The Truth About Clean Beauty

The Soil Association is the country’s leading organic certification body. You’ll see their logo across Pai products, which means that they are truly organic. In this guest blog the Soil Association explains how the Clean Beauty trend is cleaning up the industry.

Clean Beauty swept across our Instagram feeds last year as arguably the most prevalent trend of 2017, but what does it mean? Well, that depends on who you ask…

To some, Clean Beauty means products without synthetic ingredients, non-toxic, or avoiding certain ingredients. To others, it means natural and sometimes even organic. It’s safe to assume that clean beauty is open to interpretation.

When we look back at what happened with Clean Eating and the negative connotations that followed, it’s surprising how Clean Beauty, with no sound definition, became so popular.

Albeit ambiguous, the consumer-led trend of Clean Beauty has had a positive effect on the cosmetics industry. It’s enabled people to healthily question cosmetic businesses, be better informed on ingredients and has opened the space for organic and natural alternatives.

It has also challenged brands, making them re-think existing formulations and messaging on products.

From a Soil Association perspective, we’ve used the Clean Beauty movement as a platform to inform, educate and inspire people on what organic beauty truly is, what it means to be certified and why certification is so important.

In April 2017, we highlighted widespread greenwashing within the industry through our Come Clean About Beauty campaign. We found a range of ‘organic’ products on the high street with organic claims on the labels, but contain ingredients that wouldn’t meet organic standards.

Thousands of people signed a petition to call on the brands in the report to Come Clean About Beauty, and use the terms natural and organic responsibly or not at all. We encourage the use of any amount of organic ingredients in beauty products, but we don’t think that brands should risk misleading people by making marketing claims about those ingredients if the rest of the product would not meet organic standards.

Consumers agreed; 76% told us they felt misled when they found out that products were not certified and could not meet organic standards.

Clean Beauty needs to be clearly defined, otherwise it will simply be another form of greenwashing for the beauty industry.

If you’re looking for Clean Beauty, you need to ask what it is you’re really looking for in a clean product. If it’s a product designed for sensitive skin, non-toxic, natural, organic or vegan – they are all very different requirements and not defined under one umbrella of ‘clean’.

Find out more about organic beauty here.

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