What is Clean Beauty? – The Makeup Obsessed Mom

Are you curious about the buzzwords clean beauty, natural, cruelty-free, vegan, pure, botanical, and eco that manufacturers are using? Do these terms make consumers feel like they are getting safer products? Companies also use graphics such as leaves or logos on product packaging to encourage you to pick their products. Did you know that there are no set rules or guidelines nor does the FDA even have to approve your favorite beauty products?

stock photo by Pearl Winchester

Without regulations or guidelines, companies are allowed to freely use these terms on packaging and marketing materials. As a consumer, it is important for you to do your own research before determining which clean beauty products to purchase. Don’t wait until you are standing in the aisle to do your research. If you can’t find the ingredients on the packaging, you can look up a product and find the ingredients list on Drugstore.com or Amazon. Look at all of the ingredients on the label and determine if the manufacture is hiding potentially dangerous ingredients.

What is Clean Beauty?

Clean beauty is a confusing term and everyone views it differently.  What one brand deems as clean another brand may have a totally different idea about. This is why it is important to do your research before you get to the beauty aisle.

The clean beauty movement is embracing beauty products that are both natural and man-made. Just don’t be fooled into thinking that all natural ingredients are safe either. Most beauty brands are manufacturing clean beauty products without the following harmful chemicals:

  • parabens
  • sulfates
  • silicone
  • phthalates
  • synthetic fragrances
Tata Harper skincare

Tata Harper skincare – photo credit Christine from SimplyStine.com

Tips to Help You Choose the Right Clean Beauty Products

As mentioned earlier, there are some buzzwords that are important for you to understand.  You can’t make the most informed decision when it comes to picking the right clean beauty products if you don’t understand the ingredients. So what does each of the following clean beauty terms mean?


Vegan beauty products are manufactured without using animal by-products or products that originate from an animal.

Derma E clean skincare

DermaE is another brand that I consider to be clean beauty.


Some beauty brands test their products on animals before allowing them to be sold. You may want to skip brands that use animals as a test subject. Animals have been harmed during the testing process.

Also, skip purchasing beauty products that are made in China. China still allows animal testing on their products. Visit here for more information on China’s animal testing policies.

100% Free of Toxic Chemicals

If you are looking to make the switch to clean beauty products, it is suggested to look for brands that are 100% free of toxic chemicals. Beauty products that are 100% free of toxic chemicals remain free from ingredients that may disrupt your hormones or cause cancer, irritants, or synthetic ingredients.

how to wear bright lipstick

Red Apple Lipstick is the perfect example of a clean beauty makeup brand.

Organic or All Natural Beauty Products

This is probably the most confusing portion of the clean beauty movement that people don’t fully understand. It is important that you understand that all natural beauty products may not be organic and vice versa. Just because a brand adds natural beauty to the package doesn’t necessarily mean the products are natural either. The products could possibly still contain man-made ingredients, unnatural, or non-organic. Carefully, read the ingredients on the label to determine if any of the mentioned ingredients are organic or natural.

You can find clean beauty products in the categories of skincare, cosmetics and hair care.  Some of the Clean Beauty brands that I use and recommend can be purchased from your favorite beauty stores. Some of my favorite clean beauty skincare comes from DermaE, Ren Clean Beauty, Tata Harper and Drunk Elephant. Clean beauty cosmetics lines that I love are Red Apple Lipstick, Osmosis and Bite Beauty.

Just like the clean eating movement, brands are using unregulated buzzwords to draw people in. They want to make you think that they are creating products that are safer to use. Keep in mind that there aren’t any guidelines nor does the FDA regulate beauty products. It is important as a consumer to understand the meaning of clean beauty products and determine what clean beauty means to you and if it’s right for you.


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