plants are loaded with good-for-skin ingredients, so we don’t need to use anything else!
Your diet plays a major part in keeping your skin healthy and hydrated because after all you are what you eat, right? Eating a healthy diet can literally be the difference between a fresh, dewy complexion and a dull, irritated, inflamed one.