The Movement Towards Clean Beauty

As someone who has been in the skin care and beauty industry since 2009 it has been refreshing to see the movement of in particular Gen Z’s towards a cleaner more sustainable form of beauty and beauty practices.

I started my skin care clinic, Derma Bright Clinic, in 2012 on the premise of supporting and encouraging clean ingredients in skin care and personal care products. My journey started because I found out I had off-the-charts high levels on lead in my body (after doing a heave metals test). I was shocked! And through research I discovered that beauty and skin care products were likely contributors to the heavy metals bio-accumulating in my body. This revelation sparked in me a keen interest to create a business around clean, in some cases organic, yet effective skin care products and services.

It has been a joy to see the industry that has been created in this space! And it is being promoted by the biggest generation now, the Gen Z’s!

So here are some tips on how best to make the change towards purchasing more clean and sustainable products for your skin care routine!

What to look for in clean skin care products

Choosing clean skincare products involves paying attention to the ingredients and formulations in the products in order to ensure they are free from harmful chemicals and promote overall skin health. The following are some suggestions to consider when looking for clean skincare products:

Ingredient Transparency

Look for brands that clearly list all their ingredients on the product label. Transparency is essential for making informed choices about what you're applying to your skin. Remember everything you apply to your skin gets absorbed by your skin!

Avoid Harmful Chemicals

Look for products that are free from commonly known harmful ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, and artificial colors. These substances may be linked to various health concerns.

Natural and Organic Ingredients

Try to choose products that incorporate natural and organic ingredients. These can include plant extracts, essential oils, and botanicals, which are often gentler on the skin. Look for labels such as EcoCert.

Cruelty-Free & Vegan

Look for products that are cruelty-free, meaning they are not tested on animals. Additionally, some people prefer vegan skincare products that don't contain any animal-derived ingredients.


We treat a lot of acne at Derma Bright Clinic and many times it is because clients are just using the wrong products for their skin. If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin opt for non-comedogenic products. These formulations are less likely to clog pores, reducing the risk of breakouts.

Sustainability Eco-Friendly Packaging

Check out the brand's commitment to sustainability. Look for products with eco-friendly packaging and companies that prioritize environmentally conscious practices.

Third-Party Certifications

Some products are certified by third-party organizations, such as the EWG (Environmental Working Group), EcoCert or COSMOS (Cosmetic Organic and Natural Standard). These certifications can provide additional assurance about the product's safety and quality.

Personal Skin Type & Concerns

Know you specific skin type and concerns. Not all clean skincare products are suitable for everyone, so choose products that address your particular needs, whether it's hydration, anti-aging, or acne control. You may want to get a skin care consultation with an established skin care professional to ensure you are getting a professional source of information. Derma Bright Clinic offers free consultations including online! 

Effectiveness & Performance

Clean skincare should not only be safe but also effective. Look for products that have undergone clinical testing or have positive reviews indicating their performance.

Understanding Marketing Claims

Be cautious of marketing terms like "natural" or "organic." Read the ingredient list to ensure these claims are substantiated. Additionally, be aware of terms like "clean," as there is no standardized definition, and it can vary between brands.

Check out Organizations that Promote Healthy Ingredients in Skin Care Brands

There are organizations such as EWG who are passionate about this area. They have their Skincare Database which generates scores on popular skin care products. 

Remember that individual preferences and sensitivities can differ, so it may be helpful to patch test new products or consult with a skin care professional if you have specific skin concerns or conditions.

What are some harmful ingredients in skin care?

There are several potentially harmful ingredients that may be present in some skincare products. It's important to note that individual sensitivities and reactions can vary, and what may be harmful to one person may not necessarily be harmful to another. However, here are some commonly cited ingredients that some people may want to avoid or use with caution:

  • Parabens: These are preservatives that are commonly used to extend the shelf life of skincare products. Some studies have suggested a potential link between parabens and hormone disruption.
  • Phthalates: These are often used to enhance the fragrance in skincare products. Some phthalates have been associated with endocrine disruption and may be harmful to reproductive health.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): These are surfactants commonly found in cleansers and soaps. They can be harsh on the skin and may cause irritation, especially for individuals with sensitive skin.
  • Formaldehyde & Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives: These are used as preservatives in some skincare products. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen, and its release over time may be a concern. Remember the controversy with Johnson & Johnson and their famous baby shampoo? 
  • Synthetic Fragrances:** Some synthetic fragrances can contain a mixture of potentially harmful chemicals. They can cause skin irritation and may trigger allergic reactions in some individuals.
  • Mineral Oil & Petroleum Jelly: These ingredients are derived from petroleum and can create a barrier on the skin, potentially clogging pores. They may also be contaminated with impurities.
  • Triclosan: Commonly found in antibacterial products, triclosan has been associated with hormone disruption and may contribute to antibiotic resistance.
  • Oxybenzone: Often found in chemical sunscreens, oxybenzone has raised concerns about potential hormone disruption and its impact on coral reefs. Please choose “Reef Safe” Sunscreens!
  • Propylene Glycol: This ingredient is used as a humectant in skincare products but can cause skin irritation in some individuals.
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) & Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT): These are preservatives that have been associated with allergic reactions and skin irritation.

