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Whether you struggle with less-than-perfect skin or your complexion has people wondering if you have found the fountain of youth, here are most basic things you need to know when transitioning to a clean beauty routine.

1. What is clean beauty?

Let’s get on the same page. A cosmetic, personal hygiene or hair product that is formulated without any toxic ingredients is a clean beauty product. It doesn’t have to be handcrafted or concocted in somebody’s kitchen to qualify as nontoxic. As long as it was mindfully created without harmful chemicals, it is clean and healthy.

Did you know? Up to 60% of the chemicals applied topically on the skin can enter the bloodstream. Since the skin is largest organ in the body, the toxins it absorbs can lead to sensitivities, allergies, cancer, birth defects and other serious health issues. This is important to note when transitioning to a nontoxic beauty routine because what we use is essentially food for our skin and bodies. You wouldn’t drink crude oil so why put it on your skin?

2. Ingredients to avoid

Contrary to popular belief, the presence of a product on a pharmacy or high-end department store’s shelf does not equate with harmlessness. Furthermore, the price tag attached to it doesn’t guarantee its quality or safety either. In fact, there is a laundry list of harmful ingredients in the beauty and personal hygiene products we use everyday. Therefore, thoroughly reviewing each ingredient before using a product is essential. Familiarize yourself with them and their potential negative effects on your health especially in the beginning. The more knowledge you acquire the easier it will become.

This is the first step towards a clean beauty routine. To get you started, here are 5 toxic ingredients you should avoid, besides parabens and sulfates, along with the health risks associated with them.


Listed as dibutyl phthalate, dimethyl phthalate and diethyl phthalate. These are more commonly found in perfumes, nail polishes, hair spray, deodorants and lotions. Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. They can cause early breast development in children, increase the risk for breast cancer and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Note that phthalates are not always listed and can be hidden under fragrance.


Listed as benzene, toluol, phenylmethane, methylbenzene and toluene. This can cause developmental damage to fetus in expecting mothers. Toluene can also affect the respiratory system, irritate the skin and cause nausea.


This is a known skin irritant and can cause hives and dermatitis.


BHA & BHT are used as preservatives in lipsticks, moisturizers and other cosmetics. They can lead to allergic reactions in skin and are potential carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.


The term fragrance can include a wide variety of scent chemicals and ingredients which can affect the reproductive system. Fragrance has also been linked to dermatitis, allergies and respiratory issues. However the fragrance industry has evolved and natural fragrances are used nowadays by reputed brands to enhance the sensory experience of beauty products. 

3. Learn your skin

When transitioning to a clean beauty routine you must learn your skin all over again. Pay close attention to how your complexion looks and feels when you feed it certain nutrients and formulas. Switching to nontoxic beauty products will do wonders for your health, but it won’t necessarily lead to glowing skin because all products are not created equal even in the green beauty industry. Each brand and formula will work differently from one person to the next, so be patient. Lastly, don’t forget to patch test before using a new product because your skin may react negatively to specific ingredients even though they are natural.

Embarking on a natural beauty journey, no matter how long it takes to overhaul your arsenal, is worth it. You cannot put a price on health. Therefore, go all in knowing that your wellbeing, as well as the safety of your loved ones, are worth the time, research and resources.

Be kind to yourself and remember to always stay conscious and chic!

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