We’re all about informed purchases. When given transparency in formulation along with reputable resources of how ingredients interact with skin, we find we're better equipped to make informed decisions for ourselves and our family.
Recently we spoke on what “Clean Beauty” means to us as a skincare brand where we showcased our standards + ethics, our unwavering ingredient transparency and our manufacturing environment. Whether you’re brand new to discovering sneaky ingredients in your most beloved products, or have spent many years researching and defining what clean means to you, we’ve compiled a list of the easiest swaps that confront skin health and environmental waste. We hope you love this quick reference guide so much that you send it along to a friend that is making the switch to clean beauty.
We love to encourage our clients to ditch the mitt or loofah any chance we can. Just like caring for the face, exfoliation should only happen once a week. When we incorporate this step into our daily routines it is just too much for skin. Remember that over-exfoliating can lead to a disrupted barrier which can cause skin to become dermally parched and shows itself as red, inflamed, and reactive or sensitive. In addition to these negative effects on skin, if your loofah is made from plastic it can cause micro-tears which can lead to further dehydration and skin reactivity. We suggest lathering your soap directly onto skin or switching to an organic cotton washcloth for cleansing as both of these methods remain very gentle when used daily.
Our hand and body cleansers are perfect sink-side or in the shower. We adore them because they are formulated with organic olive oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter and manufactured using a cold-processed soap making method. By following time honored soap making traditions, your body cleanser transforms from a not-so-nice body wash to a solid bar cleanser that creates a large lather and provides skin with deep hydration.
We often reach for eye creams to help with dryness or to diminish signs of aging, but it's easy to overlook sneaky ingredients and petrochemical-based preservatives that may be contributing to the dehydration we are experiencing. As a formulator, we prefer lipid-based eye balms over eye creams due to their deeply hydrating and occlusive nature. Unlike creams which must contain water as a component in the formulation, balms are anhydrous, making them a fully concentrated product. When water is used in manufacturing a product, the formulation must contain a preservation system to prevent the rancidity and spoilage. Although not all preservatives are created equal, our wholehearted recommendation is to err on the side of caution and invest in a nourishing eye balm over a cream.
Antiperspirants and deodorant are a hotly debated topic on both sides, which comes as no surprise as they are a necessity in so many of our lives. Antiperspirants work by blocking the sweat glands, preventing sweat and odor and include aluminum chloride as an active ingredient in the majority of them. We do not like this ingredient as it is a known endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen in the body, which can lead to a list of ailments. Deodorants on the other hand work by neutralizing odor but do not block sweat glands While we have all tried many brands that don't seem to work, when formulated in a balanced way, they can be incredibly effective. When it comes to what we do, our deodorants work because they are pH balanced for optimal skin health and wick away moisture while neutralizing odor. They are fully concentrated too, allowing a jar to last around 9 to 12 months of use.
Home scenting and personal care products can be full of harmful synthetics and formaldehyde-based fragrances categorized as carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting or respiratory and developmental toxicants. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, fragrances are considered the leading cause of cosmetic contact dermatitis. For some, petrochemicals can cause a host of side-effects including respiratory irritation, brain fog, fatigue, anxiety and migraines to name a few. To make the switch here we adore our Aromatherapy Mists which are safe for skin, linens and atmosphere, along with our non-GMO soy wax candles, which are formulated with pure essential oil and a cotton wick for the perfect touch of aroma in your space.
If you’d like to delve deeper into bite-size fragrance research, we found this article for you to dive into.
When it comes to sun protectants we recommend looking for a physical, mineral-based product that uses either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide (non-nano) or a combination of the two as the active ingredients. A physical sun protectant works to reflect UV rays off of skin by creating a physical barrier. Physical sun protectants work immediately upon application.
Chemical sun protectants such as avobenzone and oxybenzone absorb rays into the skin and disrupt their chemical structure allowing the changed structure of the rays to be metabolized into internal heat by the body. Chemical sun protectant should be applied about 20 minutes before activity in order to provide proper protection.
Most common active ingredients in chemical sun protectants include: avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, octinoxate. Oxybenzone and octinoxate have been banned in Hawaii since Jan. 2021 due to harming marine life. Chemical sun protectants have been found to harm reefs and present as hormone disruptors, although not all chemical SPFs are alike.
We always recommend diving into your own research to find products best for you and your lifestyle. Whichever is your choice, it's important to look for sneaky ingredients within the base of any product. It is possible to have a physical sun protectant with inactive petrochemical based ingredients which may lead to skin irritation and possible endocrine disruption.
If you loved this article, we think this one will be a good fit for you too: 4 Ways to Select Your New Favorite Skincare Brand
Other resources include:
FDA Cosmetic Recalls
EWG Skin Deep Database
EWG’s Guide to Sunscreen
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
Breast Cancer Prevention Partners: Personal Care Products
California’s Proposition 65