Halfway into the year 2021, there’s literally no beauty junkie who hasn’t been hit by the “Clean Beauty” buzzword; just as there’s almost no one who doesn’t care about what goes onto their skin.
But, what does “Clean” mean for us as a brand, and what can shopping clean mean for you? Since there’s no standard textbook definition for it, here’s our take on it.
Beauty that’s Free from Toxins2021 sure has improved and refined our beauty vocabulary in more ways than one. No, seriously. We humbly accept our flaws and are willing to learn + grow. Everything is a chemical composition. So, why did brands (like us) adopt the term “Chemical-Free” in the first place? Why would we commit beauty suicide by stating something that’s so obviously “unscientific” and “non-factual”?
Here’s the thing. The word “chemicals” became a bad word somewhere along the way (well before we entered the beauty industry). This is probably owing to the fact that many skincare companies have, in fact, included toxic chemicals in their products which are harmful for human health. And sadly, this is not just limited to the skincare space, the personal care (think aluminium in deodorants) and food industries (think Maggi where excessive levels of lead were found in the product flavouring) are also riddled with the same issues. Because of its synonymy with the word “toxin-free”, brands like us resorted to stating that our products are “chemical-free”. Our bad. But with the ever-evolving language of the industry, terms like “chemical-free” and “clean beauty” are now coming to be seen as fear-mongering expressions. This is where things start to get a little icky for us, because that isn’t our intention at all! The intention is to bring transparency to consumers who trust us with their health and skin. And while we’re willing to wipe out “chemical-free” from our vocabulary due to its unscientific and unfactual nature, our values remain the same - well-researched, low-processed and nature-forward formulations made with non-toxic elements as their baseline.
Beauty that’s Good for YouHaving said this, let’s not be so quick to take to ALL chemicals. There are good and bad chemicals, naturally-occurring and otherwise - even water and oxygen can be toxic in the wrong dose. It is their quantity, function and intended use in a formulation followed by the circumstances of its exposure that determine the actual risk.
But all things considered, ingredients like Parabens, Phthalates, Triclosan, Ethoxylated Agents, Refined Petroleum and the likes of these are known to arouse major concern and should be avoided altogether. There is still no denying the fact that the skin is our largest organ and is most prone to everyday external exposure and dermal absorption; ask Queen Elizabeth I, who supposedly died of blood poisoning due to her use of lead-based makeup called the “Venetian Ceruse”. It is probably these factors that heralded the “Clean Beauty” revolution today, questioning the necessity and long-term consequences of toxic chemicals in our skincare products. It is also precisely why there are multiple certification bodies that certify clean ingredients and clean products.
With endless people and checklists out there telling us what to do and not to do, the agency lies with you and what works for YOU. We believe that it is vital to listen to your skin, while making sure that the products that go on your skin are scientifically backed and well-researched - to bring out their optimum virtues. This could mean your grandma's DIY concoctions, your high-processed retinols and acids or your low-processed rosehip oil. There is no black and white to it really, only better and safer beauty based on whatever works best for you.
Beauty that’s Transparent
We believe that you have a right to know about what goes into your personal care products, and we, as a brand, are honest about it. Green-washing and marketing based on feel-good actions and guilt-tripping are an absolute no-no for us. We believe in being open to new information and assessing it critically, all while educating our customers with utmost transparency about where we stand.
As consumers, we encourage you to view your use of products (beauty or not) with a critic’s eye. Keep up with the ever-evolving beauty vocab, read up on the brand values, understand product labels and certifications, and read about the ingredients, even if they claim to resolve certain skin issues. This is exactly where the clean beauty revolution has its role to play in the industry - to ensure that brands are more accountable about their products and ingredients to their consumers, and that the consumers can call them out wherever needed.
Beauty that’s Clean, Blue & Green
What’s clean for you, may not be clean for the environment. For us, beauty should be safe, sustainable and nourishing for humankind and the planet till the very last mile - from the ingredients and their sourcing, manufacturing of the product, packaging and distribution, to disposal and everything in between.
While the ingredients and formulations of products go down the drain and into our water and food systems, the extensive use of non-sustainable packaging materials like plastic tend to pile up in landfills. Be it microplastics in the products or plastics and other non-sustainable materials in the packaging, all of these add to environmental degradation even if the product may be “clean” for you. So, what we’re saying is that the environment matters equally when it comes to beauty formulations and packaging.