Clean Beauty

How to Check If Beauty Products are Clean

4 Mins read

Many women want skincare products with clean ingredients and are even willing to pay a premium for them.

However, mark-ups tend to be greater on “clean” products, so it pays to know what you’re doing when you go shopping.

If you’re buying beauty products at the drugstore or department store, read on to learn how to check if beauty products are clean.

Steps on how to check if your beauty products are clean

Have you ever looked at a product ingredient and thought, “What is that? I’m not putting that on my skin.”

Well, you’re not alone.

A recent report found that 80% of products tested in the U.S. contained some form of toxin, including carcinogens.

Lucky for you, here are the steps you can take to ensure your beauty products are clean, and they’ll only take a second or two of your time!

Step 1: Check the ingredient label

When shopping for clean beauty, it’s important to read the ingredients list of your products.

Here are 10 tips on how to do that:

1. Know what you’re looking for

If you have an ingredient sensitivity, learning its scientific name is a plus.

Likewise, if you know what words might indicate an ingredient that is considered controversial or potentially harmful (such as “parabens” or “sulfates”).

2. Read the whole list

Ingredients are listed in order of quantity, and often new ingredients will be at the end of the list.

3. Know your acronyms

Some common cleansing agents, such as PEG (polyethylene glycol) and DEA (diethanolamine), are not always listed under those terms on labels, so make sure you know what they mean by reading the whole list instead of just skimming the beginning.

4. Look for natural alternatives

When ingredients like PEG are listed, look for alternatives like coconut-derived betaine or sodium cocoyl glutamate (both are mild cleansers).

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5. Look out for sneaky names

Ingredients may also be listed by their INCI names, which can help clue you into potentially harmful substances.

Step 2: Look up ingredients in list on EWG

The Environmental Working Group is a great resource to use.

EWG has reviewed over 40,000 beauty products and rated them based on their safety.

The rating system is simple:

1 – 2 = Low Hazard

3 = Moderate Hazard

4 = High Hazard

Here are some helpful tips to look up the ingredients in the EWG list:

  • Go to EWG’s website, and then search for a product using their database;
  • Click “Shopping Guide” and you will find the product you were looking for;
  • Then, click “view all ingredients”;
  • Go back to the page of the product and hover your mouse over each ingredient name;
  • A small box with information about that ingredient will pop up; and then you can see if that ingredient is on the dirty dozen (if it is, it will be colored red);
  • The database also provides a short description about why that particular ingredient is harmful, which I believe would be very helpful for those who are not familiar with chemicals;
  • Lastly, if you want to get more information about what an ingredient does or how it harms your health, click on “details”, which can be found below the ingredient’s name

Step 3: Avoid products with ingredients you can’t pronounce

With the increase of clean beauty products hitting the market, we’ve seen a surge in unfamiliar ingredients.

And while some of these ingredients are chemicals that you should avoid, many are derived naturally with benefits that may rival (or even exceed) those of synthetic ingredients.

When it comes to picking out your skincare products, it’s best to go with brands that have transparent ingredient labels.

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By avoiding brands that hide behind fancy names and vague terminology, you have a better chance of finding products that are worth their higher price tags.

Step 4: Check if the brand is cruelty-free

A good number of celebrities have opted for cruelty-free products, and more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of going vegan.

Today, it’s not hard to find clean beauty products that are also kind to animals.

Here are some tips to help you check if a clean beauty brand is cruelty-free:

Look for the Leaping Bunny logo.

This means that the product has not been tested on animals and that it’s free of animal ingredients.

Find out if the company’s parent company tests on animals.

For example, L’Oreal, which owns Urban Decay and Nyx, tests its products on animals.

Search for brands that are members in good standing with the PETA Beauty without Bunnies Program.

This means they have agreed not to test their products or ingredients on animals, nor do they allow others to test on their behalf.

The Leaping Bunny program is run by Cruelty-Free International, a leading animal protection group.

Step 5: Look for reputable certifications and seal of approval

There are a few reputable certifications and seals of approval for clean beauty products.

Here is a list of the certifications we trust and recommend to our readers:

There are a few reputable certifications and seals of approval for clean beauty products.

Here is a list of the certifications we trust and recommend to our readers:

Natural Products Association (NPA)

Natural Product Association has been around since the late 1900s, and they provide a list of companies that meet their guidelines.

They also fund independent research studies, which are shared with the public.

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You may also recognize their logo as the organic seal on many products.

Certifications: USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Gluten-Free.

EWG Skin Deep Database

This database is run by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit organization devoted to protecting human health and the environment.

In this database, they rate ingredients based on how safe they are.

They survey over 80,000 ingredients and have compiled them into an easy-to-use database where you can search for specific ingredients and see their safety rating.

Certifications: Safe for Sensitive Skin

Step 6: Look for transparency in the company

How do you know if a beauty company is clean and safe? You ask!

Today, more and more beauty brands are being transparent about the ingredients they use.

But how do you read between the lines?

Are they being honest with you?

Are they using safe ingredients? Here’s how to determine whether a beauty brand is transparent:

Is it against animal testing? If the brand doesn’t test its products on animals, that’s a solid start. Does the brand say so on its website or social media pages?

Does it list ingredients on its website or packaging? Transparency is key! If a brand isn’t going to list its ingredients for you to read, then you may have reason to question its transparency.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed learning about the ingredients in beauty products and how to find clean beauty products.

This article is an eye-opener for many people including myself because it is necessary to shop consciously if we want clean products.

Unfortunately, this can be really hard sometimes and that’s why I’ve written this article to help you with your decision next time when you are shopping for any beauty products.