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Is Clean Beauty Better?

Every time I do a Q&A on instagram I’m met with questions on clean beauty and clean skin care. I thought it best to get my thoughts down on the blog to have a place to reference.

So, what are my thoughts on the “clean” movement?

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Is Clean Beauty Better?

Let me start by saying there are tons of brands I use and love that are considered “clean” brands. There are equally as many that are not. As a Dermatology PA it is my job to present you with the facts but it’s ultimately your decision to choose what is best for you.

The term “Clean” is not a regulated term by any reputable source. Many of the ingredients banned by clean brands are safe and there is no scientific evidence of harm to humans. We are fortunate in this country to have stringent laws that govern what can and can’t be used in our personal care and food products. This protects us from exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, there are many claims made by mainstream media. Especially about ingredients found in “conventional” products are somehow harmful to our health. Most of these claims are not founded in data. Others do not apply to the minute levels of exposure we face.

Choose and Decide What’s Best for You

That being said, I respect and commend each and every person’s choice to decide what is best for them, their bodies and their families. If you are uncomfortable using a specific ingredient, it is absolutely your choice to avoid it. All I can do is present the facts that we do have available to us and give you my opinion.

I should also note that many clean brands tend to place more of an emphasis on sustainability. Although, I think conventional brands are starting to take leaps and strides in this area as well. I think this is certainly a draw for many of us to the clean movement. Also, we all want to take better care of our planet. What I DON’T like is brands using fear-mongering to persuade you into buying their products based on incorrect claims of safety or efficacy.

Choosing My Skin Care Product

When it comes to skin care, we know that in general synthetic, lab-made ingredients are more effective. When I choose a skin care product I am doing so because I want it to impart a specific and real difference in my skin. For these reasons I stick with tried and true, well-researched ingredients and brands. I want to make sure that what I’m applying to my skin is actually going to result in the changes I want to see. Many conventional skin care brands that I use and recommend daily put their ingredients and formulations through rigorous testing to ensure that they really do live up to their claims. As a Dermatology PA this is extremely important to me.

In the beauty department, I do find myself drawn to clean beauty brands for a couple of reasons.

  1. Clean beauty brands tend to have a more natural-looking, skin forward approach. I like that they tend to focus on letting your own skin shine through while just enhancing natural features. Also, I am, and always have been a makeup minimalist. I hate the feeling of a full-face of makeup. I find that with “clean” brands I feel more aligned with the mission of the brand when it comes to beauty.
  2. Clean beauty is huge on multi-use products, another plus for this makeup minimalist. If I can use a pot of cream blush for my cheeks, lips, lids, etc I am a happy camper. This also makes travel a breeze. In general my travel skin care to makeup ratio is about 3:1.

One trend I’m seeing, and was recently discussing with the founder of a Sephora skin care brand, is that the consumer is starting to lean more towards clinical skin care backed by science. I think that if you have a specific skin concern, this is ultimately your best bet in ensuring you’re using efficacious products!

As you can see I take a pretty middle of the road approach here. I love “clean” beauty for its minimalist, skin-forward approach but I am always going to err on the side of clinical, well-studied conventional brands when it comes to skin care. Ultimately, conventional skin care and beauty is SAFE! If you are obsessed with your long-wear foundation don’t let Joe Shmoe natural beauty blogger tell you you’re going to grow an extra toe for using it 😉

I would love to know your thoughts below or follow me on Instagram!

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