Chances are you’ve heard of ‘green’ beauty buzzwords like clean, natural, and organic. But do you often wonder what these words actually mean when it comes to skincare? Are they all one and the same or do they differ greatly?
While demand for all-natural beauty is surging, there is still a lot of confusion around the definition of ‘clean beauty’. According to a 2019 report by Statista, almost 60% of women worldwide believe clean beauty equals natural ingredients, while 32% suggest it describes products with less harsh chemicals.
Clean Beauty is Not Universally Defined
Clearly, we are divided about the meaning of clean beauty. But that may be because there is no single definition or standard for it. Clean beauty products are generally considered non-toxic and tested for safety and can contain natural, naturally-derived or synthetic ingredients.
However, what constitutes a safe ingredient varies greatly across the world: Europe, which has some of the most stringent regulations, bans up to 1,328 toxic ingredients commonly found in beauty products, and ASEAN countries have been quick to follow suit. In contrast, the US’ cosmetics regulations only ban 30 toxic ingredients, while other countries only ban 14 of these harmful ingredients.
On top of discovering the fragmented clean beauty safety regulations, Shivam (my co-founder) and I learned a few more hard truths as we began to develop our products. We were quickly exposed to the world of ‘white labelling’ – the widespread practice of producing singular cosmetic formulas through unknown manufacturers, and distributing them to numerous brands.
We were shocked to learn how easy it is to source ingredients from unknown suppliers online. This means there is often no traceability, transparency, or safety and efficacy regulations in place for many ingredients that go into skincare products.
Clean Beauty++: Building the New Standard
Thus, while there was no question that clean beauty had to be core to the brand, in light of all this, we felt clean beauty alone was not enough. So we decided to raise the bar and set our own skincare standard – Clean Beauty++. We searched across the globe for skincare labs that aligned with our brand values, and we ended up finding the perfect one in Switzerland which we have worked with very closely ever since.
While safe, effective and non-toxic ingredients are our top priority, for us it’s also important that they don’t have any impact on the environment. Before doing anything, we ask: where are these ingredients sourced from and how? What are the quality checks and safety tests in place to ensure sustainable sourcing and no adulteration during product formulations?
So, in addition to the 1,328 toxic ingredients banned by Europe’s stringent cosmetics regulations, we blacklist an additional 128 ingredients that are harmful to you and the environment, and we go two steps further (the ++ represents these steps) to ensure:
- Total transparency throughout our supply chain. Each ingredient is sourced from suppliers we trust and meet with regularly and not from unknown online suppliers. We also only work with clean, safe ingredients from the Swiss Alps and South Korea.
- We test for safety and efficacy in our Swiss labs at both ingredient and formulation levels to ensure you receive the highest quality skincare. We also make sure all our ingredients are rated ‘safe’ by the Environmental Working Group, which is globally considered the gold standard in non-toxic ingredient ratings for cosmetics.
Back to Basics – Introducing Cloud Factory
This Clean Beauty ++ philosophy became the backbone of our very first product launch – a simple 4-step essential set including a serum, a day cream, a night cream and an eye serum – as well as every product we’ve launched since (have you met Clean Slate and Sunny Side Up yet?). Now we’re excited to take it back to basics: introducing Cloud Factory, a gentle everyday foaming cleanser.
Named after its thick, luxurious foam, Cloud Factory is not your average cleanser. It’s packed with sustainably-sourced Swiss ingredients that are Clean Beauty ++ approved, which gently remove dirt and impurities while maintaining your skin’s natural pH balance. It features Swiss red clover flower, which minimises and rebalances your pores, and Pinolumin (pine extracts) which reduces age spots and evens out your skin tone. On top of that, it features botanical extracts from 5 fruit acids – natural AHAs which work to cleanse, gently exfoliate and restore your skin.
Here’s what you should take away from this long-ish blog post:
- There is no universal standard for clean beauty. What constitutes a safe ingredient varies greatly across the world: Europe bans up to 1,328 toxic ingredients from beauty products, while the US only bans around 30.
- White labelling is rife in the beauty industry, and it’s super easy to source ingredients from unknown suppliers online, which means safety and efficacy are not guaranteed.
- We’re setting our own safe skincare standard – Clean Beauty ++. This means total transparency throughout our supply chains, and we test for safety and efficacy in our Swiss labs at both ingredient and formulation level.
- Introducing Cloud Factory, a Clean Beauty ++ gentle foaming cleanser. It’s packed with sustainably-sourced Swiss ingredients which gently remove dirt and impurities while maintaining your skin’s natural pH balance.
At Yours, we’re on a mission to make skincare simple and sustainable. This is just the beginning of our Clean Beauty ++ journey, and we are committed to making skincare sustainable for both you and the planet––we’re excited that this launch is the next step in the right direction!
Navneet | @navneet_ka
Founder & CEO, Yours