Why Clean Beauty's More Than Just a Trend To Me
When I was 13, I discovered the dazzling world of drugstore beauty. It was cheap and accessible, and that was all I needed to start experimenting with mascara, concealer, and everything in between. However, as I grew a bit older, I grew a lot more conscious of what I was allowing to seep into my skin.
You don’t usually think about toxins when you’re putting makeup on in the morning, but you’d be surprised how many beauty brands include unhealthy (and downright dangerous) ingredients. This, plus the unethical practices behind some companies and products, have inspired me to look other places for better options.
The answer? Clean beauty (which, btw, is different than “natural”—because even a lot of clean beauty brands are not completely natural).
First, some good news about the clean beauty industry: There are tons of products to choose from. The bad news: Some work better than others, and you have to do your research to make sure the ingredients are *actually* clean (fortunately, the internet helps with this). I’ve found some amazing products that work just as well as traditional buys—but they’re much better for the skin and the environment.
One of my favorite new brands is Milk Makeup. Many of their products are vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, and phthalate-free. I also like W3ll People, a company that is non-toxic, cruelty-free, and does not use any petroleum byproducts; best of all, it’s sold at Target, so it’s super easy to find. For traditional drugstore brands, e.l.f is cruelty-free. All their makeup is vegan, while the skincare line is vegan-friendly.
In terms of skincare, my favorites include Youth to the People’s Age Prevention Cleanser, which is vegan, cruelty-free, has no added color, fragrance, or soap, and is paraben, sulfate, and phthalate-free. For moisturizer, I love Tata Harper; it’s expensive, but a little goes a long way. The price tag is worth it to me for something that’s a vegetarian product free of toxins, fillers, artificial colors, artificial fragrances, all synthetic chemicals, GMOs, sulfates, parabens, and phthalates.
After using these cleaner beauty products, I’ve noticed an improvement in my skin—and I also feel better about my environmental impact. Washing traditional makeup off our faces sends chemicals toxic to the environment into our oceans and rivers; this issue can be reduced by replacing traditional makeup with clean makeup.
It sounds intimidating, but you don't have to overhaul your stash all at once. Replacing your CoverGirl blush with one from e.l.f and shopping in H&M’s Conscious section instead of the regular one helps both you and the environment (while still looking and feeling great). It’s been a long transition for me, and I’m still nowhere close to phasing out my traditional makeup, skincare, and clothing. But I’m taking it one step at a time, and you can, too.
By Soumya Jhaveri, 16