The Dos and Don'ts of Clean Beauty

Are you interested in the benefits of clean beauty? Do you want to learn more about how this movement can be for you? 

Below are some dos and don’ts that can give you a better guide and insight on what to look for at stores and how to shop. 

Clean Beauty Dos: 

Do Look for Clean Beauty Certifications 

Is the brand backed up by professional organizations? Forget the flashy colors and pretty print. Seals of approval, verifications, emblems, and awards are proof that a product is just as good as it says it is.

Three Certifications You Should Pay Attention to

The Natural Product Association (NPA)

This will help you know the difference between authentic “natural” products and cosmetics that simply label themselves as “natural.” In order for a brand to have this label, ingredients must meet a standard for raw materials and natural resources. The brand should also manufacture and source their ingredients ethically. 


As a non-profit organization, MADE SAFE checks that the product ingredients are not putting you at-risk, or are unsafe. Their team pledges to create a better and more sustainable world for you. This is made possible by their team of scientists and advisors who examine each list of ingredients to ensure they are non-toxic. 


Implementing the practice of a more responsible cosmetic industry, Ecocert promises to maintain credibility. As a global leader, they understand the connection between health and environment. By certifying products, they can introduce organic, green, recyclable, and safer cosmetics for consumers. 

Do Find Trustworthy Resources

While certifications can instantly confirm that a product is non-toxic, all-natural, and cruelty-free, online guides are also gaining popularity. National department stores like Target offer clean beauty lines and NBC News has provided a list of the seven top-rated clean cosmetic products

Instyle, an online beauty publication, did a deep dive into what clean beauty means. 

Although this article is not promoted as clean beauty, Health.com asked 15 dermatologists to select their all-time favorite cosmetics. This list informs readers on trusted and reliable cosmetics that won’t harm your skin and are likely to contain better ingredients as opposed to trendy or non-recommended beauty products. 

Do Know Where Your Products Are Coming From

Research the companies you buy from in order to determine which companies are best for you depending on what you are looking for in clean beauty products. 

Do you want non-toxic cosmetics? Or are you more concerned about environmentally-conscious waste and production? Closer inspection into what companies stand for and what they allow in their cosmetic products is a beneficial and educational step in the clean beauty movement. 

Clean Beauty Don’ts: 

Don’t Fall for Greenwashing

Certifications are genuine labels, but greenwashing is just advertising. Without any real proof, greenwashing states that a sunscreen is “organic” or “chemical-free.” While this may seem appealing, technically all ingredients are made of chemicals, and these labels are used to only appear clean upon first glance. 

Green isn’t always better. We suggest you stick to transparent labels and real seals of approval. Real Simple explored the misconceptions and hype of greenwashing as a widespread issue and gives a better understanding of this trend. 

Don’t Ignore Ingredients

Ingredients speak volumes. The FDA has a limited control over cosmetics but certain ingredients such as synthetic or natural fragrances, parabens, or phthalates can be risky to your health. Some ingredients are explicitly dangerous. 

Formaldehyde is found in nail polishes, color cosmetics, shampoos, and eyelash glues. It is most known as an occupational toxin that leads to cancer, skin irritation, and allergic reactions. 

Talc is not as clear-cut. There are no inherent hazards with this ingredient but talc based makeup may be laced with asbestos fibers. Asbestos also causes cancer when the fibers are inhaled or ingested and remain dormant in your body. Many powder products can have talc to prevent caking, moisture, and for softening the texture.

Know that ingredients like formaldehyde are toxic, but others such as  talc may potentially pose severe risks too. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Another Brand

Try branching out to include new clean beauty products into your skincare and beauty routine. 

Switching to completely clean makeup is simple when you start with one or two easy swaps. Get familiar with cosmetics that are certified safe and feel right for you. If you want a foundation with ingredients you aren’t scared by and know more about, then this could be your first step. Start slow and work your way up with more education and awareness. 


This is a beginning to clean beauty education. Finding safer alternatives and stopping to read labels and ingredients can reduce your chances of chemical exposure or deceptive product greenwashing. 

If you are interested in taking control of your health, you can start by looking through your favorite personal care brands and everyday cosmetics to eliminate unwanted beauty ingredients and practices.