What really is "Clean Beauty"?

Updated: Jan 25


Cancer. Endocrine disruption. Bioaccumulation. Contamination. Neurotoxicity. Infertility. Organ system toxicity. Not something anyone would want to wake up to, right? There is a lot of “green-washing” going on everywhere in the beauty industry. Manufacturers obviously realized that there is a huge market for better, cleaner, and greener products out there, as consumers are become better informed and demanding less toxic products.


Clean Beauty: Healthy, Safe, Hygenic, Good for People and the Planet

But what does it really mean: “Clean Beauty”?


My philosophy on the issue can be broken down to the following points which I go by when formulating all the products I put on my face, hair, and body:

  • They are not only for beauty but also for wellbeing and health.

Back in the day I used to get harsh laser treatments, acid peels, microdermabrasion and the like, where I would have to hide from the public for a week until my skin looked once again like that of a human and not a skinned snake. Now, I go for the gentle but mighty power of plants in doses that are high enough to be effective but low enough to not be harsh and cause any reaction of the skin.

  • They are clean for people and for the Earth.

I try to get all ingredients from sustainable farmers or manufacturers. One great company to get ingredients from is Mountain Rose Herbs which offers organic and wildcrafted oils, butters, hydrosols, clays, essential oils and botanical extracts. I also stay away from plastic packaging and recycle my glass bottles.

  • They are safe and made in a hygenic environment.

I practice outmost hygiene while formulating my products. What would be the point of making these skin-healthy serums and lotions if they would be contaminated with microbes from the get-go? I also use natural, ECOcert approved preservatives in water-based products to prevent microbal growth.


After I decided to drastically clean up my skincare following my cancer diagnosis, I stood in front of my bathroom vanity and looked at the dozens of products: cleanser, tonic, exfoliant, astringent, face cream for the morning, face cream for the night, eye gel, eye cream, and so on. Then I looked at the list of ingredients on the back of the tubes and jars. Here is one on a store-bought, well-known brand moisturizer:


AQUA/WATER

GLYCERIN

DIMETHICONE

CETEARYL ETHYLHEXANOATE

ALCOHOL DENAT.

HYDROXYETHYLPIPERAZINE ETHANE SULFONIC ACID

SILANETRIOL

BISABOLOL

DIMETHICONOL

ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE

SODIUM HYALURONATE

SODIUM HYDROXIDE

SILICA DIMETHYL SILYLATE

HYALURONIC ACID

ASCORBYL GLUCOSIDE

AMMONIUM POLYACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE

DISODIUM EDTA

ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE

CAPRYLYL GLYCOL

CITRIC ACID

XANTHAN GUM

T-BUTYL ALCOHOL

BETULA ALBA JUICE

ETHYLHEXYL PALMITATE

BUTYLENE GLYCOL

HEXYLENE GLYCOL

TOCOPHEROL

POTASSIUM SORBATE

SORBIC ACID

SODIUM BENZOATE

PHENOXYETHANOL

CI 42090/BLUE 1

LINALOOL

FARNESOL

LIMONENE

CITRAL

PARFUM/FRAGRANCE


Enough to make your head spin, right? How about the serum I make for comparison:


ORGANIC ALOE VERA JUICE

ORGANIC ROSE HYDROSOL

HYALURONIC ACID (NATURALLY DERIVED)

ESSENTIAL OILS OF LAVENDER, GERANIUM, AND JUNIPER BERRY

CHAMOMILLE EXTRACT


Which of the two ingredient lists is more likely to cause any harm?


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