By: Valeria Cole
Is your skincare and beauty routine ‘clean’? Most of us know to avoid products with parabens and chemicals, but it can get tricky to determine if your favorite shampoo or skin cream is safe – especially because the government isn’t doing anything to ensure safety in beauty product ingredients. Meanwhile, some manufacturers hide chemical components under other phrases on their labels, since the FDA doesn’t have the authority to regulate the manufacturer’s labeling when it comes to ‘trade secrets’.
But we’re getting smarter about the harmful effects of chemicals in our skin and hair care products. Consumers are questioning the science behind the treatment and beauty products they use, while celebrities and product brands are pushing forward toward natural and clean beauty.
As a result, brands have been forced to be more transparent and honest about the formulations behind their products, and the Clean Beauty space has exploded in recent years.
Some of the top clean beauty product trends to look for this year are…
Clean beauty without the frills.
Consumers are done with clutter. As Marie Kondo’s tidying craze hits the bathroom cabinet, we’re streamlining our approach to beauty and focusing on using fewer products that multi-task with more effective ingredients. ‘Skip-care’, a new Korean beauty trend, is all about using hybrid products and products with higher-concentrations of ‘hero’ ingredients such as Vitamin E and green tea.
‘Naked’ products are hitting the shelves.
Zero-packaging is another clean beauty trend that has picked up momentum. Clean beauty is about more than just the ingredients in the products themselves; it’s about reducing the harm on the environment as well. Several brands such as Lush are making products in solid form so that they can be sold ‘naked’, or without packaging. For online orders, packaging-free skincare products are wrapped in biodegradable materials instead of plastics and packaging that just ends up in a landfill.
Waterless beauty is better for the environment.
Water is the beauty industry’s most common ingredient, but due to environmental concerns, demand may soon exceed supply. Beauty brands are responding by creating more waterless beauty products such as sheet masks, powdered cleansers and other ‘dry’ products. L’Oréal and Unilever are brands who have committed to a significant reduction (50-60% by 2020) in water consumption per finished product.
Individually packaged treatments maximize freshness.
One of the biggest challenges with beauty products is ensuring the freshness and potency of active ingredients like Vitamin C and glycolic acid. Serums and treatments individually packaged in vials (also called ‘ampoules’) keep highly-concentrated formulas fresh for maximum benefits. Some brands are even using organic, plant-based, and 100% biodegradable material vs. glass for product packaging.
Products get more user-friendly.
Beauty brands are taking product testing to another level, focusing on more user-friendly containers and packaging for their products. For example, Glossier’s gesture-based packaging for their solid balm fragrance is designed to fit a user’s thumb as they flip open the compact. Other product packaging is magnetized or specially shaped to make everyday use easier.
Ready to get clean with your beauty routine? It’s not as hard as you might think!
And as you continue to check those labels for not-so-clean ingredients, don’t forget to consider the container they come in; choose PET 1 packaging over HDPE plastic, since PET 1 is the least harmful and is post-consumer recyclable. Whenever possible, choose glass unless it’s larger than 8 oz., since larger glass containers can have a huge carbon footprint impact on the environment.
Valeria Cole is the Founder of TEADORA, an independent Clean Beauty start-up that crafts powerful, proprietary blends of Amazon rainforest superfoods while sharing ancient Brazilian beauty secrets. TEADORA uses technology to inform product development and drive consumer engagement. It aims to become the Patagonia of the Beauty Industry by becoming a leader in Amazon Rainforest conservation.
She is a mother of 3 and lives with her husband and co-founder Tom Moran in Portland, OR.