Find Out More About Our Standard Of Clean
The low down on which ingredients we avoid, which ones we consider safe, and how we choose which products are right for TCBE.
What Is In Your Products?
The Clean Beauty Edit is a boutique beauty emporium that specialises in luxurious, nontoxic beauty and skincare products for discerning customers who want to lead a cleaner, more sustainable existence. We very carefully select cult beauty brands who have a similar ethos to our own. Brands who are creating innovative, high performance products without known toxins.
Why is this important? If you're new to the World of Clean Beauty you might be shocked to hear that many of the products on our bathroom shelf, or in our make up bag, contain a cocktail of harmful ingredients that we are putting on our bodies each and every day. We breath in fragrance, we ingest lipstick and balms, we absorb ingredients from body wash, shampoo and lotion. When we consider just how many different personal care items we use daily (on average 12 products containing 168 ingredients), you can see how even small amounts of potentially harmful ingredients in individual products can add up quickly to become problematic. Not to mention the environmental damage that a lot of these ingredients can cause.
We are lucky here in Europe that the EU has banned more than 1300 ingredients from personal care products, while in the US they have only banned about a dozen! However, so much more could - and should - be done to eradicate ingredients that are potential harmful for our health from beauty products, household products and food/ drink products. In the meantime, it is up to us as individuals and consumers to educate ourselves about the products that we buy and take more care in choosing what we spend our money on. Our choices will be what drives future product production!
On The Clean Beauty Edit our products are all cruelty free, toxin free and contain as many plant-based, organic, all-natural and vegan ingredients as possible so that they are kind to our skin, animals and the Earth.
Below we have outlined some of the ingredients that we seek to avoid and we have also listed all the good stuff that we look to include in our product offering. We provide the ingredients of each product on individual product pages so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing and using individual products. Please note that even natural, organic ingredients can cause a reaction on very sensitive skin, and if that sounds like you then we would always recommend doing a patch test before using any new product.
We always advise customers to be their own health advocate. Learn how to read labels, to recognise common ingredients and seek out healthy alternatives for yourself. If you haven't already checked it out, we would advise surfing the ewg.org's website to learn more about potential toxins in our environment and to get tips on products and ingredients. Their SkinDeep database can help you identify products in your beauty routine that it might be time to ditch. Visit https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/top-tips-for-safer-products
What To Avoid?
Okay, so let's start with some of the ingredients that we don't like. We would suggest that you look out for and minimise your use of the following:
Parabens are a preservative. On an ingredient label they will end in 'paraben', e.g. butylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben. Parabens have been linked to hormone disruption (endocrine disrupters) and have been found in human breast tissue.
Another preservative and a known carcinogen, Formaldehyde isn't usually listed as an ingredient but can be released when certain chemicals are mixed in product formulas. As such, it can be found in your nail polish, make up, skincare, hair and personal care products. Formaldehyde is associated with asthma, neurotoxicity and developmental toxicity. Watch out for 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-Diol (Bronopol), tosylamide (formaldehyde resin), polyoxymethylene urea, diazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, quaternium-15, 5-bromo-5-nitro-1,3 dioxane, glyoxal, methenamine, benzylhemiformal.
Some phthalaltes will be listed on product labels and others can be hidden under the term 'fragrance'. They are plasticizers that make products pliable and help fragrance adhere to skin and nail polish to nails. They are endocrine disrupters that have been associated with birth defects. They will be listed as dibutyl phthalate (DBP), diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), diethyl phthalate (DEP).
A lot of products will have fragrance listed as an ingredient, without detailing what actually makes up the fragrance. Some fragrances will contain phthalates, colourants and/or solvents that can be harmful to our health, while others will use natural fragrances. At The Clean Beauty Edit we look for fragrances that are natural, made from essential oils, and we also have a selection of products that are fragrance free to help you cut down on the amount of fragranced products that you use daily. We do not allow products containing phthalates on the site and choose ethical brands who share more information on the fragrance ingredients that they use so that consumers can make an informed decision.
This is a stabilizing ingredient that has been suggested could be potentially toxic to our organs. More research is needed on the effects of EDTA on human health, but as it is also potentially harmful to the environment also (as it doesn't break down) it's one that we seek to avoid. Look out for aminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), calcium disodium EDTA, disodium EDTA, tetrasodium EDTA, trisodium EDTA.
A surfactant that can act as a detergent/emulsifier/foaming agent in a product. It can affect fetal brain development, is an endocrine disruptor and an allergen. It can be contaminated with other chemicals that are carcinogenic. Watch out for diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), mono-ethanolamine (MEA), ethanolamine (ETA) and cocamide DEA.
Chemical sunscreens are known endocrine disruptors and skin irritants, linked to a range of health concerns as well as damaging to our oceans and coral reefs. They can be found in sun protection creams, skincare and cosmetic products. At The Clean Beauty Edit we promote Mineral Sunscreens over chemical ones - Zinc Dioxide and Titanium Dioxide - and suggest that you avoid avobenzone, benzophenone, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene and oxybenzone.
