The Conscious Consumer

Clean Beauty is big business with clients looking for products that respect the environment and produce top notch results. Emma Hobson,  Director of Education Asia Pacific Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute, takes a look at the rise of conscious buying.

Many companies are realising the importance to the consumer regarding the impact the product has on the environment and the skin. Conscious consumers are the catalysts for change. The greater the emphasis and demand to have products that respect the environment and the skin the quicker and more obvious the changes made by manufacturers. With organic farming now on the rise, the understanding of farmers how to grow sustainable crops with good yields it increases the availability and reduces the pricing for the manufacturers which means making these ingredients more accessible to all.

What does Clean Beauty mean?

Some say it’s a product free of synthetic ingredients, others free of known toxins and others that it’s plant derived. As yet no one has really come to a consensus as to an agreed definition, it seems to be very subjective and is really only defined by marketing teams that created the term or trend initially versus the regulatory governing bodies themselves, case in point there is still no clear agreed definition with reference to organic or natural, this therefore leaves a lot for interpretation by each manufacturer.

Suffice to say clean skin care is about the preservation and respect for skin health be that with plant derived or perfectly safe synthetic ingredients, Global sustainability and the impact a product has on our environment as well as ethical choices of some consumers such as the demand for ‘vegan clean skin care’.

Respecting the skin

Dermalogica has since the very first day of its conception had a clear stance on it being a skin care product that respects skin health, we were as famous for what we left out as we much as what we put in our formulations. We were the first professional skincare company to omit artificial fragrance, artificial colours, S.D. alcohol, mineral oil, lanolin, comedogenic ingredients and commit to not testing on animals. To this day we still stand by these commitments to clean skincare, additionally, we are 99 percent vegan-friendly.  Our formulations are paraben-free and crafted heavily with plant-based ingredients sourced from various environmentally sustainable sources.

Environmentally friendly

Clean skin care goes hand in hand with the packaging of the product with regard to the source of materials it is made from and how it can be disposed of or recycled. For example, Dermalogica complies with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for any packaging derived from wood, which means it is sourced from FSC-certified forests or from post-consumer waste.

So how do you choose or decide if the product you use is ‘Clean’? This really is for you to decide what is important to you and your customers and if the product falls in line with your knowledge as well as personal ethics. The basic consensus seems to be that the product should be free of any known skin irritants or have a negative effect on the skin health such as artificial fragrance and colours, mineral oil and its derivatives, S.D. Alcohol, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, phthalates and parabens and ingredients that are known to be comedogenic.

Skincare education 

That’s why it’s so important to keep yourself educated in the field of skin care ingredients. However, that does not mean believing everything you read on the internet sites that scare monger about certain ingredients that have no scientific evidence to substantiate the negative and inflammatory comments.

From an informed place you can study the full ingredient listing of your products and then decide if you feel it fits with your perception of what is clean skin care.  This will also be influenced by your clients’ preference, be that they want organic (bearing in mind this has the same issues as Clean Skin Care when it comes to a clear definition and no actual regulatory body that stipulates what this actually means), Vegan, perhaps they want products with sustainably sourced ingredients, or products that encourage skin health but also contain highly active ingredients such as peptides which are derived synthetically but have no known toxicity, just outstanding results.

When it comes right down to it the crunch question is “Do you feel absolutely confident that the product you use and recommend on your client’s skin is free of widely known skin irritants, is completely SAFE and promotes positive skin health?”

If the answer is yes, then you should feel confident in believing you are part of the ‘Clean Skin Movement’.

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