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Is Clean Beauty Actually Worth It?

Lately, discourse on clean beauty has been divided. Some people believe clean beauty is a scam, while others would rather embrace natural ingredients to nourish our bodies while using beauty products. 

Various organizations offer “Clean beauty” labels to brands, whether for being cruelty-free, certified organic, or adhering to certain environmental regulations. These labels aim to inform shoppers of what is — or isn’t — in their products.

But what is clean beauty, and does it really matter? Let’s find out.

September 2, 2022
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What is clean beauty?

Clean beauty usually describes brands and products made without harmful chemicals and ingredients. Clean beauty is often associated with natural beauty products, emphasizing organic or vegan ingredients in the place of synthetic or lab-created chemicals. 

But clean beauty brands often use certain synthetics they deem safe within their formulas. Although clean beauty has gained attention in the beauty industry, there’s no definitive ingredient list for which components are considered “unclean.” A clean beauty brand isn’t necessarily a natural beauty brand, even if it is made of primarily natural ingredients. 

There’s also no legal definition for clean beauty, meaning without standardization, many brands can be marketed as clean beauty. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States only regulates color additives and a few ingredients in cosmetics. The lack of regulation for cosmetics products worries some consumers — especially because the European Union has an extensive list of ingredients prohibited in cosmetics.

Broadly, a product is considered clean if it aims to reduce harm for animals, the environment, or the consumer. 

Why is clean beauty important?

Clean beauty brands have gained many loyal fans and significantly impacted the beauty industry. So why is clean beauty important to consumers?

Natural ingredients

Clean beauty utilizes what nature has to offer. Natural ingredients can benefit your skin and hair, and clean beauty products are typically packed with natural ingredients. Certain vitamins, oils, and enzymes all come from natural sources. This often means avoiding certain preservatives or sunscreen filters that could cause environmental damage.


Have you ever heard the phrase “beauty is pain”? Clean beauty is about combining wellness with beauty products. This means your makeup shouldn’t just look good but also be good for you. Clean beauty products are intended to be free of harmful ingredients and contain nurturing, gentle ingredients.

No long-term side effects

Many people that use clean beauty want to avoid the potentially harmful effects of some ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, resorcinol, PEGs, ethanolamines, BHT, PFAS, and heavy metal compounds. Some people want to avoid any risk of these ingredients potentially having a negative impact on their health over time. 

Transparent labels

We all know the struggle of trying to read an ingredient list that makes no sense or not even being able to find the ingredients in products. Clean beauty is all about using the right ingredients (and avoiding the wrong ones), so clean beauty brands are very transparent about what is in their products. This makes it easy for consumers to know everything about their personal care products. 

Clean beauty brands we recommend

If you want to try clean beauty cosmetic products, here are a few of Flip’s best clean beauty brands.


Drawing inspiration from the ocean, sun, earth and atmosphere, OSEA was created with a singular intention in mind — to deliver your best skin with the highest quality ingredients. Organic seaweed and essential oils are staple features in OSEA skincare products.

Burt’s Bees

You might know Burt’s Bees for their beloved lip balm made with beeswax, but the brand offers a range of skincare products. Burt’s Bees is budget-friendly and a great way to try clean beauty products with a devoted fanbase.

RMS Beauty

RMS Beauty uses a science-based approach is to meticulously source active clean ingredients that nourish the skin while enhancing one’s natural beauty. They create the ultimate luxury makeup from active clean ingredients to make beautiful and healthy products.

ITEM Beauty

ITEM Beauty, co-founded by creator Addison Rae, creates affordable, clean beauty products that are the perfect addition to your makeup bag.

Does clean skincare matter?

We’ll let you answer this question for yourself. Some people swear by clean products, and others remain skeptical. Clean beauty products might work better for sensitive skin, or you could discover that some natural products actually cause skin irritation. Listen to what your skin and body are telling you (and your doctor) to find the right products for you. 

Is clean beauty a marketing gimmick?

Some people see the clean beauty movement as another way for brands to sell products. If you’re worried clean beauty companies are just greenwashing by using buzzwords like toxic ingredients to scare you, talk with your dermatologists about what ingredients they recommend avoiding to get another informed opinion. 

While many brands have different definitions of what clean means, the bottom line is that it’s your body, and you can decide what personal care products you use. You have plenty of cosmetic brands to choose from if you want to use products made from more natural ingredients and only a few synthetic ingredients. 

It’s all up to you

The cosmetics industry is constantly changing, so remember that more research can always emerge that changes what we consider safe and clean. 

You might notice clean beauty companies have different focuses; some are dedicated to organic ingredients while others focus on avoiding potentially harmful ingredients in their formulations, like sulfates and dyes. You could also find a few key ingredients you want to avoid because they irritate your skin, or you might truly love all-natural products. What products you want to use is all your decision, so only use what you feel is best for you.

Some scientists and dermatologists feel that clean beauty is unnecessary and relies on fear-mongering to sell products. But we encourage you to research and talk to your dermatologist when determining what ingredients to avoid. 

If you’re wondering how a clean beauty product really works, check out reviews on Flip. Creators who are passionate about the subject are constantly creating videos to share information with curious users just like you.

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