What Is Clean Beauty? 

Reading Between the Lines: What Is Clean Beauty, and Why Do We Need It? 

The word “clean” can be used to describe many aspects of modern life. Clean diet, clean air, clean house, clean hands. So why make life even more complicated by applying it to beauty? And what does it really mean? Recently the term “clean beauty” has become a subject of fierce debate. Frankly, the public’s interest in so-called “clean skincare” began way before it became a marketing term. The public’s initial interest in clean-eating came first. This interest was later directed towards skincare products where parabens, phthalates, artificial ingredients, and other (potentially) harmful ingredients were found in abundance. According to one source, one of the first factors that led to an interest in skincare ingredients was a study that linked phthalates – an ingredient once pervasive in beauty products – to breast cancer in 174 of 200 women. Other trials, such as a class-action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in which hundreds of women contended that the use of the brand’s baby powder could be linked to their cancer, led many to take a closer look at what we put on our skin. 

Consumers today need to look closely at the ingredients in their makeup and skincare products. It’s important to do so because these particles can pass into the bloodstream and have lasting effects on the body’s chemical composition. What we put on our skin can impact our health, affecting it in many ways ranging from hormonal imbalance, allergic responses, and even chronic illnesses or cancers.

Don’t You Just Open it and Massage It In: Why Is “Clean Beauty” So Unclear? 

The rising concern over safety led to heightened interest in two categories: “natural beauty” and “organic beauty.”  You might think that these terms could create a sense of safety for those seeking safe skincare options; however, there is no systematic regulation of the use of these labels. Instead, “natural beauty” broadly describes products that use at least some plant-based ingredients, or also products that have a majority of ingredients from nature. These definitions mean that many companies can formulate products in an affordable yet marketable fashion, without adhering to any classification. Similarly, the label organic means that the product contains at least some organic matter. Further, regulations in the skincare industry haven’t been meaningfully updated by the FDA since 1938. These two descriptors: natural and organic, are often applied to products by the skincare brands themselves. Therefore setting the tone for a sea of marketing messages without much real communication or meaning behind them. (We wrote more about these category labels in this November 2021 post.)

One Word That Says Everything and Nothing at All… 

At this very moment, “clean beauty” can mean a great many things, often encompassing messaging around natural and organic ingredients. They are also often associated with sustainable and environmentally conscious processes just as much as they are with human health. You might ask, why is all this a problem? Doesn’t the term “clean” help us categorize our lives, make them easier? The truth is, that there is no rigorous or classified set of rules around this term either. According to Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Department of Dermatology, “there is no data showing that clean skincare products are any more effective or even any safer than traditional products”. The lack of regulated standards creates a sense of mistrust within the educated public, instead of enhanced confidence in these products.  Marketing messaging and unregulated imported goods make it hard to see which “clean beauty” brands are “really in itbecause they care.

Basic Naturals Skincare: A Clean Beauty Brand That’s Really In It Because They Care 

Clean Beauty, when made responsibly, should empower consumers to spend their money in a way that positively affects their lives and influences the future health of our world. There are several factors that point to Basic Naturals ranking as one of the truly cleanest brands out there. For one, Basic Natural’s ingredients come only from the natural world, no synthetics. When you try Basic Naturals skincare products you will love the beautiful results you see in your skin. It comes down to the concentration and balance of natural oils, cold-pressed flowers, plant-based butter, and other natural ingredients used. You will find no abbreviations, artificial fragrances/preservatives, toxins, or unclear terms on any of Basic Natural’s labels.  (*AND All moisturizers are alcohol-free.) These clean products are also constructed thoughtfully, to avoid potentially negative reactions, and to target skincare goals.  Basic Naturals connects its products to natural and attainable beauty. “We want you to feel enveloped in our luxurious Mango Body Butter, or the fresh clean feeling you get from using our revitalizing Clean Face Oil Cleanser. We know you will smile when you wake up and see the improvement from using Healthy Face Anti-Aging Moisturizer. It’s not our goal to change you; instead, Basic Naturals wants you to be your most natural and beautiful self, as a result of thoughtful self-care.” 

Embrace your true beauty through nature; judge the products you purchase through a lens of curiosity and knowledge and protect your health through your skin.

Choosing Natural Skincare: Important Differences Between Natural, Organic, and Synthetic-Free Skincare Products

Choosing natural skincare is a transition for some people, one that is not easily made without a solid understanding of products available on the market, and the categories used to describe them. We spend a lot of time sharing posts about key features of our products. They are 100% Natural, Organic, Non-GMO, Cruelty-Free, and Plant-Based / Synthetic-Free Brand among others.

