Famed for a proudly displayed “formulated without” list on skincare and cosmetics, the clean beauty movement has officially gained mass appeal with no signs of slowing. Clean skincare now outsells prestige and mainstream products by three-fold! In an industry expected to reach $21 billion by the end of 2024, even the skincare oligarchs are reassessing their formulations. Although the definition of clean skincare varies widely, it has always been fundamental to everything at about-face essentials.
What is Clean Beauty?
The term usually refers to both skincare and cosmetic products that only use non-toxic ingredients, both natural and synthetic. Shunned ingredients typically include those proven toxic, and those not yet proven, but highly suspected to be harmful, like Parabens, Sulfates, and others.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers many of the skincare ingredients as "generally recognized as safe" for use in skincare and even in food. Although not yet linked by clinical data for undermining optimal skin health, clean skincare advocates a “better safe than sorry” approach by avoiding any questionable ingredients.
Clean skincare is interpreted differently among brands. At about-face essentials, it always means high performance ingredients that are not harmful to our skin, overall health, or the environment supported by clinical evidence.
Why Clean Skincare?
A single-minded focus on better skin without endangering overall health. Suspect ingredients correlate to health issues like skin cancer, nervous system issues, or reproductive disruptions, but also increase the risk of skin irritation, redness, and sensitivities. Clean skincare assays every ingredient in the formulation for capabilities of improving skin and maintaining overall health.
Who cares? I do, but many may not. It’s a personal preference, just like chosing to order a healthy meal from the Fresh Chef or picking up fast food through the drive up. The difference is evident at first bite, but the downstream effects take a bit longer to recognize. In my case, it took years before I discovered my sensitivity to silicones. My need for high-performance, clean skincare resulted in my founding about-face essentials.
Is it 100% Natural?
Some brands are all natural, while others are not. Mostly clean formulations include both natural (plant-based) and chemically identical (synthetic) ingredients. Why? Because many synthetic ingredients have a superior performance and safety record to all natural ingredients. Similarly, numerous 100% natural ingredients often cause skin sensitivities, like essential oils, witch hazel, chitosan, and alcohol. Best to judge each skincare ingredient on its own merits.
What You Need to Know?
Clean beauty brands often provide a steadfast list of avoided ingredients, while other brands are product specific – the “no” list changes for each product. Although there are some commonly found ingredients on the “never” lists, each brand has a slightly different version and reasons for avoiding those ingredients.
At AFE, clean skincare means better skin by promoting skin health. Targeting active ingredients at optimal potencies, both synthetic and natural, backed by science. Although our “formulated without” list has grown, it has remained constant - No Parabens, No Sulfates, No Silicones, No Alcohols, No Fragrance, No Animal By-Products, and No Animal Cruelty.