Today I wanted to talk about something very important to me: Clean Beauty.
All-natural, organic, and clean are just a few of the buzz words we hear quite a bit in the beauty and skin care industry, but what do they really mean, and how important is clean beauty? How do we know what ingredients to stay away from or what really qualifies as “natural” or “organic” with such a lack of regulation in the United States?
In search of these answers, I decided to interview green beauty guru and Founder of Citrine Natural Beauty Bar in Phoenix, Melissa Lenberg. I think this is a very relevant topic today–not just for all of us beauty addicts but for everyone out there because using bad skin care products can cause serious damage to your health over time.
Why Clean Beauty?
“Hi everyone! I am Melissa, CEO & Founder of Citrine Beauty Bar. I am blessed to consider myself a green beauty guru. I’m an expert honestly because of my own necessity to find clean, luxurious products that don’t compromise my health and well-being. I wanted to find products I would want to use on myself and my closest friends & family.
My most recent achievement was moving Citrine into a larger store space to carry the 25 “naturally glamorous” brands I love to use! I can hold how-to makeup, education, and wellness events and collaborations here with the extra floor space and bring together people & brands that have a beautiful synergy.”
How would you define clean beauty?
“Clean Beauty to me means making the choice to use safe, nourishing products to enrich my body, mind, and life so I can be the best version of myself: happy and healthy.
This means not compromising the health or well-being of myself or others in the process with the quality of ingredients I ingest or absorb through my skin, and how their source, manufacturing, and production impacts the environment and the general livelihood of the human race.”
What is the biggest difference between natural skincare products and conventional ones?
“The main difference between clean skin care products and conventional ones are the toxins they contain. Conventional companies have no toxicity-load, no regulations or ethical standards saying they will produce products that are not harmful. They stress one goal: to sell. And they will tell you anything you want to hear, while including whatever chemicals, and doing whatever harm to animals or the environment so they can it off the shelves and into your bathroom cabinet.”
Are natural skin care products less effective than regular brands?
“Not at all. They are even more effective than regular brands because there is no separating, converting, or filtering the body has to do to break them down so-to-speak. It can be absorbed as biocompatible. There is true technology to skin care. And you can get the results you want even faster and without any side effects!”
I notice people use different terms like organic skin care, natural skin care, or clean beauty; are all of those interchangeable?
“Definitely not. Unfortunately, there is no regulation on these terms. Companies are able to use them very loosely and that is a danger to us. If products contain even one organic ingredient so they can use the word “organic” on the bottle, it can still include all of the synthetic or harmful ingredients you are trying to avoid. The terms are meant to differentiate the standard of ingredients you are putting on your body, but knowing that consumers are looking for healthier alternatives for themselves and their loved ones, brands will say those words often just to gain your trust.
This is why you have to be an educated consumer. Ask questions. You vote every day for who and what you support with your wallet.”
How does using conventional products with synthetic toxic ingredients affect your overall health?
“Contributing to immune malfunction, cancer, psychological and hormonal imbalance, and overall decline in quality of life and longevity. And the numbers continue to rise, starting with the problems being identified in children, ones even without a genetic predisposition to them. But with continued exposure to harmful toxins, we compromise the health of our minds and bodies and future generations as well.”
What ingredients/chemicals should we avoid when purchasing a new skincare product?
“Fragrance, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, formaldehyde, toluene/petroleum, propylene glycol, and sunscreen chemicals. These range from carcinogens (ingredients proven to cause cancer) to endocrine-disruptors (converting in your body as hormones), immune toxins to fetal-developmental toxins. We are sure that if you’re choosing, you would want products preferably produced without these silent killers!”
Are natural and organic skin care products more expensive?
“They are more expensive than drugstore items but not more expensive than well-known skin care and makeup brands available from your local makeup store to department store.
Prices are truly based in these cases on cost of ingredients. It costs more to farm in more sustainable ways or without toxic pesticides. To certify ingredients as organic, to source them from other countries that have better quality ingredients, and so on. It’s worth the extra dollars if you can trust what you’re getting and it will nourish your body in the way you intend. Knowledge and transparency are keys to this kind of success.”
What are the major benefits of using natural skincare products?
“Less inflammation and functioning at your optimal level! A longer and healthier life! Your well-being overall!
Meaning more energy, more thought clarity, stronger resistance to disease, better organ function, less toxicity, no skin irritations, lowering your risk of cancer, hormone imbalance, and immune compromise.”
Name some of your favorite clean / natural skin care brands.
“It is so hard to pick because I only carry things I love–so everything at Citrine! If I had to say a few personal top picks they would be Tata Harper, May Lindstrom, The Beauty Chef, Kjaer Weis, and Jane Iredale.”
I hope this interview helps you feel like you can now be an educated consumer and understand what clean beauty is! I have taken the extra step this year to research and use natural skin care & beauty products that I am confident saying are contributing to a healthy future for myself and others.
Did you guys like this interview type blog post? Let me know in the comments or on my Instagram if you want to see more posts like this! Also, special thanks to Melissa for sharing all of her knowledge with us. Make sure you check out Citrine if you haven’t yet, it really is an amazing skin & beauty resource in the Phoenix area.
P.S. The Inforgraphice below will help you guys make some choices and move from conventional products to natural ones!