What Is Clean Beauty, Anyway?
A standard definition for “clean beauty” doesn’t exist quite yet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t have to approve beauty and skincare products before they hit store shelves. Therefore, it is up to the companies to decide what goes in beauty and personal care items.
Some ingredients are controversial (e.g. phthalates, parabens and preservatives, etc.) and have been linked to certain health issues. While the quantities are low, “clean” beauty products offer an alternative – products that are not harmful, while at the same time being good for the environment.
While clean is good, it shouldn’t be confused with natural. Not all natural ingredients are good for you (poison ivy) and not all chemicals are bad (hello, water is a chemical).
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Where to buy clean beauty products
Below are a few of my favorite places to shop for clean beauty products:
Credo Beauty: I love shopping in store because it is basically a clean beauty version of Sephora. You can go in, test, play and buy. You can also get a makeover, wax, or facial. If you are new to the clean beauty world, they do clean beauty swaps — bring in your makeup bag and their team will go through each of your products to help you find a clean alternative. Learn more about their standards here.
The Detox Market: This place reminds me of Credo in that they allow you to touch and play with the various products. Their product lineup is very similar, although there were a few additional products in the NYC location of Detox Market that I didn’t see at Credo. As a newbie into the world of clean beauty, I quite like their blog because they don’t yell at you or make you feel like shit for liking “unclean” beauty products. They also offer a Detox Box, which is a monthly subscription box a la Boxycharm or Ipsy, but it is hella expensive.
Clean at Sephora: Sephora saw the rise of clean beauty and saw $$$.They have basically aggregated all of their clean beauty brands and put a seal on them so shoppers are aware. This is good for those who are already Sephora shoppers and are looking to make the switch. If you don’t live in NYC or California (where a lot of these clean beauty stores are located), this is perfect. You can easily access Sephora (and keep earning your Beauty Insider points).
Follain: I haven’t been to Follain yet since they just opened up a location in NYC. I know someone who loves their site and told me to include it. They just launched a #FightCleanWashing campaign in which they educate consumers on the practice of marketing a product as clean or non-toxic without supporting those claims. A+ for education; I just hope it doesn’t turn condescending. (Editor’s note: Follain does have a store in Bethesda Row at 4810 Bethesda Ave. #24, Bethesda.)
Goop: I am not a big Gwyneth Paltrow fan, and I find a lot of her recommendations ludicrous, but this is for the bougie people out there.
Cap Beauty: Similar to Follain, I’ve never been here but know of someone who loves this place.
I hope you find this helpful! I’m still learning about this world. While I’m not 100 percent clean, I am finding ways to make a conscious effort at what I’m buying and consuming.