What is Clean Beauty? A How-To Guide for Picking The Right Products.

Victoria Buri

This idea of “clean” beauty implies that there is “dirty” beauty on the market, right? What does that mean and how does that affect what you put on your skin?

Ever since clean beauty brands came out, it gave the beauty world a sense of urgency to think about what brands in their medicine cabinet is considered not clean. I compare this to when organic supermarkets came out. Some clean beauty brands market themselves as natural brands, which is basically saying organic. But does that mean that the tried and true moisturizer you’ve been using for ages is bad for you? Not necessarily. Below is the how-to guide to figuring out clean beauty.

First, let’s break it down by what each word means in this new “clean beauty” world.


What does clean beauty mean?

Clean means it is safe for the consumer and safe for the planet. You will see a lot of brands claiming that they are clean beauty but still use chemicals and packaging that are harmful to the planet. Do your research on brands you can trust and don’t just have a good marketing team.

What does non-toxic beauty mean?

Beauty brands in the United States all need to be compliant with this. So every brand is technically non-toxic. Toxic is considered to be water and oxygen that has a high dosage in the formulation of the product.

What does vegan mean?

This means the product formulation does not have any ingredients from animals or used animals to source these products. For example, beeswax would be considered not vegan. This is usually confused with cruelty-free, there is a difference.

What does cruelty-free mean?

Cruelty-free means this product or brand does not test on animals. To know if a brand is cruelty-free, check out their packaging for the leaping bunny logo.

Ingredients to Avoid 

If you see any of these ingredients listed below on the packaging, this would be considered not clean beauty.

  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Refined Petroleum
  • Fragrances and dyes
  • Talc
  • Aluminum
  • Oxybenzone
  • Silica
  • Some types of sulfates (ethoxylation)

Clean Beauty Brands I Love & Use

Saie Beauty


I use the Brow Butter in Clear to keep my brows in place all day. I like how I don’t need to worry about it being too harsh and taking out my eyebrow hair at the end of the day.



I have been loving their body washes recently. Tip: Use it on an exfoliating mitt to have extra soft and supple skin. It helps minimize cellulite as well by building up collagen 


Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 2.36.21 PM

Weleda Skin Food, $12. Perfect for when your skin needs a break with a little extra moisture. I use this when my skin needs a break from chemical peels



Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil. They have gorgeous all-natural perfumes as well.

True Botanicals 


I have been using the Nourishing Cleanser and I love how it is so gentle but effective, doesn’t strip my skin and make it feel dry

Tata Harper 


My favorite mask for a mid-week pick me up or right before a night out! Absolute must have!


Comment below your favorite clean beauty brands!

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