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All you need to know about Clean, Natural, Vegan Beauty

All you need to know about Clean, Natural, Vegan Beauty

The word Clean Makeup was first used in the 1970s, in CoverGirl's ‘Clean Makeup Campaign’ with reference to a clean, no makeup look. It gradually picked up pace and soon clean beauty meant wearing products on your skin which are free from harmful ingredients. Since then, innumerable new brands and skincare lines have ventured into the market claiming to be all sorts of natural, vegan, organic, clean, etc. To help you understand the nuances, we have compiled a glossary of all the buzzwords related to Clean Beauty which are used interchangeably but whose meanings are different.

1. Clean

There is no such FDA-approved definition for Clean Beauty. But to our understanding, Clean are those products that are mindfully created & ethically sourced without any proven or suspected toxic ingredients. It means that the product is safe, non-toxic, and has transparent labeling of ingredients.

2. Natural

Natural can be clean, but clean can not necessarily be natural. Natural cosmetics means they are made from 100% natural ingredients and do not include any chemicals and are a derivative of plant, mineral or even animal by product!

3. Organic

Your cosmetic product, if labelled organic would mean that its raw materials have been sourced from organic, agricultural farming. Organic farming is done keeping in mind that there is no excessive usage of water, chemicals and pesticides and is eco-friendly.

4. Toxin-free

Toxins are products that are harmful and poisonous to your health as well as the environment. Therefore, toxin-free cosmetic products would mean that they are free of toxins and safe to use on our skin, are natural and eco-friendly.

5. Green

“Green” is an umbrella term that houses many different things under it in the beauty industry. It usually refers to products that are not harmful to the environment. However, just because a product is labeled green does not automatically mean that it has been manufactured or packaged in an eco-friendly way. 

6. Vegan

Vegan cosmetics are those which do not contain any animal ingredients or anything derived from animals.

7. Plant based

Plant-based cosmetics are those which have at least a small or a large percentage of any plant-origin based ingredients, be it some kind of extracts or essential oils.

8. Sustainable

If a product is sustainable, it means the journey of the product, from it being sourced ethically to its eco-friendly packaging, everything is sustainable. A product which completes its cycle and starts its origin from the natural environment and goes back into nature, is sustainable.

9. Cruelty-free

A cosmetic manufacturer might only use those raw materials and base their "cruelty-free" claims on the fact that the materials or products are not "currently" tested on animals.”


10. Silicone and Paraben free

Parabens are chemicals which help your product to last long, deterring the growth of bacteria and moulds, making its shelf life long. That sounds nice, right? But after a certain time, they gradually make way and start penetrating into your body (scalp or skin depending upon whether it is a shampoo or soap/gel).

Silicone, on the other hand, is like a “breathable-film”, which is a fancy way of saying that they form a barrier-like coating on the skin that’s resistant to both water and air.

So as evident as it can be, silicones and parabens can be harmful to your health. And if you happen to glance upon the mono cartons of the products you are using/buying in future, you would know what they mean!

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