A preservative and stabilizer that has been linked to cancer as well as endocrine disruption and organ system toxicity. As it is a possible carcinogen it is one best to avoid.
A Toluene-based preservative used in food and personal care products. It is a potential carcinogen and linked to organ toxicity and skin irritation.
SULFATES (SLES and SLS)
Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) is an ingredient derived from ethoxylated lauryl alcohol and used as a surfactant. It can be contaminated with potentially toxic manufacturing impurities such as 1,4-dioxane and can cause skin irritation as well as potential organ system toxicity. Sodium lauryl sulfate is another surfactant that is thought to be even more irritating to the skin and hair, although not contaminated with 1,4-dioxane in the same way that SLES is. However as both can cause irritation and potential organ toxicity they are best avoided. Other ethoxylated ingredients that can be contaminated include PEG compounds, ceteareth-20 and steareth-20.
TRICLOSAN AND TRICLOCARBAN
Antibacterial ingredients that are used to preserve beauty products and home cleaning products. They are harmful to aquatic life as well as being associated with human toxicity, endocrine disruption and encouraging antibiotic resistance.
Used as a colourant in mascaras, eyeliners, hair colours and some hair care products, coal tar ingredients are known carcinogens that are by-products of the petroleum industry.
A solvent that is used in nail polishes. It can be damaging to the immune system and linked to reproductive toxicity. The Ella & Mila nail polishes that we stock on The Clean Beauty Edit are free of Toluene as well as 6 other harmful chemicals found in traditional polishes.
OTHER INGREDIENTS TO AVOID/LIMIT
- Retinoic Acid
- Boric Acid
- Triphenyl Phosphate
- Mineral Oils
- DMDM Hydantoin
- Plastic or Synthetic Microbeads
These are just some of the most common questionable ingredients found in traditional beauty products. We are always researching and keeping up to date with the latest knowledge in regards to potential hazards in our beauty routines to ensure that our selection of products is a clean as possible.
Some ingredients are considered clean by some and not by others. It's a bit of a grey area in clean beauty where people have a lot of different opinions. We always feel that, as consumers, we should educate ourselves as much as possible so that we can then make informed purchases that will eventually drive the beauty industry in a healthier, more sustainable direction. Here is our take on some ingredients, not listed above, that you may have questions about.
Preservatives need to be added to any products containing water in order to protect us against microbes. Many preservatives are harmful to our health (e.g. parbens and formaldehyde releasers - which we don't allow on The Clean Beauty Edit). It can be a struggle for clean beauty brands to find completely non toxic alternatives, but there are some fair choices available such as phenoxyethanol (scores a 4 on EWG's SkinDeep Database) and sodium benzoate (scores a 3 on EWG's SkinDeep Database). Some food grade preservatives such as potassium sorbate, vitamin E and sodium benzoate give products an added shelf life, even if that shelf life is diminished compared to parabens or other preservatives. Because of this a lot of clean beauty products have a shorter shelf life than traditional products, but we think that a product should probably be discarded after a year or two anyway, regardless of it's shelf life. These preservatives can be controversial but, as they are a must have in many formulations, we do allow them here on The Clean Beauty Edit. Our advice; read all the ingredients lists of products that you are interested in and check any ingredients that you are not sure about on https://www.ewg.org/skindeep.
BEESWAX, HONEY, POLLEN & PROPOLIS
We do allow ingredients from bees on The Clean Beauty Edit. We ask our suppliers that any bee products are ethically sourced.
When necessary, e.g. when creating make up formulations, we allow mineral and safe synthetic colourants on The Clean Beauty Edit. We ask all our brands that ingredients are ethically and sustainably sourced and that they are safe for consumers to use.
PALM OIL/ PALM-DERIVED INGREDIENTS
It's very hard to track every ingredient that contains or has been contaminated with palm oil, as traces of palm oil are found in so many consumer products. Palm oil is a natural and safe ingredient and a potentially sustainable crop, but much of the Palm Oil farming is currently grown and harvested in an unsustainable way. At The Clean Beauty Edit we work with brands that have ethics and sustainability at the heart of what they do, and as such we ask them that all ingredients used are sustainably and ethically sourced.
What To Love?
Here at The Clean Beauty Edit, when we are looking for new brands and products, we look for:
- Organic Certified Ingredients
- Powerful Botanicals & Plant Extracts
- Products That Are Literally Good Enough To Eat
- Cold Pressed Oils & Butters
- Natural Essential Oils
- Innovative, High-Performance Products
- Gorgeous, Natural Fragrance
- Beautiful Formulations
- Sleek, Luxurious And Sustainable Packaging
- Biodegradable Formulations
- Brands That Share Our Ethos
At The Clean Beauty Edit we are driven by a desire to make natural and organic skincare, cosmetics and beauty products the norm. We want our customers to enjoy high-performance products that are plant-based and as natural as possible, from brands that are ethical and sustainable - for the good of our health, skin and the health of the planet. We never stop researching products, ingredients and trends so that we can bring you the very best in clean beauty.