What is Clean Beauty? Discover QLEAN Blog.

You've probably heard about clean eating, but what is clean beauty all about?

Clean beauty came about because regulations governing the safety of ingredients in our beauty products are sadly non-existent. We don’t have any specific government-backed guidelines on the safety of cosmetics in Australia. We have The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS), the organisation that assesses the risks associated with the manufacture or use of industrial chemicals. Cosmetics are included in this category.

Yep, you read right, cosmetic ingredients are subject to the same safety regulations as ingredients in paint, ink and glues. This is incredible considering ingredients found in beauty products penetrate the skin and can directly enter the bloodstream. 

The second factor is the rise in sensitive skin caused by increased exposure to ingredient combinations, pollution and stress. Women are now exposed to a daily average of 126 chemicals from cosmetics, food, cleaning supplies and pollution (1). 

This is driving a shift towards caring for skin with natural, honest ingredients and for skincare products with as few ingredients as possible.

So how is clean beauty different from natural or organic products? 

The key difference is that clean beauty embraces both natural and man-made ingredients, putting the focus on safety over source. Not all natural ingredients are safe (eg. lead) and not all synthetic ingredients are unsafe. Clean beauty brands include proven safe man-made ingredients like Co Enzyme10 and Hyaluronic Acid that deliver results when it comes to our skin. 

Clean beauty disrupts the public perception that natural beauty products don’t work as well as conventional products.

Taking this a step further, some clean beauty brands are also organic. That means they're formulated with the highest quality natural, non-GMO ingredients that have been grown, harvested and manufactured without chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or antibiotics – giving you products with fewer contaminants. Because of the lack of regulation in our industry, beware of products that slap the word “organic” on products that are full of synthetic chemicals.

Clean beauty also considers the impact of specific ingredients on the environment. Avoiding palm oil where possible is a big one. Look for brands that choose glass packaging over plastic. Unlike plastic, glass is highly recyclable and can be reused over and over. 

Key takeaways:

  • The clean beauty movement happened because antifreeze (propylene glycol) in your moisturiser is not OK.
  • It also happened because sensitive skin is on the increase and we’re seeking skin care with natural, honest ingredients.
  • Clean beauty embraces both natural and man-made ingredients, putting the focus on the safety of the ingredient over where it came from.
  • Clean beauty considers the environmental impact of its packaging and ingredients.

1. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/why-this-matters-cosmetics-and-your-health/


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