I have been taking steps to clean up my beauty routine over the past three years, and have since discovered my favorite resources for shopping clean. They have collectively made it really easy to make the transition, and I've learned a lot along the way.
Everyday, so many of us are unknowingly absorbing untested and unsafe chemicals into our bodies due to the lack of regulation in the U.S. consumer products industry. Its scary and upsetting how unregulated such a huge industry is in the U.S., but the good news is we are starting to understand the severity of the issue. Currently in the U.S., the FDA has banned only 11 chemicals from use in consumer products while the European Union has banned over 1,300 chemicals to date. In The EU every untested chemical is considered unsafe until proven otherwise, while In the U.S. new and unknown chemicals are considered to be safe unless there is reason to believe they aren't. This means that the majority of the chemicals in consumer products today have not been tested for safety, and their long term effects are still unknown. (source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/22/chemicals-in-cosmetics-us-restricted-eu)
Since regulations to the cosmetics industry are so outdated in the U.S., its really up to us as consumers to protect ourselves from these harsh chemicals and companies that don't have our best interests in mind. Luckily over the past decade new companies have cropped up that really want to do right by their customers by creating products with ingredients that are proven to be safe for extended use. At this point there are many beauty brands claiming to be “clean”, which can make it hard to figure out which brands to trust, and what products will give you the results your really looking for.
My go-to resources for researching one-off products that I want to look further into are the Think Dirty app and the EWG Healthy Living app. Both apps have a search function which lets you look up the product you’re considering, and find that product’s clean rating. Both sites use rating systems (1 being closest to clean) to give you a quick understanding of how clean the product is, and a break down of each ingredient that is used in the formula. For each ingredient you can learn the possible health impacts (if any), the explanation of the ingredient, and the sources of these conclusions. If a product isn’t featured on either site, I usually read through the ingredient list and look up any ingredient that I’m not familiar with on EWG’s Skin Deep database to find out if it’s safe.
Another feature that I love about both apps is you can browse products based on category. The app will give you a long list of product options in order from clean to dirty. The first listed options will be their cleanest rated products and are their recommended choices. I personally love this feature because I find that it can be so easy to fall into the routine of buying what is trending on social media or the best sellers at Sephora. By doing my own research to find the cleanest options with the highest ratings, I find it easier to make informed decisions and discover new products that haven’t yet reached a cult following.
Another way I shop clean is by visiting clean beauty sites that curate products through a very selective process to insure ingredient integrity and product quality. Three of my favorites are Credo Beauty, Follain, and The Detox Market. These sites make it easy to shop clean because the companies have already done the hard work for you to vet the best quality products with the highest ingredient standards. You can shop with ease knowing that all the options on each of these sites are clean and effective. Each site seeks out partnerships with brands that meet their formulation standards, as each of these companies have their own unique list of ingredients that they have a zero tolerance policy for in the products that they sell.
I love shopping at Credo Beauty because they have the largest inventory of products, and you earn rewards points with each purchase that you make which you can then trade in for product, similar to the program for Sephora VIB members. The Detox Market offers a monthly subscription box called The Detox Box, which features a new arrangement of clean brands and products to try each month. On Follain, they help to educate by adding in clean beauty facts to the web pages as you shop each category.
These resources have been great for helping me discover new clean products, but when your ready to shop for an entirely new beauty routine it can easily become overwhelming and confusing. There is still a lot of conflicting options about what is considered clean, and many of us have different values when it comes to clean beauty. There are a lot of different categories under the clean beauty umbrella, including cruelty free, vegan, organic, gluten free, chemical-free, all natural, and sustainably sourced, among others. It’s important to use your own discretion and make informed decisions based on what matters most to you. Looking for products and brands that align with your values will make it easier to cut through the noise and find the products that are the right fit.
If your looking to make other changes to your routine, my clean beauty shop page has all of my current clean favorites linked. It’s been so fun to learn about these clean companies that are shaking up the beauty industry and changing the standards around ingredient and supply chain integrity. If you‘d like $10 off your first order at Credo Beauty, include an email below to get your coupon code!