Busting the Myths: Are “Clean” Beauty Products Really Better for You?


In short, experts say, it can mean virtually anything, since there is no agreed-upon definition. For some, clean beauty may mean long-lasting and reef-safe (sunscreens that won’t bleach coral in the ocean, for example), while for others it may refer to a product free of certain ingredients such as synthetic fragrances. And with the continued boom of influential wellness platforms like Goop, the clean beauty movement shows no signs of slowing down. Is “clean” really the crème de la crème?

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Myth: Beware of toxic ingredients in skincare

The word “toxic” is widely used in beauty to describe certain skincare ingredients. However, cosmetic scientist Sam Farmer finds the term misleading in this context. As he explains, the word relates specifically to the dose of a chemical, not the chemical itself, since anything can be toxic: “For something to be toxic, it means that it has reached a certain level where it can harm you. For example, water can be toxic because if you drink 15 liters of it in an hour, you will thin your blood and probably die. If you inhale water, you will drown. A glass of water per hour is fine, but that doesn’t prevent water from being potentially toxic.

Myth: Parabens and silicones are bad for your health

When a brand proudly proclaims that their face cream is “without” something, consumers assume that there is a scientifically proven reason for it being omitted, and therefore that ingredient is something to avoid putting on the face. skin. However, dermatologists say this is not always the case. Take silicone: its main use in skincare and makeup is to give products a slippery texture and a silky feel on the skin, although it’s gotten a bad rap due to reports that it’s occlusive and blocks pores, so not suitable for acne-prone skin.

But Harley Street consultant dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto believes there is no supporting data. In fact, she hails silicone as a brilliant smoothing agent, which can work wonders for filling in acne scars: “As an acne-prone dermatologist, I love using products that contain silicone because they smooth beautifully the surface of the skin before putting on my makeup.’


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