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Finally a Beauty Industry Trend That Is Right and Necessary

The name of the trend is CLEAN BEAUTY. Today, this trend doesn’t have one distinct meaning but all the experts in the field say in chorus that this clean beauty trend is here to stay. Which qualities should brands and products carry to adorn themselves with the clean beauty slogan?

The most mentioned qualities are product safety and reducing the number of unnecessary components for the skin. Also, transparency and honesty in every activity and messaging, environmentally friendly and keen on educating clients. Check, check, check! All that is SO important!

10 years ago the trend of natural cosmetics was on the rise. Classical natural cosmetics are based on oils and extracts. Such, that caresses the skin, nourishes and protects it. The quick rise of natural cosmetics brought along many brands and manufacturers. The production of creams based on essential and base oils grew in high speed and many of the brands that are currently well known all around the world were started in the home kitchen of the maker.

2020 has arrived and the natural claims are no longer enough. Today, it has become a normality, a prerequisite. A product that allures us today needs to be efficient, give fast and visible results. Ingredients are expected to be biotechnological, with different molecular weights and high-tech (acids, vitamins, peptides, gold, pre- and probiotics.) We want our products to be vegan and not tested on animals. A quick side remark, testing saleable products on animals is prohibited in the EU and many other countries as well. In China and numerous other countries, it is still compulsory. If you can’t find the stamp of a jumping rabbit on the product, look at the manufacturer’s country of origin and you get to make decisions based on that information.

What I see daily and what I would like to draw your attention to, is the skill of reading the ingredients list. The ingredients list (INCI) is on every product but often it is so long and complicated that we find it easier to trust the manufacturer’s marketing messages than the facts, that is, the ingredients themselves. An article that gives basic knowledge on that subject can be found from our blog. Shortcut to the story is here:

In addition to your knowledge and our blog, there is one handy new trend โ€“ CLEAN BEAUTY. I am as happy as a kid in the candy store for our Dโ€™DIFFERENCE is a specimen of this new trend! Natural, efficient, safe and CLEAN. We donโ€™t have to adjust our products at all to meet the trend’s requirements, they already are compatible. Let me clarify this with the help of the following points.

CLEAN BEAUTY principles:

  • Ingredients that have been extensively tested and which safety has been proven;
  • Avoiding such ingredients that customers have acknowledged as bad, e.g. parabens, phtalates, sulphates;
  • Attempting to reduce the number of additives and bulking agents that do not benefit the skin, increasing thus the products’ efficiency;
  • Ensuring the compatibility of ingredients, avoiding ingredient competition that may redyce the efficacy;
  • Adding the functional ingredients to the formulation at the levels shown to be effective;

Here are the INCI lists of two products to clarify the topic with the help of an example: Product 1: aqua/water/eau, caprylic/capric triglyceride, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, hydrogenated coco-glycerides, pentylene glycol, glyceryl stearate, peg-100 stearate, cetearyl glucoside, dimethicone, phenoxyethanol, ascorbyl glucoside, parfum/fragrance, tocopheryl acetate, ethylhexylglycerin, butylene glycol, dimethiconol, sodium hyaluronate, disodium edta, mica, ci 77120/barium sulfate, sucrose palmitate, ci 77891/titanium dioxide, harungana madagascariensis extract, tocopherol, olea europaea (olive) fruit extract, thermus thermophillus ferment, lapsana communis flower/leaf/stem extract, potassium sorbate, camellia sinensis leaf extract, citric acid, propanediol

Product 2: Aqua, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, Xylitylglucoside, Olive Oil Glycereth-8 Esters, Glycereth-2 Cocoate, Anhydroxylitol, Bacillus/Rice Bran Extract/Soybean Extract Ferment Filtrate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xylitol, Maris Sal, Hydrolyzed Silk, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Lactic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Decylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Parfum

The words in bold are active ingredients, and oils and extracts. The words in normal formatting are thickeners, emulsifiers, preservatives, fragrance, coloring agents, in short, such ingredients that make a cream into a cream but from which the skin does not benefit. Both products belong to the anti-aging product category, including hyaluronic acid and plant stem cell extract. Which product would you prefer?

