Safe Skincare

What Is Clean Beauty?

It’s Tracy here with you this week. In Los Angeles we’re still at home but the beautiful 80 degree days have finally arrived and with it renewed hope and excitement for what is next. As we think about what is next, we can’t do so without assessing what we’ve learned during this time. One major message is the true importance of how we treat our bodies and our planet, and that they need our time and attention more than ever. If you’re feeling the same way, we invite you to learn more about how to care for your body and skin by learning about clean beauty.

At Priya, we’ve always preferred natural and plant based products. When we started our company we committed to using organic ingredients and safe practices at every turn. That will never change. Additionally, we are equally committed to creating products that work! So we also included safe, man made ingredients like peptides and hyaluronic acid that have specific benefits. With that we became a brand within the unofficial beauty category called “Clean Beauty”.

But what exactly is “Clean Beauty?”

This week we sat with our Co-Founder/Formulator, Dr. Judit Konrad, who is both a pharmacist and a cosmetic chemist. She would like to share 8 important facts that you should know. Also, we’ve included a few tools to help in all of your clean product quests! Head over to our blog for all of the “clean dirt!”

Know that we take our commitment to safe, effective products seriously, but we also want to make sure that our community feels EMPOWERED when making skincare decisions. That is why there is a full ingredient glossary on our site under “Our Formula”.

With that, the 8 tips…

  1. The US Government does not review products before they are sold, and they haven’t passed a single, major federal law regulating the safety of ingredients in personal care since 1938. While the EU (European Union) has banned more than 1,300 ingredients considered toxic and harmful, to this day the US has banned 11.
  2. Many of the ingredients used in cosmetics have not been tested for safety.  Some studies show at least half do not have proper data to support their usage. However in 2004 the Environmental Working Group (EWG) was established.  A non-profit, non-partisan organization made up of scientists, policy makers, and lawyers, dedicated to protecting people and the planet when the government and industry will not.  They have reviewed over 9,000 ingredients and rated their safety. They offer data bases for the public. It is a gold standard in the beauty industry.  Judit consulted EWG with each and every ingredient. 
  3. On February 20, 2020 the California Assembly re-introduced the Toxic-Free Cosmetic Act, AB-2762. If passed, the law would ban 12 toxic ingredients from cosmetics and personal care products.
  4. The terms “Natural” and “Clean” are also unregulated. The US government does not check or confirm the usage of these words. Plus, although the cosmetic industry has begun using the term “Clean Beauty” as a way to delineate products that are safer for you, yet still work, it still requires consumers to do the work to ensure the ingredients are safe.
  5. Everything is a chemical! It’s not a bad word! This is something Judit speaks of often.  Everything we breathe, see, ingest, or touch is a chemical. Water and air are chemicals.  Thus, like everything else there are good chemicals and bad chemicals. So know that chemicals are not something to be afraid of. We just need to know which are the good ones. Also, be sure to pay attention when a brand says they’re “chemical fee” because they are not.
  6. Some ingredients may look and sound safe, but in some cases they may not actually be safe. For instance, mineral oil (which is used in cosmetics) sounds innocent enough but is actually a bi-product of petroleum when converted into gasoline.
  7. Natural isn’t always the safest form of an ingredient.  Sometimes synthetic/man made ingredients are actually safer and better for you. For instance, Comfrey has some amazing anti-inflammatory benefits, however it also has toxic alkaloids. So we use a man made constituent within Comfrey called Allantoin. This provides all of the healing benefits of Comfrey but without any harm. 
  8. Conversely, some ingredients that sound harmful (and may have with long lettered wording) are actually very safe and plant derived.  Phenylethyl alcohol is a good example.  It is actually one of hundreds of chemical components found in the rose.

Learn more about some of the herbs we use in our clean beauty products.

Resources to help you

So while all of this may sound overwhelming, know that there are some quick and easy things that you can do to support your way through the sea of products that we all use.  

  1. Consult the EWG’s database https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/.   When Judit created our products she consulted the EWG for each and every ingredient. 
  2. “Think Dirty” app is another great “on-the-go” way to check out ingredients you aren’t familiar with.
  3. Use caution when you see social media posts from those without proper experience and exposure. While there are so many amazing “experts” emerging in this space, we often see that despite good intentions, sometimes readers can be inadvertently steered in the wrong direction.  So do your homework! 
  4. Work with brands that disclose every ingredient as well as provide ingredient glossaries on their website.  There are many brands out there, like Priya,  that want to empower you and believe in transparency.   

As we close, know that it is a true joy to live out our lives missions of serving and supporting other women (and men!). We take this commitment to heart and feel this honor with each choice we make.

With Love,

Tracy, Judit, and Lori

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