Sneaky Secrets of some "clean" beauty brands! Eek! - Part 1

This is Part 1 of a 3 Part Series

In the previous blog on Clean Beauty, I clarified what the concept means as well as what it doesn't mean. If you missed it, you can read it here!

Okay, so...I really don’t want this to come across as me trying to snitch on clean beauty brands, but I do want to talk about some sneaky tricks many brands play. It doesn’t mean you should stop using them if you love them, this is just an unfortunate reality of what goes on in the industry. 

I also want to say that I have personally tried many of these brands and really enjoyed some of their products until I learned these things, so I don’t intend for this to turn you away from brands or products you love, just to educate :)

I will also say that I will not disclose which brands are doing these things. I trust that if you read this, that you’ll look a little closer at the ingredients listed or do a little sleuthing into them!

So what’s going on you ask? Well, since I’ve started on the clean beauty formulating journey, I’ve been researching a lot of trending clean beauty brands to study their products and ingredients. By doing this, I found that some brands/products are either not as clean as they say they are, or the brand founders aren’t really even making the products.

The average consumer would not know these things because other than briefly reviewing the listed ingredients and reading a blurb written by the brand, you’re not going to delve deeper into the make-up of that product.

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There are several ways these brands are deceiving consumers:

  1. They aren’t as clean or healthy for you and your skin as you think.
  2. They aren’t disclosing certain ingredients that they technically and legally are supposed to be doing.
  3. They aren’t really making the full product themselves.



So let's get into it!

Part 1: Why some brands aren’t as healthy for you and your skin as you think!

In this Part, I will be explaining the first and (what I believe to be) the most dreadful of decepticons!

  • They aren’t as clean or healthy:
  • What I mean by this, is the inclusion of some ingredients in some clean beauty products that are not very good and some even potentially damaging. There’s more than just the “sulfates” and “parabens” that are harmful!. 

    Please read this list and if any of the products you use have these in them, they are not good for you or the environment: (listed in order of scariness!)

    Phenoxyethanol - a preservative that is nasty and super scary...not only do many people have reactions or allergies to this and never find what caused it, if absorbed through the skin (which it will if you’re putting it on your skin), it can cause reproductive issues and damage to an underdeveloped there’s that!

    PEG’s and Polysorbates - synthetic ingredients that contain potentially toxic manufacturing impurities such as 1,4 - dioxane...a known carcinogen in humans!

    Linalool - um, this is a definite no-go! This ingredient is part of fragrances and is associated with central nervous and reproductive system damage if absorbed into the skin (which it will!) that can be extremely severe and damaging. 

    Limonene - a fragrance ingredient that has been associated with kidney toxicity...great!

    Sodium Benzoate - this may be used to help preservation. It can come from completely natural origin and on it's own isn't bad...BUT, the big problem is that if this ingredient is mixed at all with Vitamin C (which is a lot of skin care products), it chemically forms Benzene, a known carcinogen! Even if the product itself doesn't have Vitamin C in it, many people layer their skin care and may be completely unaware of the danger here!

    Parfum or fragrance  - even if it says derived from natural sources! This is not true, because in order to make these ingredients, really bad chemicals are needed to extract them and make them stable. It’s a sneaky name to hide many other questionable ingredients.

    Hexyl acetate - synthetic ingredient used in paint and includes synthetic fragrance (which could be made of anything as mentioned above!)

    Cane Alcohol - this is 100% natural from sugar cane and a very tempting ingredient to use since it’s a natural preservative and ingredient enhancer, HOWEVER.... Scientific evidence shows that this kind of alcohol (along with the other liquid - non-fatty alcohols like Alcohol / Alcohol Denat) works as a penetration enhancer by stripping the skin of its protective layer. This is not a good thing, because you want to keep this barrier healthy and intact. This can actually cause damage over time

    Calcium Sodium Borosilicate - um, this is actually glass! Not sure why it is even in some products, which are typically make-up products like concealer and lipstick, even “clean” make-up!

    Ethylhexylglycerin - a synthetic ingredient that is technically from raw ingredients. It's a preservative that is a know skin irritant and can damage the eyes

    Polyacrylate - made from acrylic to provide a skin “tightening” sensation that is not natural tightening but rather just an effect of the ingredients plastic-like nature. 

    Dimethicone or Cyclomethicone - 100% synthetic silicones that are not toxic but can cause build-up on your skin and hair. Also, the same molecular structure of these ingredients are the same as ones used in car polish!

    Carbomer - plastic-based thickener. Yup 100% plastic!

    Polyquaternium - depending on whatever number follows this ingredient, most are plastic, so just google whatever number is says to find out!

    There are likely more of these ingredients in supposedly clean skin care products...which makes me sad.  Here is a list by Credo Beauty that I think is more inclusive.... The Dirty List

    So the point to my telling you this, is to encourage you to really know the ingredients listed. 

    Don’t trust that it’s clean just because the brand says it is. 

    Clean can technically mean that it doesn’t have ingredients in it that are currently listed on FDA warning lists. Because the FDA regulations on cosmetics in the US are really relaxed, many brands get away with these potentially harmful additives and you wouldn’t know it unless someone told you!

    At BODY & BOTANY, we strive to use ingredients that truly are clean and natural. Every ingredient and its source is researched thoroughly before even considered to be used. I will say that this is a challenge...especially when we are combining so many active, and chemically different ingredients in each product! Nonetheless, our conscious is clear knowing we are creating holistic products that are worthy of our Goddesses!

    Check our products out by exploring our site!

    On a final note, please don’t panic if you find that your favorite product contains some of the above ingredients. Just be aware and be smart about what you put on and in your body! 

    You are a Goddess, and your body deserves the best of ingredients!

    Stay tuned for Part 2 of Sneaky Secrets

    They aren’t disclosing certain ingredients that they technically and legally are supposed to be doing.


    With love & light,