It's essential to read product labels carefully and be aware of your skin's sensitivities. If you have concerns about specific ingredients, consult with a skin care specialist for personalized advice. Additionally, opting for products with fewer artificial additives and choosing natural or organic options can be a safer choice for some individuals.

Why is it important to check ingredients in your skincare?

Checking ingredients in your skincare products is important for several reasons:

  • Allergies & Sensitivities: People can have allergies or sensitivities to specific ingredients. Checking the ingredient list helps you avoid substances that may cause adverse reactions, such as redness, itching, or irritation.
  • Effectiveness: Understanding the ingredients allows you to choose products that contain active ingredients known to address your specific skin concerns. Different skin types and issues require different formulations, so being aware of what each ingredient does helps you make informed choices.
  • Avoiding Harmful Ingredients: Some skincare products may contain potentially harmful ingredients, such as parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, and phthalates. Regular use of these substances may have long-term effects on your skin and overall health. Being informed allows you to avoid products with undesirable components.
  • Product Claims: Manufacturers often make various claims about the benefits of their products. Checking the ingredients helps you verify whether these claims are supported by the actual formulation. Sometimes, marketing can be misleading, and understanding the ingredient list helps you separate facts from marketing hype.
  • Personal Preferences: Some individuals prefer natural or organic ingredients, while others may have ethical concerns about certain substances. Checking ingredients allows you to align your skincare choices with your personal values and preferences.
  • Preservation of Product Quality: Skincare products have a shelf life, and the ingredients used can impact their stability. Checking for preservatives and understanding their role helps ensure that the product remains effective and safe for use throughout its recommended period.
  • Layering & Compatibility: If you use multiple skincare products in your routine, it's important to understand how ingredients interact with each other. Some combinations may enhance efficacy, while others may lead to irritation. Knowing the ingredients helps you tailor your skincare routine for optimal results.

In summary, checking skincare ingredients is essential for personalizing your skincare routine, avoiding potential allergens or harmful substances, and ensuring that the products you use align with your skin's specific needs and your personal preferences. Another tip is to set an annual budget for your skincare and invest in professional quality skin care products available at skin care clinics.

Why should I care about the ingredients in my skincare products?

Caring about the ingredients in your skincare products is important for several reasons:

  • Skin Health: The ingredients in skincare products can significantly impact the health of your skin. Using products with beneficial ingredients can help address specific skin concerns, promote hydration, and support overall skin well-being.
  • Allergies & Sensitivities: Some people may be allergic or sensitive to certain ingredients. Knowing the ingredients in your skincare products allows you to avoid potential irritants that could cause allergic reactions or skin sensitivities.
  • Effectiveness: Understanding the ingredients helps you choose products that are effective for your skin type and concerns. Different ingredients target specific issues, such as acne, dryness, or signs of aging. Selecting products with the right active ingredients ensures you get the results you desire.
  • Avoiding Harmful Substances: Some skincare products may contain harmful ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. These substances may have negative effects on your skin and overall health. Being aware of ingredients helps you make informed choices and avoid potentially harmful substances.
  • Ethical & Sustainable Choices: Knowing the ingredients allows you to make ethical and sustainable choices. Know your values! You can choose products from companies that prioritize environmentally friendly and cruelty-free practices, avoiding ingredients associated with environmental harm or animal testing.
  • Personal Preferences: Understanding skincare ingredients enables you to cater to your personal preferences, whether you prefer natural, organic, or vegan products. Being informed empowers you to make choices aligned with your values.
  • Long-Term Impact: Consistently using products with harsh or harmful ingredients can have long-term effects on your skin. By being mindful of the ingredients, you can establish a skincare routine that promotes long-term skin health and addresses specific concerns.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Being aware of the ingredients helps you comply with regulations and guidelines set by health authorities. Some ingredients may be restricted or banned in certain regions due to safety concerns, think hydroquinone, and knowing what goes into your skincare products ensures you stay within regulatory limits.

Understanding the ingredients in your skincare products empowers you to make informed choices that align with your skin's needs, personal preferences, and ethical considerations, contributing to overall skin health and well-being.

For more information on professional skin care consultations, contact Derma Bright Clinic and for purchasing professional, high quality products, visit


Love & Light,



Derma Bright Clinic