July 08, 2021
The world of clean beauty is an absolute minefield of catchy terms, marketing hyperbole and even some outright lies. This is because terms like “clean”, “natural” and even “organic” are unregulated, meaning that because there’s no governing body you can legally use these words on your brand even if the product isn’t what we’d expect “clean” to mean. Confusing, yes?
And with so many brands out there making the claims - hell there’s even a whole category at Sephora dedicated to “clean” products - how do we know what or who to trust? What do we look for if we genuinely want a product that doesn’t use things like petrochemicals or synthetics - whether they’re “safe” or not?
US brand Ingredients® felt the same fatigue with the industry and these claims. Sick of the hyperbole and shadiness in which so many brands operated they decided to do something crazy and be completely transparent. Founders, Eric and Myriam Malka set out with a goal to educate consumers on what’s inside the products, and help them in reading – and understanding – ingredient labels. They feel so strongly about this transparency and education that they made the decision with Ingredients® to list their ingredients on the outside of the packaging instead of hiding it on the back. Here, they share their tips on how to navigate the unclean world of clean beauty
Read your ingredients label
Turns out, they’re not just there for show. This is the only way for you to truly understand what you’re putting on your face. Eric and Myriam Malka, founders of Ingredients® say a good rule of thumb is “if you can’t pronounce it or have only seen it in chemistry class, don’t use it!”.
Be wary of water
Sure models may tell you that their skin is great from drinking water, but the truth is in beauty products distilled water is often used as a filler product. Eric and Myriam elaborate, “avoid products whose first ingredient listed is water/aqua. Although distilled water is a safe and clean ingredient, it is inactive and provides no benefits to consumers.”
More is not more
Another red flag is products that list lots of ingredients - sometimes upwards of 40. Myriam and Eric say this is a red flag because they end up being used in “micro-doses” rendering them ineffective and they recommend steering clear of products that contain more than 20 ingredients in their formulas as this is a sure sign they are loaded with chemicals fillers, emulsifiers, and binders. “We have seen $300 serums made with 80% water and 25 chemicals claiming to be clean. This is why we at Ingredients® want to help educate consumers so that they have the knowledge to start making better decisions and thinking for themselves rather than following marketing, branding, labels, and trends,” they say. On the other hand, Ingredients® products are made with eight ingredients or less so as to maximise the efficacy and purity of the 100% plant based formulas that even replace distilled water with plant hydrosols to ensure everything is active.
Remember, “clean” beauty is an unregulated term, and while it’s true definition is meant to mean “no synthetics” each brand has their own take on it. So if low-tox beauty is something you want to embark on, make sure to do your research, read your labels and choose brands that aren’t afraid of true transparency.