“Vegan”, Cruelty Free”, “Allergen Free”, “Certified Organic” … we have seen all these mentions flourish on our bathroom shelves.
The reason why? Women are more and more demanding of transparency regarding their beauty products.
The Clean Beauty trend is gaining strength in the beauty industry and is becoming a new philosophy of life. Started as a niche, it has acquired a status that nobody can deny anymore.
Let’s explore all about it.
The origins of the Clean Beauty movement
“Clean Beauty” is the result of deep changes in the Beauty world. Consumers have come to realize how much their skin can react to a certain number of ingredients traditionally used in perfumes and beauty products. This new awareness has been boosted by scandals like the discovery of the endocrine disruptors.
At the same time, our skin seems to have grown more and more sensitive to pollution, stress, and other cosmetic components. Allergic reactions, irritations, redness, skin sensitivity have become real concerns, and criteria guiding us when buying products; we now want gentle, safe formulas for our skin and for our health in general.
In that new context, women demand beauty brands to be more transparent about their ingredients and “cleaner” in their process. This is the basis for the development of the Clean Beauty movement.
What is “Clean Beauty” exactly?
There is no official definition! People refer to it as a philosophy of life, a new way to buy and use stuff with more awareness. Above all, it is a way to behave and improve our skin health at the same time. As the boundaries of this movement are still changing, Beauty brands can define their own commitments.
As a result, some Beauty companies are switching to a greener approach, showing their efforts, and keeping their customers better informed. For instance, they remove suspicious ingredients from their formulas, or seek certifications from trusted and independent agencies.
Clean Beauty is not only centered on us humans, but also on the protection of our planet. Beyond re-thinking formulas, it also encourages to change the packaging of all these products. Biodegradable, made for recycled components, with a low carbon footprint, ethically sourced, … all new ways to be more respectful of our environment
How to identify a natural product
‘Natural ingredient’ refers to all ingredients that are not a byproduct of the petrochemical industry and are not obtained through synthetic process. It is an ingredient that is physically transformed, or an extract processed using the principles of green chemistry. It can be a vegetal, a mineral or even water.
Each ingredient has an index of ‘naturalness’. Depending on the proportion of each ingredient in the formula and their index of naturalness, we then get an index for the whole product. This percentage is calculated using an international standard called ISO 16128 and valid worldwide.
What products should we ban from our shelves?
The prohibition or the restrictions applied to an ingredient vary around the world. Depending on the country you are living in, an ingredient may be considered differently. Nevertheless, there is a consensus in the Clean Beauty movement on a certain number of ingredients that we should all avoid. Among them, we find:
- Parabens (benzyl paraben, butyl paraben, propyl paraben, …): these preservatives are recognized as endocrine disruptors and many of them are now completely forbidden to use. (Those starting with a P, I or B are definitely not good for you)
- Mineral oils (paraffinum liquidum, petrolatum, …) are cheap by-products of the petrochemical industry; they cover the skin with an impenetrable film and prevent skin pores from breathing
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (LSS or SLS): often used as a tension-active ingredient to help oily ingredient mix with water, they are known to irritate and dehydrate the skin.
As a reminder, all ingredients must be mentioned on a product label. The list order must follow the % of each ingredient in the formula, starting with the highest percentage. Under 1% of the composition, there is no more order obligation.
A Beauty routine more respectful of our skin and of our planet
We can sometimes get lost in the midst of this big Clean Beauty movement. Here are a few tips to make the right choices:
- Prefer products that show a higher percentage of natural ingredients
- Check for the bad ingredients we already listed above
- Support brands that commit to a better planet
- Prefer products with less packaging, as well as recycled and/or recyclable packaging
- Follow some organic labels
At Payot, Clean Beauty is a priority. Our Chart of Formulation has become a lot more ambitious, and our new products have even more natural formulas than before.
In 2017, we got rid of all our paper notices.
100% of our box packaging materials are now from responsibly managed forests, and 75% of the materials are recyclable.
In 2021, we adopted a new Chart that prohibits the use of any disputable ingredient, that limits the overall number of INCI* ingredients, and that imposes a ‘naturalness index’ of 80% minimum for all new products.
We want to go further and reach a 0% plastic use by 2030! For Payot, beauty is on the move now more than ever, and our commitment ranges from short to long term goals, to provide products more efficient and, at the same time, more respectful of our skin and our planet.
*INCI = International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient