Woman Skincare

If you like your beauty products the same way you like your people: non-toxic, then the clean beauty trend is for you!

The latest craze in skincare, it’s not just some fad or marketing ploy–clean beauty is real and here to stay. But, with so many celebs and idols backing it up out of nowhere, it can be hard to understand what is clean beauty and why it’s so buzzworthy. 

Don’t worry, your skincare fairies *aka, us*, are here to help you out! In this blog, we’ll be walking through everything you need to know about living an eco-friendly, skincare lifestyle – from packaging and sustainability, all the way down to finding brands and products that work best for your skin type. 

Get ready for a deep dive into all things clean beauty - because if there’s one thing we want you to take away from this post it's that taking care of yourself can also mean taking care of the planet too!

So, let’s get down to business!

What is clean beauty?

Clean beauty is not just a trend, but a movement - one that champions sustainability and puts an emphasis on using safe and effective skin care, makeup, and hair products. This movement emphasizes clean ingredients that are free from harsh chemicals such as sulfates and parabens, ensuring your skin is nourished without risking any irritations. 

Beauty products with the “clean” label offer a more conscious approach to their production process, leading to fewer emissions, less waste, and more ethical packaging. Clean beauty also represents transparency in what's inside the product and where it comes from. There can be no greater feeling than opening a clean beauty product and knowing that you won't find any nasties hiding inside!

Definitely, in an age where there are so many synthetic and often harmful options available in the beauty industry, clean beauty stands out as the safe and smart choice for us to stay looking and feeling beautiful without sacrificing healthy practices or environmental responsibility.

7 Most common toxic ingredients you should avoid to go clean

When it comes to beauty, we've all heard about the importance of going clean. And while many beauty brands are taking steps to make their products as safe and eco-friendly as possible, some ingredients still remain potentially toxic and should be avoided in your regular beauty regimen. Here are our top 7:

1. Parabens

Parabens are a class of synthetic preservatives used in cosmetics and personal care products to protect them from microbial contamination. Long story short, they help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria while also extending the shelf life of a product. 

These preservatives might sound harmless enough at first glance, but their long-term effects on the skin can be anything but. Research has linked parabens to hormone imbalance and even cancer due to their ability to mimic estrogen within the body. Resultantly, using products containing parabens can wreak havoc on the delicate balance of hormones inherent in healthy skin, leading to a range of potentially serious conditions. 

The side effects of using these malign chemicals aren't likely to show up overnight, instead manifesting over time as dryness, irritations, and discoloration that may have otherwise been avoided. Therefore it's essential for savvy shoppers to be mindful of which beauty products contain this perilous ingredient if they want to look after their skin in the long term.

2. Artificial fragrances

Beauty products with artificial fragrances can be quite deceiving since they smell nice and often give the impression of providing wonderful results. However, the truth is they are not good for our skin. 

The synthetic ingredients in artificial fragrances can cause allergies, skin irritation, acne breakouts, and even worsen eczema and psoriasis for those who have these conditions. Fragrances often contain a host of chemicals that are not gentle on the skin and can bring more harm than good. 

Furthermore, artificial fragrances usually mask other harsh chemical additives like parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and sulfates which can further damage our delicate skin. 

3. Phthalates

Phthalates, often found in beauty products, are a type of chemical used to give softer textures and help artificial fragrances last longer. What makes them such a concern is that they have been linked to reproductive issues, birth defects, diabetes, breast cancer, and a host of other impacts on human health. 

Additionally, using skincare products containing phthalates can further irritate sensitive skin due to these infamous chemicals being known as hormone disruptors which can create an imbalance in our bodies' natural oil levels. 

In short: while they may leave our products smelling sweet, it's best to avoid any product with phthalates as this small sacrifice could have significant implications for the overall quality of our health and well-being.

4. Sulfates

Many beauty products contain sulfates, a type of surfactant typically used to create a lathering effect as well as cleansing. But while they may give your skin and hair some immediate satisfaction with foamy suds, they can also strip away body oil that make up the protective barrier our skin craves.

Sulfates, like sodium laureth sulfate, are common in skin cleansers and hair care products like shampoo.  While small amounts of certain sulfates might not cause any irritation, large doses such as those found in most beauty products can lead to dryness and redness.

Although intended to create a lathering effect in skincare, sulfates essentially just produce excess foam by breaking apart oil molecules on the skin's surface; this process opens up pores, leaving your skin vulnerable to any impurities around it.

5. Artificial colors

Artificial colors, also known as artificial dyes, pigments or lakes, are synthetic substances designed to give items a particular hue.

These dyes are made from toxic chemicals that can block the pores on your skin and cause redness, rashes, and allergic reactions. In extreme cases, these artificial colors may even lead to serious health complications if used in large doses over long periods of time. The best way to avoid these risks is by looking for products labeled as free from artificial colors!

6. Mineral oil

Mineral oils are colorless, odorless, and tasteless petroleum derivatives used in many body products. They are often used in beauty products, such as moisturizers and makeup foundations, because of their ability to add texture and moisture without the cost or complexity of natural ingredients. 

Unfortunately, while they may provide some temporary relief and hydration, mineral oils do not contain any nutrients that can benefit the skin long-term. In fact, they can clog pores, strip away natural oils and create an environment that encourages bacterial growth; all of which can lead to disruption in the skin’s natural balance and lead to breakouts and irritations.

7. Oxybenzone

Oxybenzone is a chemical often used in sunscreens and other beauty products, but there is an important reason why it should be avoided. This chemical has been shown to bleach coral reefs and disrupt essential hormones when absorbed into the skin, leading to potential fertility concerns. 

Even more concerning is that some research suggests that oxybenzone can penetrate through the skin's barrier, releasing potentially harmful substances into the bloodstream. While its use in sunscreen is understandable given its effectiveness at blocking UV radiation, those looking for safer alternatives should reach for chemical-free sunscreens made with ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. 

Clean vs. Natural vs. Organic beauty products: Is there a difference?

Beauty and skincare products are a multi-billion dollar industry, with more and more people in the detox market looking for ways to care for their skin in an effective and healthy way. Clean, natural, and organic beauty products have become increasingly popular over the years as consumers look for ways to avoid harsh chemicals found in traditional products. However, they are all different

As we said before, clean beauty specifically includes formulations free of silicones, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, talc and other ingredients deemed potentially toxic or harmful. On the other hand, natural beauty products will use ingredients from nature and utilize less in terms of preservatives that are found in traditional beauty products. Finally, organic products have met certain strict guidelines in order to be marked as ‘organic’, which usually means that they were cultivated without the use of pesticides or other synthetic additives. 

Clean skincare vs. Green skincare

Clean skincare and green skincare are two important kinds of skin care philosophy, but what do they mean? Clean skincare focuses on ingredients being free of nasties such as parabens, sulfates. But this doesn't necessarily mean they're natural or organic - instead it emphasizes the lack of potentially harmful chemicals. 

Green beauty follows an earth-friendly philosophy by using plant-based, sustainable ingredients that still bring their own goodness and efficacy to your routine without the risk of endangering plants or wildlife. So, it means that “green beauty” also translates to products that are vegan, eco-friendly, clean, and cruelty-free. 

In this sense, green beauty brands are also clean brands, however, clean brands are not always green. 

Best clean beauty brands: Korean Edition

The Korean beauty market is full of industry leading brands that have taken the world by storm. Over the last few years, this beauty industry has starting to join the clean beauty movement and, nowadays, many brands have drawn from traditional beauty rituals cultivated over centuries to create award-winning solutions that are known for their effectiveness and safety.

Here are our fave brands that offer clean beauty products:

COSRX

COSRX is a Korean cosmetics and skincare brand that has developed a strong reputation for its cruelty-free, non-toxic ingredients. As of late, however, the company has been gaining recognition for more than their ethical standards - COSRX products are also renowned for being clean and free from harsh additives like sulfates and parabens. 

Nowadays, COSRX has a long list of clean, cruelty-free, and vegan products that you’ll love!

Fave clean skincare products from COSRX

ADVANCED SNAIL 96 MUCIN POWER ESSENCE

  • Clean 
  • Cruelty-free

Essence
Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence  | Nourish and Repair
Essence Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
Sale price$24.00

HYDRIUM WATERY TONER
    • Clean
    • Cruelty-free
    • Vegan

    Facial Toner
    Hydrium Watery Toner | Refresh & Hydrate
    Facial Toner Hydrium Watery Toner
    Sale price$9.00

    AHA/BHA CLARIFYING TREATMENT TONER
      • Clean
      • Cruelty-free
      • Vegan

      Facial Toner
      AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
      Facial Toner AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
      Sale price$20.00

      INNISFREE

      Innisfree has certainly established itself as an authority when it comes to clean Korean beauty brands. Their signature skincare and makeup products are catered towards those looking for natural and eco-friendly options that don't compromise on quality. 

      Their commitment to sustainability runs so deep that they launched a recycling program in which customers can send back empty containers, glass bottles, and other packaging materials in exchange for Innisfree gifts. 

      Fave clean skincare products from Innisfree

      Olive Real Cleansing Oil
        • Clean
        • Cruelty-free
        • Eco-friendly

        Facial Cleanser
        Olive Real Cleansing Oil
        Facial Cleanser Olive Real Cleansing Oil
        Sale price$20.00

        BLUEBERRY REBALANCING CLEANSING WATER
          • Clean
          • Eco-friendly

          Facial Cleanser
          Innisfree Blueberry Rebalancing Cleansing Water
          Facial Cleanser Blueberry Rebalancing Cleansing Water
          Sale price$15.00

          Beauty of Joseon

          Beauty of Joseon is a popular Korean brand, boasting countless positive reviews online. While the skincare and makeup offerings of this line are amazing, people may question if it is truly a clean Korean brand. The answer to this lies in their commitment to providing customers with all-natural and nourishing products that are free from harsh chemicals or other ingredients of concern. 

          From their array of creams, serums, and face masks derived from traditional medicinal approaches, Beauty of Joseon holds true to their mission statement: creating safe yet efficacious products that work wonders on any beauty routine.

          Fave clean skincare products from Beauty of Joseon

          REPAIR SERUM: GINSENG + SNAIL MUCIN 
            • Clean
            • Cruelty-free

            Serum
            Repair Serum: Ginseng + Snail Mucin
            Serum Repair Serum: Ginseng + Snail Mucin
            Sale price$20.00

            Green Plum + AHA Bubble Toner
              • Clean
              • Cruelty-free

              Facial Cleanser
              Green Plum + AHA Bubble Toner | Bright & Smooth Skin
              Facial Cleanser Green Plum + Aha Bubble Toner
              Sale price$18.00

              GINSENG ESSENCE WATER
                • Clean
                • Cruelty-free
                • Vegan

                Essence
                Ginseng Essence Water
                Essence Ginseng Essence Water
                Sale price$20.00

                • Clean
                • Cruelty-free
                • Vegan

                Facial Exfoliator
                Apricot Blossom Peeling Gel | Gentle Exfoliator
                Facial Exfoliator Apricot Blossom Peeling Gel
                Sale price$15.00

                Benton

                Benton has certainly done a great job of creating a luxurious, high quality skincare brand. Not only do their products contain natural and organic ingredients, they also promise that all products are colors, chemicals, and fragrance-free. Their commitment to clean living and healthy skin is further bolstered by their transparent labeling system which allows customers to easily understand what ingredients are in the products they use on their skin. 

                No matter who you are or what your skin types are, Benton has been creating products that make it easy for everyone to take control of their skincare routine with quality and sustainability at the forefront. 

                Fave clean skincare products from Benton

                BENTON HONEST CLEANSING FOAM
                  • Clean
                  • Cruelty-free
                  • Vegan 

                  Facial Cleanser
                  Honest Cleansing Foam 150g by Benton
                  Facial Cleanser Honest Cleansing Foam
                  Sale price$14.00

                  SNAIL BEE HIGH CONTENT ESSENCE
                    • Clean
                    • Cruelty-free

                    Essence
                    Snail Bee High Content Essence
                    Essence Snail Bee High Content Essence
                    Sale price$20.00

                    TEA TREE CLEANSING WATER
                      • Clean
                      • Cruelty-free
                      • Vegan 

                      Facial Cleanser
                      Tea Tree Cleansing Water | Gentle Cleanser
                      Facial Cleanser Tea Tree Cleansing Water
                      Sale price$18.00

                      iUNIK

                      iUNIK is a clean K-beauty line that is free from harsh chemicals, parabens, and fragrances. It strives to create cosmetics made with only the safest yet most effective ingredients, such as natural oils and extracts that nourish rather than irritate skin. 

                      What makes iUNIK unique is its commitment to clean cosmetics, which means products not tested on animals and formulated without unhealthy components. These efforts have earned the brand several Korean awards for its ethical manufacturing practices and commitment to creating quality skincare without compromising your health.

                      Fave clean skincare products from iUNIK

                      VITAMIN HYALURONIC ACID VITALIZING TONER
                        • Clean
                        • Cruelty-free

                        Facial Toner
                        Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner | Firm & Restore Your Skin
                        Facial Toner Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner
                        Sale price$20.00

                        CALENDULA COMPLETE CLEANSING OIL
                          • Clean
                          • Cruelty-free
                          • Vegan

                          Facial Cleanser
                          Centella Bubble Cleansing Foam | Clean & Clear Skin
                          Facial Cleanser Centella Bubble Cleansing Foam
                          Sale price$18.00

                          Lime Moisture Mild Peeling Gel
                            • Clean
                            • Cruelty-free
                            • Vegan

                            Facial Exfoliator
                            Lime Moisture Mild Peeling Gel 120ml
                            Facial Exfoliator Lime Moisture Mild Peeling Gel
                            Sale price$12.00

                            Korean clean beauty products: Where to find them?

                            Using clean makeup and skincare products has become increasingly important for maintaining healthy skin. With the large number of chemicals commonly used in everyday beauty products, it's no wonder that people are attracted to a safer approach to their beauty routine. 

                            Clean beauty products has fewer harsh ingredients meaning they will cause less irritation and dehydration of the skin. Plus, many natural, non-toxic skincare products contain rich antioxidants which help reduce inflammation and protect against environmental damage.

                            All in all, joining the clean beauty movement won’t only mean you’ll be taking better care of your skin, but also mean that you’ll be protecting your body against harmful and toxic nasties. 

                            If you want to enter the right path and start using clean products, you’ve come to the perfect place! In Asian Beauty Essentials you’ll find a curated selection of clean products free from fragrances, phthalates, sulfates, and more! 

                            Check it out and join the clean beauty trend! 

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