Happy Friday! Today, I am sharing with you the truth about clean beauty. So basically, my thoughts on the clean beauty industry, the issue that it represents, the positive impact, and what are the clean brands I recommend! The clean beauty movement has grown exponentially over the past couple of years and represents a big percentage of our beauty industry. It’s defined as a revolution for questioning the traditional aspects of skincare. However, it is seen as quite controversial. In consequence, I thought that it would be important for me to address the topic and tackle the everlasting battle of science versus nature.

If you want to know more about the clean beauty industry, then keep on reading! Don’t forget to check out my previous post: REVIEW // Brazilian Bum Bum Cream by Sol De Janeiro.

The Truth about Clean Beauty

the truth about clean beauty
Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash

What’s Clean Beauty

Clean beauty is a popular makeup and skincare trend that emerged in the 70s with CoverGirl’s Clean makeup campaign, but got popularized and fuelled by celebrities like actress and founder of Goop, “Gwyneth Paltrow”. Generally, clean beauty is about delivering products with certain ingredients. It’s about focusing on nature and the environment. It’s a trend that follows a more earthy vibe and that focuses on the health of our planet.

To explain to you how popular this movement is, in 2019, Harper Bazzar’s polled over 1,000 women in the US and 50% of them said they were already using clean beauty products. They discovered as well that more than 60% of women in the US were willing to try these types of products. In fact, in 2018, “natural” skincare made up over a quarter of the 5.6 billion made in the skincare industry

Harper’s Bazaar actually equates clean beauty to clean eating. So, an individual who consumes processed foods will not receive the necessary nutrients for a healthy body, and according to them, the same applies to the products we put on our skin. 

Following this, consumers are becoming more intentional with what beauty products they’re using and more obsessed with wellness, detoxification, and living a healthy life. 

But if clean beauty wants to focus on our planet and our health, what’s the big issue?

The issue with the clean beauty industry

Unfortunately, the issue with the clean beauty industry is that the term is not regulated. Terms like “clean”, “natural” and “non-toxic” have not been defined by any regulatory body like the US Food and Drug Administration. In Fact, as of this writing, official FDA guidance states that cosmetic businesses should not “use terms such as natural as part of an ingredient statement”. Brands can claim they are clean without following any specific criteria and without inspection. Any brand can claim they are clean. Even if they don’t source their ingredients ethically or use eco-friendly packaging.

On top of that, the clean beauty industry holds unsubstantiated claims regarding the safety of synthetic preservatives. For instance, the industry dooms silicone as toxic even though it has not been proven by scientists to cause or worsen skin concerns. Almost all of the negative claims about silicones are myths or based on anecdotal evidence. Silicone has been proven to be an effective ingredient for its scar-healing, soothing and non-irritating properties. It’s a great ingredient to give a slipping feeling to the product and as an emollient.

This misconception has led to the use of botanical compounds like essential oils, which are many times more allergenic and have been shown to increase the incidence and severity of skin conditions such as contact dermatitis. The movement worship irritative natural ingredients, which won’t necessarily be ethically sourced.

Naturally, the clean beauty industry presents some really positive aspects. This brings me to my third point: what is the positive impact of the clean beauty industry.

The positive impact of the clean beauty industry

First and foremost, the clean beauty industry encourages customers to search for ingredients and get more knowledgeable in skincare. It inspires one to be more critical of what they put on their skin and to look for reliable brands. It pushes one to make research on what a company does and stands for.

Second of all, it forces brands to become more transparent with their clients. Whether it is in the release of the ingredients list, their practices, or production. For example, the brand Good Molecules now openly shares the percentage of the ingredients they use. They also look to inform their customers about ocean pollution and more. Paula’s Choice is another brand dedicated to educating its users about the use of its products and about ingredients in general.

Third of all, the whole clean movement pushes the skincare and beauty industry to get out of their comfort zone and become more mindful and conscious of the environment.

Nowadays, customers don’t look for a product for its functional properties only. They search for brands that have the same values as them, that believe in the same things and that try to make a change in the world. Whether it’s towards our planet or our society.

On another note, not all-natural ingredients are deemed as toxic and irritative. In fact, some clean brands really make great use of earthly-sourced ingredients like white tea, green tea, kale, oats, and more. In fact, I have found that these types of ingredients work best for my skin! The brand Biossance actually found an innovative, ethical and sustainable version of Squalane to use in their products. If you didn’t know, squalane is actually derived from sharks so it’s relatively unsustainable and straight cruel to animals. The movement is all about being creative and innovative to produce amazing products and to protect our beautiful planet.

The clean beauty movement hence represents a big change in the beauty industry and only looks to empower our society and planet. But with all of that, how one does find a truly “clean” product?

How to find truly clean products?

A couple of weeks ago, I published a post sharing my favorite clean skincare brands that offer products with amazing formulations and that are dedicated to protecting our planet. For me, both are extremely important. I cannot purchase from brands that do not align with my beliefs and values. Some of the brands I mentioned are Youth to the people, Paula’s Choice, Good Molecules, Versed, and Biossance.

The criterias I considered to choose these brands are the following. In my opinion, I want a brand that uses eco-friendly packaging, that tries to reduce the emission of Co2 in the air during their production, and that uses ingredients from ethical sources. I also try to look for brands who are active in that matter and who try to make changes through donations or informative posts. For instance, Versed shares very useful information on how to recycle products. And, Youth to the people popularized the movement “reduce, reuse, recycle”.


To conclude this post, the clean beauty industry presents both positive and negative aspects. The key is to really search for a brand that truly follows the values of this movement. At the end of the day, the truth about the clean beauty industry is that it encourages consumers to make their research and that is the point of this article. I am a huge fan of this movement. But it is extremely important to make your research on each brand and each product in order to make a difference in the industry.

The Truth About Clean Beauty

That’s it for today. Thank you so much for passing by. I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you did, don’t forget to give it a ‘like’ and to subscribe to my blog. Also, don’t hesitate to leave a comment, it would mean the world to me! 


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  1. March 20, 2021 / 11:28 pm

    This is a really interesting post, Joy. I’m a big fan of clean beauty . . . but like everything, I’m often very sceptical of what’s actually clean. It’s the same with certain “sustainable” brands and green-washing in the carbon offset industry etc. I’ll definitely check out your recommended product list! x

    • Joy🌻
      March 22, 2021 / 2:17 pm

      yess totally!!! Thanks a lot for reading 😍😍✨✨

  2. March 22, 2021 / 4:48 am

    Amazing post and SO informative! I think it’s so important to really research these brands, especially the ones who make all the big claims, before you really delve into their products.

    • Joy🌻
      March 22, 2021 / 2:15 pm

      yess I totally agree!! Thanks a lot for reading 😍😍