Ingredients which have been extensively tested and which safety has been proven The more courageous skincare experts have talked about it for a while already that a great majority of truly efficient active ingredients have long existed and the innovation is not about inventing new ingredients but in combining the existing ones better, in increasing their stability and enhancing their absorption qualities. Which are the ingredients that positively benefit your skin?

The artillery of skincare consists of vitamins and their derivatives: Vitamin A (or retinoids. A large category where the most well-known ones are retinol and Retin-A). Great restorative effect. Efficient on the skinโ€™s surface as well as in deeper layers. An ingredient that can stimulate the production of collagen and elastin increasing thus the elasticity of the skin and reducing the depth of wrinkles. Orally administered vitamin A (Retin-A) is used for acne and acne scars. The versions applied on the skin (retinol) are to improve pigmentation, skin tone and structure. It is great to see that vitamin A is still used for there are some negatives alongside all the positives. Lack of stability and possible irritation (sensitivity, scaling, dryness). Often the capsuled versions are used to ensure stability, so the product may feel โ€žroughโ€œ and grainy. Besides, most of the creams with retinol are for evening use as together with the sun, skin sensitivity can increase, and there is a risk of evoking more pigmentation spots. SPF products are to be used during the daytime! I hope that nobody gets frightened about what you just read, as there are constantly better versions of retinol emerging and there is no match to retinol when speaking about anti-aging effects!

Vitamin B or niacinamide. A big favorite! A stable and efficient vitamin that provides different effects according to its concentration: 2-3% is moisturizing, soothing and protects against environmental impacts and blue light. 4% provides everything mentioned previously + an anti-spots effect. 5% provides everything mentioned previously + an anti-aging effect as well as a skin tone unifying effect. I recommend that to everyone who has uneven and dry skin, and when you are struggling with spots, regardless of your age. Also, a must to city people!

Vitamin C which most well-known form is ascorbic acid. A wonderful antioxidant that evens the complexion and prevents skin from aging. A beauty and radiance vitamin, they call it! I agree. The first high content vitamin C product that I remember was Lancome Vitabolic cream in an aluminum tube, with an orange color and smelling of citrus. The appearance was so appetizing that there were customers who ate it instead of applying it on skin. As with vitamin A, a lot of work has been carried out with vitamin C. In the beauty world, the derivatives of vitamin C are mostly used (ascorbyl phosphate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, ascorbyl palmitate, ascorbyl glucosamine, and ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate), but they are not great when it comes to absorption, and desiring to ensure efficiency, a large quantity is needed (sometimes up to 30%). Therefore, there are other forms of vitamin C available. Ascorbic acid is considered as an active form of vitamin C by the customer because the marketing fabrics have set it so. Ascorbic acid is also very sensitive to light and oxygen, it works skilfully in the chosen range of pH, and its qualities decrease quickly in time. Next year, we are taking into use a wonderful vitamin C compound that contains a novel transport system as well as gold to ensure stability and efficient impact with small amounts.

Vitamin E or tocopherol. A good antioxidant but its amount in skin and body decreases over time, and also because of the sun’s harmless effect. Vitamin E nourishes and softens, and strengthens the skin’s protection capacity. Its gentle anti-aging effect has also been mentioned. Vitamin E was glorified more when vitamins A and C were not that popular yet, and their efficiency hadn’t been proven with extensive testing. Still, a good and safe ingredient, just slightly left behind.

Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble and long-acting. Vitamins B and C are water-soluble, but according to some experts not suitable to be put together in one product! The combined effect may cause skin irritation, so, if you want to see both vitamins in your skincare routine, switch one to your day and the other to your night care routine.

Goodness tested by time and many a test: Hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate and hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate). The best moisture binder that can increase the levels of moisture in the skin and by doing that, alleviate nearly all skin problems. One of the best news for you is that hyaluronic acid is suitable for every skin type and it doesnโ€™t cause sensitivity or reactions. Article about hyaluronic acid can be found here:

Squalene โ€“ restores the skin’s protective barrier and increases its moisture levels. In vegan products, phytosqualene is used, and I sincerely believe that the same ingredient is used in all other products as well. Originally, squalene was obtained from fish liver oil.

