Clean skincare products are made without questionable ingredients or harmful irritants. Because there isn’t an official definition, brands, retailers, and watchdog organisations have created their own filters, whether it be following the European Union’s list of almost 1,400 banned ingredients or creating certifications to better educate consumers on what’s safe or not.
The level of clean among these filters still varies greatly, but just recognising that certain ingredients don’t need to be in skincare products is a step in the right direction. Products should be made without parabens, sulfates, or mineral oils.
It is worth reading the Guardian article, Is clean beauty a skincare revolution – or a pointless indulgence? for a balanced view on this topic as some of the clean skincare products are expensive.
However what I do know is that you do not need fillers, questionable components, or toxic ingredients to obtain hydrated skin, shiny hair, and a glowing complexion.
WHICH SKINCARE BRANDS ARE CLEAN?
Ren has been in the business of clean skincare since 2000. The brand uses “bio-actives” in its formulas, which isn’t a scary term so much as it’s used to describe ingredients that help your skin help itself, like probiotics that strengthen your skin’s dermis layer and lactic acid that exfoliates dead, dull skin.
I have not tried the REN body wash (£22) but it comes highly recommended. The body wash is housed in a 100% recycled bottle, 20% of which is made with reclaimed ocean plastic and is absolutely genius. The brand is aiming to be completely waste-free by 2021 and has started rolling out bottles made with fully recyclable packaging, reclaimed plastic from oceans, and even glass so consumers can send back and refill.
Farmacy also bans almost 1,400 ingredients in its formulas. Instead, it chooses to work with organic farms in Pennsylvania and the Catskills to source key ingredients like honey and a proprietary plant called Echinacea GreenEnvy, an amped up herb said to have 300% more natural antioxidants than the original Echinacea plant. But don’t think that all ingredients are straight from the farm; Farmacy uses synthetic ingredients too — as long as they’re safe.
Drunk Elephant is a “clean clinical” brand that fuses science with clean ingredients into efficacious products that have won everyone over. Its Nice to Meet You cleanser (£19) will give you glowy skin for days.
Drunk Elephant also chooses to use synthetic ingredients as long as they’re safe for the body. According to the brand’s website, “While Drunk Elephant aims for its products to be as natural as possible, it is far more important that the ingredients in them be effective and safe.”
Weleda is one of the oldest natural skincare brands, this nearly 100-year-old brand started as a pharmaceutical laboratory with its own plant garden. Today, Weleda continues to be a leader in well-priced, certified natural by NATRUE skincare products that work with the body’s own ability to heal.
Ingredients come from fair-trade, biodynamic, and organic gardens, with the plants prepared as quickly as possible after harvest.
Originally launched in 1926, the Skin Food Ultra-Rich Cream (£12.95) has been a cult favourite ever since. An ultimate moisturiser for dry, rough skin, the cream is intensively hydrating and dermatologically tested for skin safety.
When I was on This Morning TV the make-up artist used it on my face and it smelt edible and my skin felt good all day even with a lot of foundation and powder applied on top.
Tata Harper was founded in 2010 on a 1,200-acre organic farm in the Champlain Valley of Vermont, Tata Harper is known for its pure, performance-based products.
Formulated by female scientists using more than 300 raw ingredients, each product is certified by ECOCERT and packaged in glass with soy-based ink for printing. What little plastic the brand uses is derived from corn (instead of petroleum), meanwhile packaging is made from 100 percent post-consumer materials, or recycled paperboard.
The Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil targets all signs of aging through a natural form of retinoic acid from vitamin A. The face oil is suitable for irritated skin, and reduces the look of wrinkles with a blend of 100 percent natural botanicals including 11 vitamins, 18 nutrients, and six minerals – 74% of which are from organic farming.
NB All of these brands are not tested on animals but two brands are owned by companies that use animal testing with some of their other products. Drunk Elephant is owned by Shiseido and REN is owned by Unilever.