It is no doubt that what we put into our bodies matters. What we eat and sip (sparkling drinks included 😉) directly correlates with overall health. But with the skin being our largest organ, more attention is now being placed on what we're actually using topically as well -- from makeup to hair care to basic body lotions. And voila!: clean beauty is born.
We had the opportunity to interview Kayleigh Christina, a holistic nutritionist and co-founder of clean beauty brand, CLEARSTEM Skincare. She fills us in on all things clean beauty and how to make sure you're choosing the best nontoxic options.
What is clean beauty?
Kayleigh explains that clean beauty in itself is defined as not inclusive of hormone disruptors or toxins within the product. Compounds within skincare, haircare and body care can be absorbed through the skin and affect our health. "Hormone disruptors in products create hormonal dysregulation that [can increase] the risk of infertility, PCOS, endometriosis, brain development problems, breast cancer, prostate cancer, thyroid and other cancers. This is why it is just as important [to pay attention to] what you put on your body as what you put in your body."
What should we be looking for to ensure our skincare products are made with nontoxic ingredients?
According to Kayleigh, it is crucial to check your beauty product ingredients just as you would your food labels! She points out a few big groups of no-no toxins and hormone disruptors to avoid: parabens, benzophenones, bisphenols, and phthalates. These compounds can go by other names as well including methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or ethylparaben, Diphenylmethanone, Benzophenone Phenyl ketone Diphenyl ketone Benzoylbenzene Benzoylphenyl, BPA, p,p-Isopropylidenebisphenol, propane, diphenol, fragrance. Christina encourages consumers to check with the company if they "fragrance" is used in their ingredient list; "if they can't answer [why they use it], it's most likely toxic." CLEARSTEM Skincare has developed a Pore Clogging & Toxins Ingredients List to make it easy. "Always remember, there is a lot of marketing that is not regulated so even though a company says 'non toxic' it’s super important as a consumer to still check your ingredients!"
Anything else we should be looking for in our nontoxic products?
Kayleigh explains that clean beauty does not mean no break outs! There is another layer to look at when choosing your beauty products: pore-clogging ingredients. Christina explains that "one of the biggest causes of acne is using products with pore-clogging ingredients." Examples include coconut oil, shea butter, algae/seaweed (or any derivative of it), and isopropyl myristate. Luckily (!!), CLEARSTEM Skincare has a great easy reference for pore-clogging ingredients!
Is clean beauty as effective as traditional?
Kayleigh explains that it depends on the ingredients. Clean beauty "can absolutely be just as effective as traditional" if its formulated correctly. Plus, "it's not causing long-term damage to your health (like prescription Retinol, Accutane)."
BONUS! Kayleigh highlighted how a few of her favorite Sound flavors include ingredients with skin benefits too! Thank you Kayleigh - we loved having you!
Green Tea - major anti-inflammatory benefits which are amazing for calming down acne. Green tea can help to reduce redness, irritation, and also act as very anti-aging with its antioxidants.
Chamomile Tea - The best tea for glowing skin! Chamomile helps accelerate cell renewal. For you, that means fresh skin!
Ginger Tea - One internal cause of acne is improper digestion (if you are having trouble digesting food you most likely feel bloated and/or tired easily after eating). Ginger aids in the digestion process helping your body naturally detoxify leading to glowing skin! Ginger is absolutely a skin favorite!
Hibiscus Tea - This is an anti-aging powerhouse! Hibiscus contains a wealth of antioxidants that work to fight free radicals. Basically, it helps reduce wrinkles - we love this!