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Demystifying Clean Personal Care: Ingredients, Transparency, and Misconceptions


One of the most important categories for us @ Beauprty is the Personal Care Category and we are launching with the skincare sub - category within this segment. As part of our positioning exercise, we were asked whether we are Natural, Organic, Green, Vegan, Ayurvedic etc. Very early on and upfront we want to ensure we are transparent, honest and ethical in declaring that our Personal Care products are made on the principles of the Clean Movement.

But at its core, what does the clean Personal Care movement stand for?

Since there’s no legal or official definition, many brands have taken it upon themselves to define Clean Personal Care according to their agendas. Below is our understanding and belief around the Clean Movement

What is the Clean Personal Care Movement?

To us, a Clean Personal Care product must satisfy these two main criteria:

1. Clean ingredients

At its core, clean Personal Care means that you can use a product without risking your health. The ingredients list must contain only safe, clean ingredients.

What constitutes “clean” ingredients? At the Beauprty, we analyze every cosmetic ingredient and give grades based purely on safety and toxicity. To us, a clean Personal Care product is free of hormone disruptors and carcinogens. Essentially, a product is only as clean as its worst ingredient.

2. Transparent labels

When a Personal Care brand makes an effort to list all of its ingredients and label accordingly, it is on the right path to clean Personal Care. However, not all brands are transparent.

A good example of a lack of transparency in the Personal Care industry is including fragrance in Personal Care products. The fragrance is not an ingredient, but since the industry is highly unregulated, companies are hiding chemical ingredients under the umbrella term “fragrance.”

Another example of non-transparent labels is misleading the consumer based on packaging. Brands can falsely label their products with buzzwords like “natural” and “eco” to capture the conscious consumer’s attention. This is called “greenwashing”

Clean Personal Care simply doesn’t contain mystery ingredients, and Clean Personal Care certainly doesn’t claim to be something that it’s not.

Clean Personal Care is Simple

Were you expecting a long list of criteria?

Perhaps you were expecting words like “natural” and “organic.” Clean Personal Care isn’t about being 100% perfect. This means that yes, man-made ingredients are clean as long as they’re safe and non-toxic. This also means that clean Personal Care doesn’t have to be all-natural, preservative-free, etc. Clean Personal Care is synonymous with non-toxic Personal Care.

Rather than focus on buzzwords like “natural” and “organic,” switching to clean Personal Care products focuses on eliminating as many toxins as possible from our daily products.

Clean Personal Care is also about making ourselves more aware. Since the Personal Care industry lacks regulation, it’s up to us to become familiar with the most common toxins in our skincare, Personal Care, body, and hygiene products.

Unfortunately, that means the consumer (talking about you!) has a lot of responsibility to pay attention to what’s in her cosmetics.

There are a few misconceptions about clean Personal Care that we need to clear up:

Does Clean Personal Care Have to Be All-Natural?

Clean Personal Care has been around for a while, but the movement is rapidly growing. For a long time, products containing only natural ingredients were considered the all-stars of clean Personal Care. “Preservative-free” is another buzzword surrounding natural Personal Care. But, the answer to your question is no, clean Personal Care doesn’t have to be all-natural.

It’s the twenty-first century, and the science of Personal Care has evolved to include a plethora of safe synthetics, safe man-made ingredients, and even safe preservatives.

As long as certain synthetic ingredients are non-toxic and proven to have no harmful effects, they can be incorporated into clean Personal Care products.

Does Clean Personal Care Have to be Organic?

Similar to natural Personal Care, organic Personal Care is often confused with clean Personal Care. Like organic food, there are many benefits of organic ingredients in cosmetics, but non-organic ingredients can be just as safe.

The bottom line: No, clean Personal Care doesn’t HAVE to be organic.

Yes, clean Personal Care CAN be organic, but it’s not a requirement. What is a requirement, however, is that those ingredients are SAFE, regardless of whether or not they’re organic?

Does Clean Personal Care Have to be Green?

If you thought “clean Personal Care” had a murky definition, enter “green Personal Care.”

Green Personal Care has several associations:

  • Plant-derived
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Eco-friendly
  • Sustainably sourced

While these criteria all sound great, a Personal Care product can exhibit all of these characteristics and not be clean if it contains toxic ingredients.

Vice versa, a Personal Care product can have purely safe ingredients, but they may be conventionally sourced or contain animal products (i.e. honey, beeswax, silk, etc.). In this case, the product is still clean since it’s non-toxic, but it’s not considered green.

So no, clean Personal Care doesn’t have to be completely green.

Clean Personal Care Recap: Can You Have It All?

So, you just found out that Natural, Organic, Green Personal Care products aren’t necessarily clean right off the bat.

We know how you feel. We’ve been misled by the Personal Care industry, too. They have us believing that the products we smother on our faces are good for us because of what they say on the label.

If you’re questioning the products on your shelf—good. That’s what we want you to do. We want you to question labels like “natural” and “green” because the truth is in the ingredients list. Watch out for some ingredient names adapted in Hindi and referred to on the labels.

This doesn’t mean that ALL of your favorite products are toxic, though. You may have some clean Personal Care faves on your shelves without even realizing it.

As part of our mission statement, it is very important for us to explain our ingredient’s philosophy, approach and stance on this as clearly as possible. Do let us know if you have questions?

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