More and more women are becoming aware of what is in their beauty products. And there is a reason for that. We used to be able to rely on the FDA, but you will be surprised to hear what they actually regulate. So, what is clean beauty and why does it matter?
I can admit it, I used to never give it a second thought! What ingredients are in my products? And why should it matter to me? I am just putting it on the outside of my body, right? Did you know that it only takes 26 seconds for something to absorb into our skin and get into our bloodstream?
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What is Clean Beauty?
Clean beauty means that products are free from harmful chemicals. Typically, ingredients like parabens, phthalates, sulfates (SLS and SLES), and synthetic fragrances. Many companies falsely label their products by using loopholes. And I did a blog post a while ago, Why Being Leaping Bunny Certified is Important. This would be a great post to check out. You can read it here.
Clean beauty is products that are free of ingredients that cause:
- Hormone disruption
- Skin irritation
What Does the FDA Have to Say?
Straight from the FDA: Companies and individuals who manufacture or market cosmetics have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their products. Neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients. The law also does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety information with FDA. You can read more details here.
The FDA’s main concern with beauty products is that companies do not mislabel products. Also, those products are “unadulterated”. In short, is how the products are manufactured and there are no poisons in them. The EU has much tighter regulations than the US. If you would like to see a short list of prohibited, restricted, or chemicals that require just a warning label you can read that here.
Fragrances are a “loophole”. Also,Fragrances do not have to be individually disclosed on a label. Companies can put ingredients under this especially if it is a “trademark” and get away with not disclosing it.
Common Ingredients to Avoid
Parabens are manmade chemicals used as a preservative in cosmetics. You will see them listed as, methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and ethyl paraben. There is currently a concern as to whether they disrupt hormones in our bodies. Remember, it only takes 26 seconds for our skin to absorb something into our body and get into our bloodstream.
Once in the body, they act like the hormone estrogen in both males and females. The EU has banned 5 different Parabens due to the concern for endocrine disruption.
Phthalate is a chemical used to make plastic more durable. People come into contact by using products, eating, drinking, and cosmetic usage. Studies have been done by the CDC show women have higher levels in their urine than men.
The side effects that have been seen with people exposed to Phthalates are:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Breast/Uterine Cancer
- Preterm Birth
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Hearing disorders
More information on Phthalates can be found here.
Sulfates are a cleansing agent that helps to remove dirt. The sulfates in cosmetics are usually Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Lauretha Sulfate (SLES). These sulfates help to create a lather.
Studies have started to show products containing SLS and SLES have side effects including:
- Intestinal Pain
- Lung Irritation
- Dry Skin
- Dermatitis and Edema
More information on the effects of sulfates can be found here.
It can be overwhelming when you think about it. You might want to just throw everything out. But most people cannot afford to switch all their products over all at once. Here are a few suggestions for making the switch.
- Start by looking at your products. Are any about to expire? If they are this would be a perfect time to make the switch to a clean product.
- Choose to start with one line of product. Either makeup, hair, or skin. Slowly transitioning will make it less overwhelming.
- Adjust your expectations. And know that clean products sometimes work differently than products that aren’t. The products that I use, Monat is concentrated so I use a lot less product than I was used to using.
- Ask for help. Ask your stylist, a friend that uses clean products, your doctor, or me! I use great hair and skincare and can help you if you would like. Just click here and I will be in touch.
- Find other people that are like-minded that can help to guide you. They can help with product recommendations.
So, did you learn anything about clean products that you didn’t know before reading today’s blog post? I think the most surprising part is that we rely on our government to protect us only to find out that they allow a lot of things in both our food and the products that we use. We are our best advocates! Knowledge is power!
Please share below in the comments any clean beauty products that you use and recommend for others!