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Why you need to know about the rise of ‘Clean’ beauty


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AUG 22, 2017:

As demand for more nontoxic beauty products increases, what does ‘Clean’ really mean?

In July, Business of Fashion’s beauty columnist asked the questions at the forefront of this growing movement in the beauty industry: ‘What’s in our products? How are they made? Who do we trust? What can we believe? What’s marketing, and what’s legit? What is the law? (Spoiler alert: there basically is no law.)’

The feature explains there are no official regulations for using inspirational terms like ‘natural’ and even ‘organic’ – the meanings can be open to interpretation. Meanwhile, ‘clean’ is the banner assigned to products that do not contain ingredients ‘demonstrably linked to harmful health effects.’ Remarkably, in the US only 30 of these substances (such as hormone and endocrine disruptors like parabens) are banned from personal care products, compared with 1,500 in Europe.

In response, a small group of brands, retailers, platforms, and activists are taking the law into their own hands – and consumers have noticed. Clean beauty now makes up 35-40% of Goop’s business each month, meanwhile, 25,000 units of clean-beauty product, Countermatch sold out in 12 hours on Beautycounter.  The natural segment of global beauty continues to grow at a faster rate to the industry as a whole. It’s so on trend, PopSugar even posted a story on the ‘14 Clean Skin Care Brands All Green Goddesses Should Know About’ this week!

But is ‘clean’ just another marketing method tapping into the wellness and healthy lifestyle trend? Racked’s 2016 in-depth article, ‘Your Beauty Products Are Not Killing You’ questions the usage of such a label, calling for greater awareness rather than fear of often times misunderstood ‘chemicals’: ‘You’d do well to remember that beauty is a business; it’s not a philanthropy… “Safe”, “natural”, “clean” beauty companies want to sell you stuff the same way Pantene does.’

Need some more evidence? See what the below beauty influencers have to say…

What is your take on “clean” beauty? Share in the comments!

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