“Clean Beauty” claims healthier beauty products, without ingredients that are toxic to health or the environment .


Clean Beauty has its origins in the United States where cosmetic regulations prohibit 30 ingredients in the composition of products compared to more than 1300 in Europe.

When the news was relayed by big influencers, like Gwyneth Paltrow, Americans started to look closely at the composition of their creams. This phenomenon has spread rapidly in Europe and throughout the world.

In France, the revelation of the magazine UFC Que Choisir in March 2015 ( ) denouncing 13 products toxic or dangerous present in our cosmetic products acts as a detonator.

It's a shock for the French who realize that they can no longer trust their favorite brands. An awakening of consciences is underway.

While sales in the cosmetics sector have stagnated in recent years, natural and organic cosmetics in France experienced 22.7% growth in 2017*.

This craze for more health-friendly cosmetics has not escaped distributors, who now devote entire corners to it. New concepts of healthier cosmetics are appearing every day and the big brands are starting to offer cleaner compositions.

But what are the substances to avoid? How can I be sure that my product is only good for me and matches my values?


In theory, a so-called “clean” product should be free of any ingredient suspected of being harmful to health or the planet.

Among the harmful ingredients we find in particular: ingredients suspected of being carcinogenic (BHA, PEG, Diethanolamine, certain dyes, etc.), endocrine disruptors (phenoxyethanol, parabens, phthalates, triclosan).

Then there are the ingredients harmful to the environment and animals like palm oil, silicones and other mineral oils. These substances are comedogenic, irritating to the skin but also very polluting because they are non-biodegradable.

And yet they are present in many products!

The problem is that today there is no universal “clean” label attesting to the healthiness of a product. Some brands that have created “clean” labels to help their consumers find their way around, still allow phenoxyethanol, among other things.

Some brands, among the most recognized, continue to launch products containing this ingredient. Certainly at the % authorized by the legislation but neglecting the cocktail effect to which their consumers are exposed.

We can rely on mobile apps to help us detect these substances. There are now several: Clean beauty, INCI, Yuka which help consumers to decipher the lists of ingredients.


Should we then turn to organic labels? We tell you about it in this article ! In the meantime keep an eye out, scan your barcodes, and watch out for greenwashing!

Credits: article written in collaboration with Fiona Bazzana