My journey to clean skincare has been a winding one. I’ve had skin issues for as long as I can remember. From eczema to rosacea, I thought my skin was forever doomed to live in a state of perpetual irritation. Throughout my teenage years I sifted through every trendy skincare fad hoping that I’d eventually find my holy grail. Unfortunately, rubbing walnut shells and perfume on my face only exacerbated the problem. Shocker. After trying every popular product on the drugstore shelves, I felt hopeless. I knew that there had to be an alternative, but I had no idea what it was.
So, cue me falling into an internet rabbit hole. I began researching all of these products that I had been slathering my face with for the past half decade. When I first saw the novel-length ingredient lists on these products, I was SHOCKED. I couldn’t even pronounce half of the words I saw, which I had just assumed was a bad sign. Spoiler alert: I was right. I couldn’t even process just how many chemicals, perfumes, and filler ingredients were on these lists. Now, enter internet rabbit hole number two. I started looking into all of these scary-sounding ingredients one-by-one. A bit nerdy, I know. As expected, many of these ingredients have been proven to cause irritation, allergic reactions, skin sensitivity, and so much more. These ingredients can even cause harm to more than just to our skin.
As Chanel Tyler @ buymechanel, Beauty Strategy & Partnerships Creator Lead at YouTube, said, “I have always been interested in the clean beauty space and funny enough most of the brands I was using were clean without me even being intentional about it, however when I learned I was pregnant that sent me into overdrive and made me highly intentional about seeking them out. I wanted to ensure no toxins were being transferred to my baby through me, so I did my research and made sure I was using clean brands or non-toxic brands throughout the duration of my pregnancy.” If this isn’t enough to make you switch to clean beauty, I don’t know what will!
Now, this is where I found myself a bit stuck. I knew that I should steer clear from these products, but I had no idea where to go from there. As I continued on in my internet research frenzy, I stumbled upon some indie brands that touted formulas that were “non-toxic,” “natural,” and, you guessed it, “clean.”
Side bar: We know that some of these words tend to be thrown around by beauty companies to green wash customers into thinking their products are something they’re not, but that’s another blog for another day. As celebrity makeup artist and clean beauty connoisseur Katey Denno @kateydenno said,” it may have grown into a bit of a marketing-hype, but at its core, clean beauty is all about the marriage of art and science. When it comes to skincare, there’s absolutely no reason to use mainstream products. There are still a few holes in the realm of makeup, but every year brands come out with more effective, longer-wearing, more ‘mainstream’ options.” So true!
Back to the story!
I had never seen these words used in relation to skincare before. This was a few years before clean beauty in America really started to boom. As I began reading over these ingredient lists, the difference was stark. First off, I could pronounce all the words. Big thumbs up. I also noticed that these companies focused on using ingredients found in nature such as plant oils and extracts. I was intrigued. So, after a bit more browsing, I put together my first clean beauty routine. If my memory serves me correctly, I bought a sulfate-free cleanser, rosewater toner, and jojoba oil. Very simple, but it we all have to start somewhere!
This is where is gets interesting. After less than a week of using these new products, my rosacea started to settle, my face was not constantly irritated, and my skin started to look healthy for the first time in years. I’ve been a clean skincare junkie ever since! I realized that skincare isn’t just about the way your skin looks, it’s about taking care of your skin in a way that’s nourishing and safe.
“People should know that the performance and wearability of clean and green makeup is on par with traditional cosmetic brands. Coming from someone who has tried just about every beauty product, I never miss the old traditional formulas I used to love. The formulation, innovation, and packaging are now so impressive- it’s really the new standard,” says clean beauty influencer, Sara Rose Donahue @sararosie.
Now it seems like clean beauty is everywhere and we can’t help but stan! More and more companies are shifting to incorporate natural formulas into their products and people are learning about skincare now more than ever. This is such an exciting trend for long-time clean skincare junkies like myself. We can now look forward to seeing products that are potent, nourishing, and safe. As Pretty Well Beauty CEO, Jazmin Alvarez @ shoegirlnyc says, “Natural skin care aka clean beauty has existed longer than conventional skincare and the botanical, herbs, plants we find in nature in their pure and raw form respond better to us because our bodies can naturally recognize it.”
Luckily, it doesn’t seem like the clean beauty craze is going anywhere, and I am personally elated. I can’t wait to keep learning about all of the amazing ingredients our Earth has to offer us!
By: Taylor Maness