One of the latest buzz words in the industry is Clean Beauty, but not many people really understand what it means. While there is no official definition, it basically refers to products that do not contain potentially harmful or toxic ingredients, but that does not mean it has to be natural, organic or vegan products only. Most brands have their own interpretation of this buzz phrase, but one that I particularly identify with is the definition from MZ Skin.
They look at it in terms of Clean Science and refer to products that do not contain any nasty ingredients. Many people love Korean skincare products as they believe that those products can really change your skin, however, if you look at the ingredient list in a Korean skincare product, you’ll find almost double the number of ingredients as compared to a normal skincare brand from Europe or USA. Many of the ingredients they use are unnecessary and do not provide any essential benefits to the skin. MZ Skin believes that for clean beauty and clean science, every single ingredient in a product should have a dedicated purpose to benefit skin.
There has been a shift towards organic and natural products as people believe their products are clean, however, this is not necessarily true. Many of these products do contain parabens and other harmful ingredients especially because such harmful ingredients can be quite cheap and easy to find. Products that contain chemicals in them can still embody clean science because not all chemicals are harmful.
Why is this important?
It is important to participate in the clean beauty movement because toxic ingredients in products can lead to life threatening diseases by disrupting our hormone levels. Most of the products available to purchase in EU go through a stringent series of tests to determine that they are safe to buy and use but it’s always good to know which ingredients are harmful and should be avoided in case you end up buying products from outside EU.
The main ingredients that you should try to avoid are phthalates and parabens. As mentioned earlier, these are found in most products as they are quite cheap and easy to find. MZ Skin prides itself on its clean formulations and they provide a lot of education on all their ingredients and how each ingredient helps your skin. Their entire ethos is “Less is more” and they have a collection of 13 products that are simple to use and free from any nasty ingredients such as silicones, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, SLS and so on.
Which ingredients should we avoid and why?
Some of the products to be avoided are –
Parabens are preservatives that basically help increase the longevity of your products. This means your products can live for several months or even years in your home. Unfortunately, many studies show that parabens can disrupt hormone behavior and even cause cancers and other life threatening diseases.
SLS (SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE)
This is another common ingredient used in many products, especially cleansers. Having SLS allows products to foam and bubble, something we all want when we’re cleansing our skin. However, this ingredient can irritate skin because it removes the natural oils and nutrients from skin, hence making skin extremely dry and sensitive. Many products use alternative ingredients such as natural foaming agents that are not as harsh on skin.
Phthalates are often very hard to detect and are found in many fragrances. They can be extremely harmful as they disrupt the natural endocrine function that could potentially cause breast cancer in adults and birth defects in children. Studies have also shown that they are capable of affecting hormones.
Keeping your skin and body healthy is extremely important and avoiding these nasty ingredients will go a long way in helping you achieve that. When choosing skincare brands, look for one that really focuses on ensuring your long term skin health with clean effective formulations containing active ingredients.