top of page

Defining Clean Beauty

Safe for the skin, safe for the planet

Sustainable, clean, ethical, green, non-toxic.. We hear, read and use these buzzwords more than we think. If you have found yourself asking what "clean" beauty means, the chances are- you will get lost in the answer.

The reason for that, there is no clear definition or set standard of what "clean" beauty is. The beauty and skincare industry, unlike the food and fashion industries, is more loosely regulated. Whilst Europe takes the cosmetic industry a little more seriously, in the US there has not been a significant change to cosmetic regulation since 1938 and only 11 additives have been banned, compared to over 1,300 in Europe.

To draw a fuller picture, there are around 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products. Almost 14,000 are industrial chemicals that are found to be carcinogens, pesticides and hormone disruptors.

Since the "green", "clean" and "sustainable" has no one regulatory body, nor clear definition, "clean" beauty brands have stepped in where the government has lacked, setting own standards, for better or worse.

Whereas many brands try their best to produce what they stand for and believe in, others use "clean" as a word for false marketing and in other words "greenwashing".

Since "clean" skincare lacks a clear definition, it might be easier to figure out what beauty products are seen as "dirty". The easiest way, in this instance, is to compare cosmetics to food. Think preservatives, additives, artificial colours and fragrances. These are toxic for health, can interfere with hormones and are environmental pollutants. Think of cosmetics as you think about food. Would you want to apply on your skin something your stomach won´t digest?

My vision is rooted in the belief that "clean" skincare starts from a "clean" intention, followed by the creation of the safest possible products for human skin as well as the environment. Transparency plays a huge role too. Knowing what goes into a product (list of ingredients) is a path towards making an informed choice.

Despite the lack of the set industry standard, there are a few organisations that can provide the certification and approval. These certifications are v

oluntary and require time and money. Few brands get certified, others decide not to, leaving many brands to use "Clean" and "Natural" as a marketing tool and consumers to be misguided by false claims.

Look out for the following labels:


COSMOS certifies natural and organic cosmetics worldwide

Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance calls attention to delicate ecosystems facing threats like deforestation, while also protecting the rights of farmers and suppliers within these ecosystems.

USDA Certified Organic

A clean beauty product that is labelled Organic by the USDA must be at least 95% organic. Ingredients are organic when they are grown and made without synthetic pesticides or preservatives, GMOs, ionizing radiation, or other forbidden methods.

Leaping Bunny

Leaping Bunny is perhaps the best-recognized label for cruelty-free beauty. They conduct independent reviews of makeup, skin care, personal care, and household product brands globally.

To sum up, "clean" skincare is inspired by nature and are plant-based, using the best available high grade natural and organic ingredients available on the market is a good starting point. Checking for industry's certifications mentioned above as well as writing off toxic ingredients such as phthalates, sulfates, silicone, parabens, artificial fragrances is number two. Lastly - zero-waste packaging is what we want.

Believing in less is more approach, we want to simplify beauty routine by minimising the unnecessary ingredient overload on the skin and environmental exposure.

The result- beautiful skin and a cleaner planet.

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page