What is Clean Beauty?

What does clean beauty mean? Your skin, as we’ve discussed before is your largest organ. If you’re feeding yourself healthy, natural foods but not applying the same standards to your skin and body care, it’s time to rethink your regimen. And if you’re already on the massively popular clean, natural beauty train, kudos to you! We hope you’ll feel inspired to try some of our favorite clean beauty products listed below.

When we talk about clean beauty, we are talking about several different components, united by their non-harm to humans, animals, and our planet. Our standards at Rebecca’s involve several of these components. Firstly, that the product is free of things we now know to be toxic and/or harmful to the human body. It’s important to remember that with many products, such as sunscreen, what’s bad for us is typically bad for the environment it interacts with. Secondly, that the product is cruelty-free and tested ethically. And finally, that, when possible, the company also does its best to produce and packaged sustainably… because what’s the point of all of this clean beauty talk if we’re trashing the planet in the process? 

What to look for on the label:

It’s important to know your way around a label, especially when some may mislead you. At Rebecca’s, we carefully vet all the brands we carry and ensure they adhere to high standards. When mass skincare started to really take off in postwar America, many brands started pumping their products with synthetics and chemicals with little regard to their detrimental effects. There’s been some pushback on the clean beauty movement, but research shows that many of the common ingredients in American products (bear in mind that the EU has banned many a product that is somehow still legal to use in the US) are harmful. For example, phthalates, used in many fragrances and perfume various products, have been linked to hormonal problems, breast cancer, infertility, and more. At Rebecca’s our guidelines for selecting body and face care brands are that they’re cruelty-free, and contain NO parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances, silicones, propylene glycol, mineral oils, sulfates, synthetic dyes, triclosan, EDTA, or aluminum. We frequently reevaluate our products and have recently discontinued many long-time favorites from well-known brand Tom’s of Maine because did not feel they were keeping up with ingredient changes. It can be most challenging to stay totally clean with lotions that require natural preservatives to avoid mold, but we do our best. We also are fans of the Environmental Working Group’s SkinDeep website for evaluating individual ingredients. We don’t always 100% agree with their ratings, but do use them as a guideline when we have questions about ingredients. We also use their annual summer sunscreen evaluations to keep current with clean and effective sunscreens. In addition, we like customer feedback and suggestions for products they’ve discovered on their travels or from former hometowns and loved ones. We try to have great options for all budgets. When possible, we also seek out products whose packaging is biodegradable or at least produce less waste.  

Read on for some of our favorite clean beauty brands, as well as some of the raw ingredients you can use to DIY. From face serums to body creams and toothpaste, we have you covered. 

Clean beauty for the face:

If you wouldn’t want to ingest it, why would you put it on your face? We understand that facecare is a sensitive topic for many. Not only is the skin on your face literally quite sensitive, but many of us deal with issues such as acne, rosacea, and other tricky-to-treat skin conditions. We remind you that you’re beautiful despite all of what society deems imperfect! There are many misconceptions that all-natural products won’t “do the job.” If you’re dealing with something especially tough, consider seeing a dermatologist. In the meantime, we have many products that are ethical, clean, and highly effective. Some of our top facial care lines are Acure, Carina Organics, Derma-E, Nourish, Borlind, and Andalou Vitamin C or Cannacell line. From serums that fight aging to simple moisturizers, we have you covered!

Clean hair care:

It’s best to look for shampoos and conditioners without sulfates that will strip your hair of moisture and sometimes cause irritation. Most drugstore brands are full of harmful chemicals. We’ve curated some beautiful brands that will refresh your hair with natural ingredients such as green tea, tea tree, and peppermint, helping you effectively clean and condition without the bad stuff. Some of our favorite lines include Carina Organics (biodegradable!), Acure, Om Botanicals, and Virginia First Tea Farm. 

Clean body care:

Many all-natural moisturizers are not only as effective as your favorite drugstore brand, but are actually better and absorb more easily into your skin. Many oils, lotions, and butters come with all the benefits of a variety of moisture levels, and some are scented with delicious natural oils that soothe. Some of our top body care lines are the popular EO Everyone lotions, Carina Organics, Andalou, and Shikai Borage lotion for dry skin. A locally made line we love at Rebecca’s is NorthShea whipped shea butters for your extra dry areas. Feel good about having skin that feels soft and buttery knowing that a portion of their proceeds benefit the creator’s home community in Ghana. 

The same goes for soaps: many all-natural, non-toxic soaps are just as, if not more effective, than massive brands. They’re also less likely to strip your skin of the good moisture we hope to keep, especially in winter months. Our most popular soaps are from local makers, including unscented “Naked” olive oil soap for sensitive skin by Mieka to some really divine scents. Brands we love include Dr. Eva, Loaded Goat, and Virginia First Tea Farm. Shikai’s borage oil cleansing bar and Dr. Bronner’s Castile bars in multiple scents are not local but equally beloved.

DIY clean beauty:

There’s no better way to know what you’re putting on your body than to make it yourself! For those interested in making their own products, a fun DIY, we have plenty of the raw ingredients to get you started. We carry pure essential oils from Aura Cacia, our Rebecca’s in-house brand, Garden of Life Organic & Natures Answer organic essential oils. For inspiration, you can check out many of these brands’ sites for easy “recipes” to make your own soaps, creams, deodorants, and more. We also carry pure carrier oils like Coconut Oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, sesame oil, avocado oil, and argan oil.