In recent years, social media brought about this wave of awareness promoting a healthy lifestyle and a clean way of living. The latter can easily be defined by choosing organic, eating more produce, drinking water, and adopting healthy habits. However, in the beauty space, conscious consumers still have to do all the work and research to figure out what's truly clean.
Entirely new categories have emerged, and new retailers dedicated their shelves to clean beauty. However, there are many products, made by mostly well-meaning founders, that are still far from being healthy. This is mainly due to the complexity and expense that go into producing a clean product. It isn't an easy endeavor. While you can go to the farmers' market and pick up fresh ingredients for your salad, manufacturers still scramble with finding preservatives, stabilizers, emulsifiers that are both natural and non-sensitizing. Clean products still need to be packaged in a bottle, and sit on shelves for months at times while maintaining their scent, color and consistency at the least.
I have seen many brands boast about their preservative-free formulas. But I find that to be a dangerous thing. Some oils for example, that are staples in serums and oil blends are so fragile that they can oxidize within weeks, imparting a negative reaction on the skin, such as subtle inflammation leading to aging and cellular damage. Other issues that come up are with natural food preservatives. One example is Potassium Sorbate. You can find it in your grape or tomato juice. Your body can generally process it with no problem, but it can be quite irritating to sensitive skin types.
To remain competitive, brands choose areas where to compromise while still making claims that they are, too, part of the clean movement. They may choose to use high levels of essential oils instead of synthetic fragrance, which may cut your exposure to chemicals. The tradeoff is increased sensitivity as these oils can be very volatile and disruptive to the lipid barrier. Some brands would claim they are 100% natural, which, to me, is a step in the right direction, but hardly enough. I would ask them about pesticides, and irritating 'natural' ingredients. As you may know by now, natural doesn't mean fully compatible with skin, and by no means implies 100% safe. Many harmful drugs and herbs are natural.
Meanwhile, some brands continue to use preservatives, such as Phenoxyethanol, while including some natural, even organic ingredients, and slap the word organic, natural and toxic-free on the packaging. In the US, unlike Europe, Canada and Australia, no one is watching. There's no regulation in cosmetics. This created the space for emerging companies attempting to regulate the space and shed light on harmful ingredients, but it all remains a daunting task for the consumer, with the many nuances and ways ingredients can react with the skin and each other.
So all that that said, at the Beauty Doctrine, we wanted to not only join the clean movement, but define it. We put in place clear strict standards that we intend to follow as we vet brands and curate beauty routines to the emerging clean-conscious consumer. Here are the Clean Doctrine pillars: C L E A N is for:
1- Capable: Clean for us isn't the end-goal, but rather a requisite in science-lead, capable, skincare that renders results through using natural and safe ingredients.
2- Less is more: Keeping in mind that many consumers layer up to 10 products any given days, equating to hundreds of ingredients, We look for simple formulas made with undiluted actives that the skin can recognize and absorb.
3- Ethical: A clean brand for us must have NONE of the following: synthetic fragrance, dirty ingredients or animal testing. It also must be environmentally friendly with minimum waste and sustainable packaging.
4- Accountable: High transparency standards are a must. While many brands make a ton of promises to maintain their presence and appeal, our select brands suit their actions to their words.
5- Natural: We only recommend products that have a minimum of 90% natural ingredients in any given product. Products with Palm Oil, for example, don't qualify.
Lastly, You may find the perfect product with the right packaging and ingredient profile. However, if your skin is compromised from the cumulative use of harsh ingredients, it will react. So, we are constantly on the hunt for products that restore the skin's barrier function and therefore suitable for sensitive skin types. We curated a selection of clean products that even the most sensitive of skin types can enjoy. Yes- You can apply powerful actives while maintaining your skin's microbiome. Difficult, but can be done.