Is Clean Beauty a gimmick? How can I choose the right products?
How can you be confident that the product that you are buying is a good product or that you are getting your money’s worth?
Finding the right skincare product can be very difficult with so many products out in the market today. Well, unfortunately… it’s not so simple, but here are some ideas that can help guide you on your journey.
Unfortunately there there’s a lot of marketing budget that goes into skincare or cosmetics products that convince people that they should get a particular brand. Perhaps because the image that the brand, or the particular package gives off resonates with you, or perhaps because the ingredients that are included in the product are the most popular ingredient that that time.
The never ending hunt for “the BEST product”
Most of us who have gone on this endless hunt for the “best” product will know that it’s basically like looking for the end of the rainbow. Most importantly because finding the right target is like trying to hit a moving target, one that you can’t really see. You and your skin are changing everyday and the skin is evolving as well as we experience our unique cycles, as we age, or as the seasons and weather changes.
Does this mean that we will never be able to find the right skincare? Absolutely not! Finding a singular product that is “perfect” for you will be a close to impossible task, however finding the right combination of products and evolving them can actually be attainable. However this still doesn’t simplify the complexity of discovering the right brand, product, and usage.
Many people make decisions out of fear and I find that something very unfortunate since it’s a very limiting perspective on what is right for us. Many times we can be fed information for the short-term benefit of some organizations, and thankfully (although a bit slow) we feel that this situation is being shed more scientific light. Recently there has been a rise on the “Clean Beauty” concept that at it’s core is not a bad movement… but if we believe the pitch that we are given it implies that all other brands are dirty or unclean by the same stream of logic.
“Clean Beauty” is it a marketing gimmick?
However it’s much more of a marketing pitch than an honest move toward being clean or really better for your skin or your health. The main reason behind this is that in most modern countries with basic standards of safety and health regulations, it’s hard to use dangerous ingredients in your products. Many things are regulated, and in most countries where the products are manufactured - like the EU, or Japan, you’d find that most dangerous ingredients are not allowed in the first place. However it would be nice to have more FDA regulation of cosmetics in the US as well…
Infamous ingredients are Parabens, Sulfates, toxic fragrances, formaldehyde, and alcohols (or variants of these ingredient groups). Now most of the time the amount of exposure to something is NOT discussed in the right context, and people run in fear of just the name of the ingredient. This unfortunately can be used in very manipulative ways as you see many brands adopting this strategy to swap out preservatives from parabens, just to be able to market them to the “clean beauty” movement.
The only real way that one could have truly “clean beauty” would be to use homemade cosmetics every 2-3 days out of their raw materials, because of the different fungi and bacteria or even E. coli that could make it’s way into your cosmetics bag. Remember that some of those creams you are dipping your finger into can be a petri dish if it weren’t for the right preservatives inside the cream to keep them from growing.
What next? Here’s a place to start…
So where does this leave us in the end? Are we just supposed to accept potentially harmful ingredients into our daily lives? If we really scrutinized the quality of the air in our cities, or the contamination of the pipes that bring water into our homes, there would me many more things that would be concerned about regarding our health. Especially our stress levels, the amount and quality of exercise that we get and our diet. I’ve found that it’s most important to be aware and conscious of your needs and what you respond well or not so well to. Always strive for balance, whether that’s with your wallet, your anxiety, or reasoning behind product choices.
Having a very educated scientific approach is great, but making large stereotypes based on partial knowledge can be a risky thing to do. You could potentially end up causing yourself more damage to your health from stress and anxiety. Be open to different sources of information, especially by searching for the OPPOSITE information that would be affirming your hypothesis or current beliefs. In the end it’s up to you, but make sure you know what your needs are and keep pursuing that never ending journey. I personally like to think of it as a life that is about self-discovery and creating things with other people through sharing. I hope this share of our thoughts behind choosing the right cosmetics was interesting for you.
Next time we’ll dive into this subject further by explaining in a bit more detail about what points of attention to your skin reactions might be key in finding the right types of product for you.