You may be asking yourself, what does this even mean even if you are an experienced and well-versed consumer. These keywords may just blend in with the slew of marketing terms companies throw at consumers. 

Education is power, so let’s talk a little about what it means when we say we are a Natural, Organic, and Plant-Based / Synthetic-Free Brand! (*Consider this a crash course in how to fine-tune your natural skincare routine to the best natural skincare there is).

What makes a skincare product natural? 

Natural as a label means that ingredients come from resources that are not man-made and occur in… well, nature of course. The term “natural” is not officially regulated by the government, so we recommend that everyone learn how to read an ingredient list. Did you know that ingredients are listed from highest percentage to lowest? That means, when reading the labels, you should try to pick a product where synthetic ingredients are mainly at the bottom of the list if included at all. (All ingredients in our products are 100% natural, with no synthetics. ) 

Confused? Here’s a good resource: Skin Deep Database.

If you are looking for references, check out the EWG database linked above. This is a fantastic database that shows the safety of any ingredient and even has many mainstream products stored by name and brand. Don’t know one of the ingredients on a product? Pop it into this link and find out safety ratings and any potential risk usage can carry. 

What is Organic Skincare? 

When Skincare is labeled as organic it means that ingredients are farmed without chemical pesticides or fertilizers. This category is officially regulated by the FDA. Products only need to contain a certain percentage of organic matter to declare “made with organic ingredients” on its label. (This amount varies from state to state.) Spotting a USDA Organic seal is ideal since that means the product contains at least 95% organic ingredients. Please note that having a USDA seal costs money, a lot. So many small businesses may not yet have reached this threshold to gain a “seal” while all their ingredients still come from verified organic sources. (We make sure that we exceed that threshold in every product we make!)

OK, that makes sense now. Then what does it mean to be Synthetic-Free?

“Synthetic-free” products contain no man-made ingredients—this means it is 100% of it is made of naturally occurring elements or compounds. Here is an example: a naturally derived ingredient, such as hyaluronic acid, which is originally sourced from animals is copied and molecularly replicated to the same effect within a lab.

What is Plant-Based Skincare? What are Plant-Based Products?

The term “plant-based” might be a little more flexible but generally indicates that the product is made with botanical ingredients. An example of plant-based would be mango butter, olive oil, avocado oil, shea butter, essential oils, etc.

Both Synthetic-Free and Plant-Based are terms that are unregulated. They do not necessarily include or exclude one another. (Basic Naturals’ products do not contain ANY Synthetic Ingredients and are mostly Plant-Based.) Beeswax is the only ingredient we use that is not Plant-Based and for this reason, we are not a fully Vegan brand. However many of our products are Vegan! AND ALL of our Basic Naturals skincare products are Alcohol-Free!

Here you can find some of our VEGAN and Alcohol-Free Basic Naturals Skincare products:

Vegan and 100% Natural Body Butter by Basic Naturals

For our full collection of Vegan Products, click here to Shop Now!

Try also: Healthy Face Anti-aging Moisturizer and Serum, and Clean Face Oil Cleanser! All products are alcohol-free!

And… Basic Naturals products are always cruelty-free, natural, organic, alcohol-free, and synthetic-free!!

Don’t fret—you’ll begin to recognize these terms and ingredients with practice.  Read the list when you are looking to buy natural skincare brands, it will help you and our planet!

Organic – means that ingredients are farmed without chemical pesticides or fertilizers (it is a category that is regulated by the FDA). A product only has to contain a certain percentage of organic matter to declare “made with organic ingredients” on its label. (This amount varies from state to state.) Spotting a USDA Organic seal is ideal since that means the product contains at least 95% organic ingredients. But please note that having a USDA seal costs money, a lot. So many small businesses may not yet have reached this threshold to gain a “seal” while all their ingredients still come from verified organic sources. (We make sure that we exceed that threshold!)

Plant-Based or Synthetic-Free – Theoretically, a product labeled as “synthetic-free” contains no man-made ingredients to—this means it is 100% made of naturally occurring elements or compounds. The term “plant-based” might be a little more flexible but generally indicates that the product is made with botanical ingredients. Both terms are unregulated. They do not necessarily include or exclude one another. (Basic Naturals products do not contain ANY Synthetic Ingredients and are mostly Plant-Based. Beeswax is the only reason our products are not 100 % Plant-Based and also the only reason we are not 100% Vegan. However many of our products are Vegan! They are always cruelty-free.)