There seems to be plenty of confusion and arguments around what Clean Beauty is and isn't. Since our platform has Clean Beauty in the name, we thought it might be best that we define what Clean Beauty is, and also clarify what it isn't.
This article published in the Mint, flagged some consumer concerns around Clean Beauty, which are valid and need clarification.
Firstly, the question of allergic reactions. Clean Beauty does not mean that the ingredients / formulations used are hypoallergenic. A product is not hypoallergenic unless the label specifically says so.To put it into perspective, if you have a known allergy to shellfish, your allergic reaction will not reduce if the shellfish is organic. Allergies occur independent to the quality of the ingredient. If you have a known allergy or sensitivity to anything in the platform's no-list and flag list, then its easy. In case you are allergic to something outside of the no-list and flag-list, then unfortunately you will have to tailor your search and exercise caution accordingly.
Regarding the rise of reactions to skin care products- this could be due to a meteoric rise in the number of skin care options suddenly available - the more new options you try on, the more its possible that one of them gives you a reaction. It can also a steady rise in sensitivities of people due to the urban environment. It can take a bit of trial and error to arrive at the right product for you, which is the case whether it is clean beauty or not clean beauty.
Clean Beauty does not endorse complete DIY solutions to skincare. Suppose you are trying out the age-old favorite face mask of besan, curd and lemon, if you have a sensitivity to lemon or curd, despite your "100% organic, fresh and natural" face mask, it can still give you a serious rash. Doing a patch test should be a part of any skin care routine - clean or otherwise. It is true that sample sizes are not available in all products in the clean beauty space right now, but availability of a sample size depends largely on the economics of production units. So we hope that as the beauty industry in India grows, more brands will be able to invest in sample sizes so that consumers can make the right choices for themselves without burning a hole in their pocket.
Is it possible that a 100% chemical composition can qualify as Clean Beauty? Yes it can - if it doesn't have the ingredients listed in the no-list.
Does labelling a product as Vegan mean that its free of chemicals and is natural? No it doesn't. It means that its been produced using no animal-derived ingredients.
Does it make sense to claim that a product is free of chemicals or preservatives? No it doesn't. Any skin care product being sold in a bottle in the market, needs to have basic preservatives/"chemicals" in order to reach you free of contamination or harmful microbial growths. So don't expect "chemical-free" formulations, but you can expect safe preservatives and safe formulations.
And as always, if you have a skin condition/sensitivity that requires medical help - please seek the right assistance. Clean Beauty regimes are not an alternative to medically advised products. Although some conditions of the skin may arise due to an accumulation of harmful substances from the environment, it is better to stem the conditions with the right medication/medical help and then switch to healthy lifestyles - in terms of what is applied on the body and what is consumed into the body. Please be wise while switching to a clean beauty regime.
As the article rightly points out - clean beauty can be difficult to navigate if one does not do their homework. This is where we feel it is our duty as a retailer, as a party in between brands and consumers, to simplify the process and help consumers make better choices for themselves and for the world we live in. Our visual badges in product listings, indicators of ingredient transparency, flag list, information about aroma profiles, filtering for the right indicators - all this is geared towards helping you navigate this sometimes baffling world of Clean Beauty. We want to cater to consumers who know what they want and also to consumers who are merely looking to answer the question - can I do better?
Reach out to us if you have questions or want to tell us how we can make your clean beauty journey better - firstname.lastname@example.org