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What does "Clean" Beauty Mean?

OUR DEFINITION OF “CLEAN”


Beauty Industry words like clean, green, non-toxic, and natural are pretty vague and not universally defined. They are mostly buzz words used in marketing and are often misleading.

At Beaute Nouveau, we have a clear definition of what we mean when we say “clean.” 

The sad truth is that most skin care and makeup products are full of plastic. That's right, plastic.  Most (if not all) mainstream, and many "natural" products are made from the same Petrochemicals that are used to make plastics.  For instance, Acrylates are a popular cosmetic ingredient in moisturizers and foundation.  Acrylates, aka Acrylic is also what is used in acrylic nails, and acrylic household items.  Similarly, Silicon is a popular cosmetic ingredient that is also the main ingredient in shower caulking.  Vinyl Acetate is found in most mascaras and many long-wearing makeups and is the same ingredients used to make records and vinyl labels.  

Many companies claim that they do not use petroleum in their products, but that is a sneaky half-truth.  If a company uses Propylene Glycol (which if you search your favorite product's ingredients right now, you would find they all would have propylene glycol) they use a petro-chemical derived from Petroleum.  This ingredient is in everything  from baby toothpaste to bath salts.  Propylene Glycol comes from Propylene, which comes from Petroleum, which comes from Crude Oil. Yep, that's right...Crude Oil.  

Ethylene, Propylene, Butadiene, and Benzene are all industrial petro-chemicals that are the bi-product of fractioning Crude Oil into gasoline.  These 4 petro-chemicals are used in the production of plastic products and synthetic rubber and are distilled and synthesized into 1000's of other ingredients that are then used as ingredients in cosmetic products. Which means, THEY ARE THE MAIN FOUR PARENT INGREDIENTS IN ALMOST EVERY COSMETIC INGREDIENT ON THE MAINSTREAM MARKET. We do not use any derivatives or distillates of EthylenePropyleneButadiene, or Benzene.

So, our stance on "clean" is that we are ANTI-petrochemicals, simply said: anti-plastic.  We believe that plastic has no business being in your skin care or makeup.

When we say we are “clean” we mean that WE DO NOT USE:  the ingredients mentioned above or any of their 'street names' such as Mineral Oil, Petroleum, Petrolatum, Silicone, Dimethicone, Acrylates, Polymers, CoPolymers, Parabens, Phthalates, Dyes, and Colorants. We also do not use Sulfates, Sulfites, Surfactants, Detergents, or Sodium Benzoate. 

We also do not use any of the 1328 ingredients banned in cosmetics in Europe (for the full list of all ingredients banned in Europe click here and scroll to Annex 2 about half way through the document). 

 

On the flip side, when we say we are “clean” we mean that WE ONLY USE Botanical ingredients.  Botanical ingredients are ingredients that are naturally occurring in nature. They are of biological origin and our biology (or bodies) can digest them and metabolize them into energy.  Think of eating an apple.  An apple is a botanical ingredient that has vitamins, water, fiber, etc. and the body recognizes it and converts it into fuel.  Now, imagine eating a wax apple.  There is nothing good for the body in a wax apple and if you ate it, your body would become sick.  A wax apple is not a botanical ingredient.  Most cosmetic ingredients are derived from petro-chemicals are are the equivalent of a wax apple. 

Our botanical ingredients can all be converted to energy by our bodies.  There are no "wax apples" in our recipes. Our recipes only include oils and butters that come from nuts, seeds, kernels, and fruits.  Essential oils that come from leaves, flowers, fruits, and tree resins. Powders that come from leaves, flowers, fruits, milks, grains, and roots. Bees wax and Honey that we source from a local San Diego family of BeeKeepers and Honey producers. Flower Waters or Hydrosols that come from an organic family farm in Washington.  Salts, Clays, and liquid Minerals that come from the earth and oceans. For a complete list of our ingredients click here, we also list what product each ingredient is used in.

We are transparent with our ingredients, and also provide a definition for each of our ingredients in the main menu under “ingredients.” Our products are not vegan because we do use beeswax, honey, and goat milk in some of our products, but all of our sources are ethical and we do not use animal fats or animal bi-products.  In full transparency, we do use some phthalate-free fragrances in our White Flowers & Sweet Cream and Almond Coconut Body Collections, but everything else is Essential Oils.  

We also use an ingredient called MSM which stands for Methylsulfonylmethane. This sounds like a long, unpronounceable chemical so we want to clarify that MSM is an organic sulfur that exists naturally inside human bodies and all living organisms. MSM is an essential nutrient that helps to repair damaged skin and encourage wound healing.  If MSM supplies are depleted the results can be dry, cracked, damaged, wrinkled skin. MSM is an organic sulfur derived fruits, vegetables, grains, and milk and is an organic source of bioavailable sulfur crucial to body function.

We do use Sodium Hydroxide, or Lye to make our goat milk and shea butter soap.  Many companies use this ingredient IN moisturizers!  Lye is necessary to cause the chemical reaction that must occur to turn oil and water into soap - soap cannot be made any other way.  This process is as old as time and how soap has been made for centuries.  Once the water and the oil combust into soap, the Sodium Hydroxide or Lye no longer exist.  Soap is perfectly safe to use on skin for cleansing.  Detergents and surfactants are not.

Note: the makeup products that we carry from other brands are also held to the same standards.