When it comes to skin care, going clean doesn’t mean cleansing your face – it means cleansing your routine of products formulated with “dirty” (a.k.a. health-harming) ingredients, and replacing them with those that only contain “clean,” non-toxic ingredients proven to be healthy in relation to people, process, and the planet. Skin is the body’s largest organ and it’s porous, so whatever you put on its surface gets absorbed inside, too. That’s why it’s important to know what your skin care products are made from.
However, transitioning to a clean routine isn’t as “clean-cut” as it sounds: while any brand can make the claim, there are actually no recent U.S. regulations in personal care or even a clean standard universal to all brands. The last law to pass and provide federal oversight was The 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and there are currently only 11 Prohibited or Restricted Ingredients in Cosmetics (as compared to Europe and Canada, who have banned hundreds more).
So if you’re thinking about making a clean sweep in your vanity, here are a few helpful tips for rebuilding a skin care arsenal that will make you feel good from the inside, out:
- Understand What Clean Means. Since the definition of clean varies by brand, it’s important to familiarize yourself with information on individual brand ethos and standards. Here at Aloisia Beauty, our own “Commitment to Clean” includes: banning artificial or synthetic ingredients, ingredients that have shown to include toxins linked to harmful or negative health effects, and ingredients that can put pregnant or nursing women at risk from our products. We keep a running list of these ingredients, and update it whenever new scientific information is made available.
- Don’t Take Products At Face Value. Just because a product’s packaging boasts words like “clean,” “natural,” “organic,” “green,” or “eco,” it doesn’t mean the formulation is completely toxin-free. The term for this is “greenwashing,” and because personal care marketing isn’t government-regulated, anyone can give a clean impression, when in fact, the products are made with questionable ingredients and processes. Make sure you read a product’s ingredients list with diligence to see what it’s formulated with, as well as without, to determine how clean it truly is.
- Turn to Trusted Resources. You may already be familiar with toxins like Phthalates, Parabens, and Formaldehydes, but there are other less-common ones to keep an eye out for, such as Triclosan (a preservative found in products like cleansers and other personal care items that has shown to disrupt hormone function). Luckily, you don’t need to be a scientist – check out resources like the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep® and The Good Face Project , where you can search a specific ingredient, product, or brand to see exactly where it falls on the clean meter and what the health risks are. You can also scan products directly on the ThinkDirty
The road to clean may seem muddled, but as long as you stay informed and do the research, you’ll be ready to clean up your skin care routine!
-The Aloisia Beauty Team