Peptides โ€“ the magicians of skincare products that are the highlights among all other active ingredients. We can imagine the peptides as messengers. There is a great variety of peptides, some have an anti-aging effect (matrixyl and encapsulated copper peptides, Copper Heptapeptide-14 Pantothenate), others decrease inflammatory processes within the skin and thus help to reduce the skin’s sensitivity (neuropeptides Palmitoyltripeptide-8), and those that reduce swelling and signs of tiredness around the eyes (Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7), also the silk peptides that bind moisturekeep it locked inside the skin and smooth the skinโ€™s surface. Donโ€™t be alarmed when you see that the peptides are at the end of the INCI list. Yes, INCI lists are put together in descending order, and the end of the list means there is a small concentration of it. But all peptides are added in small quantities โ€“ they are efficient such way.

Plant stem cells extract is a super-efficient natural anti-aging component that helps the skin cells to renew themselves, decreases the depth and length of existing wrinkles, and slows down the formation of new wrinkles. Your skin becomes more elastic and smoother, gives your skin an even complexion and better tonicity. Acids โ€“ AHA-acids are water-soluble and BHA-acids are fat-soluble. The first ones are the kings of surface peeling and are well suited for the more mature skin to increase the skin’s moisture levels, to smooth the skin’s surface and brighten the complexion. The most well-known AHA-acids are glycolic acid, lactic acid, and citric acid. Trending now is flower acids that are efficient, yet well suited for the more sensitive skin type. In case you have pimples and acne, also with adult acne, you should be using BHA-acid or salicylic acid as well. It is fat-soluble and because of this quality, BHA can absorb into oily pores and clean them. You can read more about acne from here:

Base oils โ€“ almond oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, avocado oil, etc, are also important characters in clean cosmetics. Unlike the essential oils, with base oils, you can be surer that skin irritations do not occur. Cold-pressed oils carry within themselves many vitamins and antioxidants. They bind moisture, soften, decrease surface roughness. You need oils if your skin is low in oil. If your skin is low in water, then oils cannot replace that. I have written more about this topic here:

Essential oils possess a lot of power but irritation might occur when using them. All essential oils are not well suited for everyone and also here, use the clean list; if you find it easy to recognize the ingredients, you can identify the essential oils in the INCl list, and in case of irritation (red spots, slight tingling, redness ca 20 min; itching and gentle swelling) you can test all these oils one by one if you choose to do so. Seems annoying? Yes, for sure, but at the same time, if you find the one that causes the irritation, your life will be much easier going forward. The most well-known essential oils are rose oil, rosemary oil, bergamot oil, peppermint and eucalyptus oils. Each of them has many good qualities but yeah, a rise in sensitivity can often be detected.

Aloe vera (aloe barbadensis leaf juice or extract) โ€“ a wonderful skin moisturizer and moisture binder. Good for soothing the skin and lessening skin sensitivity.

Shea nut buttermango butter, and other kinds of butter โ€“ ingredients with good nourishing qualities, but do pay attention where their place in the INCI list is. If it is among the first 3-5 ingredients and you have oily or mixed skin, the concentration may be a bit too high. Different kinds of butter, especially when there are oils as well in the product, may start to clog the pores when used daily. You needn’t avoid these ingredients but be aware of it and take a break from time to time. And when the skin starts to shine too much or you see an increase in the number of pimples, take a break from using butter and oils.

Pre- and probiotics โ€“ newcomers in the world of skincare. These should be collaborating with our own good bacteria in strengthening the skin’s natural functions. Prebiotics, for example, are sugars that are โ€žfoodโ€œ for probiotics, and they increase their activity. The best environment for probiotics is oil. As every personโ€™s skinโ€™s bacteria community is very special and different, I remain doubtful how one or another probiotic may be suitable for the microbiome of different people. I believe that the near future will bring more research and tests into the subject matter, and then we will see whether probiotics are here to stay or are they just a passing trend. The CLEAN BEAUTY trend should make our lives more simple – the shorter the INCl list, the more people understand how to read it, and the easier it is for them to make buying decisions. According to the researches, people who make informed purchases are happier with the end result โ€“ they know what to expect, and that brings peace of mind and heart.

Author of the article: Carmen Kibur, Dโ€™DIFFERENCE Brand Manager

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