The Break Down of "Clean" Beauty & our Definition of "Clean" Beauty
When I say the "Clean Beauty Break Down" I mean two things. First, I want to break down what "Clean" Beauty means, but I also want to talk about how this concept misleads us and isn't a category that actually helps us make the best buying decisions - its a false sense of security because it really doesn't mean anything. Using these words to sell us products, is not only a communication break-down; its a practice that needs to be broken down.
Listen, when I first started talking about 'chemicals' in our skin care back in 2010, people thought I was a nut bag. But, fast forward to today, we are bombarded by brands claiming to be: clean, non-toxic, green, healthy, safe, natural, not dirty, etc. - BUT WHAT DO THOSE WORDS REALLY MEAN?
Let's...BREAK - THAT - DOWN.
There is no official definition of what these words mean and they can be extremely misleading. Did you know that petrochemicals (like silicone, petroleum jelly, and mineral oil) can be considered "natural" because they technically "come from the earth"? Yep - they are derived from crude oil...which comes from the earth.
I am frequently asked two questions: The first question is , "what do you think about ___________ brand," and the second is: HOW do I know if a product is "clean"?
Whenever I am asked about a brand, the first thing I do, is go to the company's website, chose one product at random, and then go straight to the ingredients. This tells me everything I need to know.
Just the other day, a friend asked me "what I thought about ______ brand, and I thought it would be awesome to share the experience with you. Here is what happened...
I randomly chose to search their (insert brand) Hyaluronic & Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer and these are their ingredients:
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Lactococcus Ferment Lysate, Isododecane, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, C30-45 Olefin, Isononyl Isononanoate, Albizia Julibrissin Bark Extract, C30-45 Alkyl Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Sucrose Palmitate, VP/VA Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Stearoxytrimethylsilane, Phenylpropanol, Propanediol, Glyceryl Linoleate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Amodimethicone, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Leaf Extract, Chlorphenesin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Asteriscus Graveolens Flower/Fruit/Leaf/Stem Extract, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Darutoside, Tocopherol, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38
All of the ingredients I highlighted in bold are essentially PLASTICs derived from petrochemicals. These are all non-negotiable ingredients for me. Also, you really have to dig to find the "full ingredient list," which I find shady. What I have learned over the years, is that if one of the products has this much plastic, all of them do. and Sodium Hyaluroate (or Hyaluronic Acid) is hardly even in there - it's way at the bottom of the list! And soybean oil is most likely GMO. There are ONLY 7 "natural" ingredients in this whole list (if you include Soybean oil and water) out of 30. Further, I am completely baffled where the Vitamin C is...possibly Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer????
These ingredients also tell me that whoever founded this company went to a cosmetic private label manufacturer, had some fancy labels made, poured their 'bulk bases' into their jars, hired a PR and marketing team and made a "brand."
Their "about us" statement also tells me that. It says: "Today's active lifestyle deserves skin care that's up to the challenge (um, what challenge?). Enter: (insert Brand Name here). Formulated by active women for active women (WHO are these 'active women'?) to give you the best feeling skin you’ve ever experienced. (Insert Brand Name's) Mission is to inspire, empower and create a community of Strong Women. We strive to provide the highest quality products to complement the beauty that already exists within each of our customers." I ASK YOU....HOW are these these the highest quality products? #buzzwords #fluff #emptywords
Because of the ambiguous ways these words are used by the beauty industry, I feel like it is SUPER important for me to CLEARLY STATE OUR DEFINITION OF "CLEAN." Especially because I don't believe there is a line that is "cleaner" than Beaute Nouveau.
My definition of "CLEAN" Beauty has two parts. First, it means NO petrochemicals or derivatives of petroleum. Below is a list of the basic eight to we do NOT use and I want you to avoid (there are MANY more we do not use - but if you find any of these in a product...put it down and walk away).
- Mineral Oil
- Silicone (also known as Shower Caulking)
- Acrylates (also known as acrylic nails)
WHY is there an issue with these ingredients? Well, because they are essentially PLASTIC. Silicone is what you caulk your shower with. When you think Acrylates, think of acrylic nails. Any plastic household item is made from acrylates, polymers, and co-polymers. So, the same ingredients that make shower caulking and the plastic tube it comes in...is also in skin care and makeup.
The second part of my "CLEAN" Beauty definition is, we ONLY USE ingredients that are understood and usable for energy - by the Human Body.
Imagine the difference between a wax apple, and a real apple. It's a no-brainer decision which apple to eat, right? NO ONE in their right mind would eat the wax apple over a real apple. BUT, the first 8 ingredients listed above are quite literally - a wax apple. And sadly, these 8 ingredients are found in 99.9% of all mainstream skincare and makeup. I am serious when I say they are in EVERYTHING. Even when you least expect it. Even from "natural" "trusted" brands. And, even if there is a famous celebrity on the commercial that you really love and trust because they are wonderful Human beings that they do great things for the world.
Even if you are on board with me that plastic isn't such a great idea to ingest, its also important to realize that these ingredients are also the main culprits of clogged pores, breakouts, adult acne, hormonal disruption in the skin, cystic acne, and other issues.
Skin is an organ made up of billions of cells. Cells are like tiny energy factories. They need energy to convert into energy - just like your whole body needs energy to convert to energy. Skin needs exactly what your entire body needs to live: water, oxygen, phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, fats, love, and rest. That, and only that, is what should be in your skin care and makeup.
Whatever you put on your skin needs to be able to be converted into energy by your skin so it can LIVE and THRIVE! Real apples. Not wax apples. Anything you put on your skin that CAN'T be converted to energy, makes your skin work harder to get rid of it, which wears it out, dulls it, and makes it vulnerable to breakdown.
So, when I say "CLEAN", I mean NO petrochemicals or plastics + ONLY usable by the skin for energy.
People wonder why their skin wakes up and looks so much more alive when they switch to Beaute Nouveau - it is because the ingredients in our products feed and nourish and require no extra energy from the skin. It's like a vacation with fine dining.
Look, you don't need to be an expert on every cosmetic ingredient to make the right buying decisions. All you need to do is look for these first 8 ingredients - when you see them, put the product back. If they have any of these 8, guaranteed they will have others that are even more synthetic, offer zero energy for the skin, and take even more energy for your skin to flush out of your body...if it even can (it's pretty tough to pass a wax apple).
PS: I could truly get up on this soap box for days. IF you want to read more about it, please check out our page WHAT DOES CLEAN BEAUTY MEAN. If this is a topic you are passionate about, please feel free to post the blog on your social feeds to help your loved ones understand "clean beauty" as well! As always, if I can help with any product or skin care questions - I am always here to help!
We also have Clean Makeup that lives up to my standards as well. NOTE: Creme Nouveau + Modern Mineral Foundation Powder is literally the best, cleanest way to wear makeup on the planet. And the coverage is exceptional. If you want to see how it works, watch this video.