The concept of clean eating has been around for a while now – and it’s definitely brought its fads with it. From raw to alkaline diets, we’ve learned not to fall for every clean eating trend that comes our way. But what about clean beauty? We’ve asked our resident expert Nausheen Qureshi her thoughts …

What is clean beauty, and why is it such a big deal at the moment?

“We are all very health-conscious at the moment so it is only natural to want products that define themselves as clean. What is the definition of clean beauty? Well, unfortunately, the very problem is that… clean beauty doesn’t mean anything because it is completely subjective. Different companies, people and users have different ingredients in its ‘bad/nasty/dirty/chemical-laden ingredients lists’. This in itself is telling enough that this marketing concept is, unfortunately, using scare tactics to promote products to us. Clean beauty, to me means non-toxic, and this concept should be standard in beauty products.”

How does the skin defend us against potentially toxic ingredients?

“First and foremost, the skin is our primary defence organ. It has a variety of mechanisms that have evolved to protect us. Tiny amounts of ingredients can penetrate the skin very slowly but should cause no negative effect at all. It takes hundreds and hundreds of tubs put on your face every day for an (approved) ingredient to be damaging to your body. Another interesting note is our different genetic make-up will make one person react completely differently to one ingredient than another. I also know plenty of ingredients labeled as clean which are irritants, and in huge doses would be considered as ‘dirty’ in the same way other ‘toxic’ ingredients are. Chemicals in cosmetic products made to regulations in our country are not dangerous in the quantities in which they are used (many of them are actually naturally derived).”

Why transparency & education matter in beauty

“However much of an ingredient is in a formulation, its intended use and other ingredients supporting its function on your skin are all important when we design a formula. As formulators, we have a huge responsibility in making safe and effective products. We have understood studies undertaken for and on behalf of the EU Cosmetics Regulations, the safest in the world, and we understand how ingredients communicate with the skin and its life journey. Your products are safe if they’re made well, researched and designed appropriately. “

So, trust the scientists and formulators who make your skincare, but also remember that what works for your skin, might not for others – find what works for you and be aware of any ingredients that don’t. On Bath & Unwind, where possible, we have all of our product ingredients listed, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Our top clean beauty picks

  1. Ren Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask, £34
    By saying ‘yes’ to natural bioactives and ‘no’ to harsh chemicals, Ren stands for efficacy, purity and environmental responsibility. 
  2. Elequra Deep Nourishing Cream, £56.
    Elequra is a hybrid skincare brand that combines sustainable and naturally derived ingredients to soothe and nourish the skin.
  3. Neal’s Yard Remedies Rehydrating Rose Toner, £16.
    With responsible sourcing and respect for the environment at the heart of the Neal’s Yard Remedies philosophy, the brand has been pioneering ethical cosmetic manufacture for decades, leading the way where many others have since followed.

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