In today’s health-conscious landscape, we’re becoming increasingly aware that in order to do well by our skin, it’s worth paying attention to what we’re putting on it. When it comes to ingredients, standards are rising and the movement towards Clean Skincare – formulations that are 100% free from skin unfriendly toxins – is really taking off. If you’ve heard about Clean Skincare but aren’t really sure what it is or even if it’s for you, read on…
What is Clean Skincare?
There’s often confusion between ‘clean’ and ‘natural’, so to clean it up (as it were) the term ‘Clean Skincare’ specifically refers to any formulation that is free from a list of potentially harmful and irritating ingredients, and instead uses a combination of plants, vitamins, minerals, and botanical extracts to help restore skin to its optimum health and vitality. Clean can also refers to products and brands that showcase a concerted effort to manufacture more consciously, whether it be recycled packaging or sustainable ingredients, as well as vegan and organic.
Why Keep It Clean
Although there are claims that skin absorbs 60% of what we put onto it and many beauty buffs are happy to quote this figure, the jury is still out when it comes to exact percentages. However, it is interesting to consider that our skin is a semipermeable membrane and has hair shafts, which ingredients can travel down. The problem with many synthetic ingredients such as silicones, parabens and sulphates, is that they can cause irritation, inflammation (which in turn speeds up the ageing process), dryness and discolouration to skin. SLS in particular can upset the protective layer of oils on the skin’s surface and allow ingredients (good and bad) to enter skin more easily. As a bonus clean skincare collections are often locally made in small batches with sustainability and the environment in mind.
Because clean skincare products are free from parabens it does usually mean they have a shorter shelf life, but, as co-founder of free-from skincare brand Herbivore Julia Wills explains, “natural preservatives are getting better every day. All of our products are good for at least 12 months.” It’s also a common misconception that clean skincare is less effective than traditional skincare, but as Julia argues, while natural ingredients tend to be more expensive and harder to source compared with synthetic versions made in a lab, high quality natural concentrated formulations often result in more effective but gentler formulas. Global Head of Education at REN David Delport supports this, “REN’s clinical results stand up to, and often surpass, non-clean ‘laboratory’ brands.”
A Tour of Our Cleanest Brands
Herbivore EXCLUSIVE: Husband and wife dream team Alex and Julia ethically source the finest raw materials the earth has to offer to create their pure, highly concentrated, and effective skincare formulas. This carefully considered range is vegan and all products have an emphasis on organic, high quality and food-grade ingredients.
Tata Harper: Fresh from the founder’s farm in Vermont, Tata Harper skincare is 100% free from toxins, fillers and synthetic chemicals. Each product is made in small batches in the on-site lab using original natural ingredients.
REN Clean Skincare: Crazy about Clean since their inception in East London in 2000, REN offers a smarter skincare that delivers high-performance, visible results. Always on skin’s side, they steer clear of any skin unfriendly ingredients.