Clean Beauty Dictionary by Kari Gran
What do all the clean beauty terms mean? To help understand them, we’ve pulled together a quick list of terms and meanings.
This is a new term in the industry. It's about limiting our water waste, plastic waste, and making it easier for us to recycle and protect our oceans from chemicals found in beauty products (like sunscreens). Yes, it's very similar to Green Beauty but the emphasis is on our plastic crisis and oceans.
Simply put, clean beauty or clean skincare is the idea that we shouldn’t have to worry about what’s in our beauty products and how they might affect our health. Clean products are free of known or suspected toxins. For us, that means our formulas contain ingredients that are a combination of organic, non-GMO, and naturally derived materials.
This means products have not been tested on animals at any point. Cruelty-free products can be vegan, but the two don’t go hand-in-hand. Cruelty-free speaks to how a product is created, while vegan refers to the product’s actual ingredients.
Products are made in an environmentally friendly way, with ethically sourced ingredients. This might include using ingredients that won't pollute the environment when they're disposed, using less plastic by packaging with recycled or recyclable materials, or working with outside organizations to limit the carbon footprint.
"Natural" is the hardest to define because it isn't regulated within the beauty industry. Companies can use this descriptor in different ways. For some (like us), "natural" describes products made from botanicals or plant-derived ingredients that are not or can’t be organic. Unfortunately, some other companies use it to convey a false impression or provide misleading information to promote products that may contain a percentage of plant-derived ingredients, while also including suspected toxic ingredients. The rule of thumb is to always do your research, read the ingredient label, and never assume.
Products made with ingredients that have not been genetically modified.
This generally means products free of known or suspected toxins that have been linked to toxic responses (like hormone disruption, cancer, etc.). However, this term is not regulated and is mostly used as a marketing term.
When products contain "certified organic" ingredients, they generally mean products free of synthetic additives like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes. They must not be processed using industrial solvents, irradiation, or genetic engineering. Organic only relates to agricultural or food ingredients. The term “organic” by itself isn’t very informative when talking about cosmetics/makeup. Cosmetics – due to dye and pigmentation, among other things – typically contain non-agricultural ingredients.
As you might guess, this means a formula made without any added water.
Wildharvested means plants or portions of plants (like frankincense) collected or harvested from defined land areas maintained in a natural state and are not cultivated or otherwise managed.
If you have any questions about these terms and definitions, please comment below, send us an email, or give us a call at 206-588-1573.
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