Clean products should not be a trend. Clean products must be the only alternative!

Clean skincare”, “Clean Beauty” is a trend that has certainly been well established abroad, and at NABIE we proudly follow this philosophy. Clean. Non-toxic. Cleared of all excess…

And what does the term “clean” skincare mean – is it natural, is it organic, is it vegan, is it not tested on animals,…?

Since there is no official definition of clean skincare, each company sets its own definitions and standards. However, there are some common points that define certain skincare as “clean”.

Clean cosmetics must meet at least two criteria:

Non-toxic ingredients
Basically, clean cosmetics means that we can use a product without risking our health. Products must contain only ingredients that are safe and non-toxic.

Transparent labeling
The ingredients must be clearly indicated on the packaging. An example of a non-transparent statement is e.g. the term perfume/fragrance or fragrances. Due to the lack of regulation in this area, companies can hide many things under this term. Another example is e.g. misleading with sounding adjectives, such as natural, ecological, organic – this practice is quite widespread and even got its own term “greenwashing”. Clean cosmetics simply do not contain secret ingredients and, above all, do not claim to be something they are not.

Clean cosmetics is synonymous with non-toxic cosmetics.

Clean cosmetics do not have to be natural or organic as long as the synthetic ingredients are safe and non-toxic.

Naturally, organic does not necessarily mean safe. For example autumn underbrush is 100% natural, but every year a person in Slovenia dies because of it. Heracleum mantegazzianum is 100% natural, but when it comes into contact with the skin, it causes burn-like blisters that usually require medical attention… and the list goes on. Even nature has strong toxic substances and natural as well as organic cosmetics are no guarantee that they are safe. Clean skincare does not have to be 100% perfect. It doesn’t have to be completely natural, without preservatives and the like. Clean skincare means safe products, to remove as many toxins as possible from everyday life. Clean cosmetics is also a matter of raising awareness – due to the lack of regulation in the cosmetics industry, sometimes very scary ingredients are found in daily care products. Ingredients that can cause cancer, dermatitis, allergies and a whole range of health problems. This means that the concern for product safety is left to the consumer. That’s why awareness is very important, and at NABIE, in addition to the production of clean, harmless products, we are also focused on this kind of awareness.

Does clean skincare have to be NATURAL?

For a long time, it was believed that the stars of clean cosmetics were products containing only natural ingredients. “No preservatives” was another of the parade claims. However, the answer is NO, pure cosmetics do not have to be only made of natural ingredients. Cosmetic science is developing rapidly and today we already know a number of safe synthetic ingredients, including safe synthetic preservatives. Basically, every cosmetic product should contain some kind of safe preservative to maintain the stability of the product. Otherwise, the composition may collapse and chemical reactions between (even purely natural) ingredients may occur, which may also lead to possible toxic effects. As long as the ingredients are non-toxic and proven safe, they can be part of clean skincare.

Does clean skincare have to be ORGANIC?

Similar to natural skincare and cosmetics, organic cosmetics are often confused with the term clean skincare and cosmetics. As with food, organic ingredients offer many benefits, but non-organic ingredients can be just as safe.

So NO, clean skincare and cosmetics do not have to be only made from organic ingredients.

Clean cosmetics CAN be organic, but it is not a requirement. In any case, the requirement is that the ingredients are SAFE – regardless of whether they are organic or not.

Should clean cosmetics be GREEN (“Green Beauty”)?

Green cosmetics is a rather undefined concept, but it can concern botanical cosmetics, vegan, not tested on animals, environmentally friendly and sustainable raw material acquisition. Although a product combines almost all of the above, which sounds great – it doesn’t have to be clean, because it might contain toxic ingredients. And vice versa – if the product only contains safe ingredients that are conventionally obtained from animal products (e.g. beeswax, honey, silk,…) – the product is still clean, even if it is not “green”. NATURAL, ORGANIC, GREEN products do not have to be CLEAN and vice versa CLEAN products do not have to be NATURAL, ORGANIC and GREEN as long as they are safe and transparent. Since, unfortunately, the safe use of cosmetics is left up to the consumer due to poor regulation of the cosmetic industry, below we present some more information.

What is “Greenwashing”?

Another requirement of clean cosmetics is transparent labeling.

When choosing products, claims such as “only natural ingredients”, “natural”, “organic”, “ecological”,… immediately catch our eye. Then we look at the price, which is of course slightly higher than the “competition” and only confirms that this is indeed the right, high-quality product for us. And we don’t even check the ingredients…We buy… How quickly can it happen that when checking the ingredients later at home (there are quite a few websites available, including apps for smartphones, where we can check the safety of the ingredients of cosmetic products) we find out that our all-natural cosmetics contain allergens, irritants, hormones disruptors or even carcinogens. This behavior of the cosmetic industry is called “greenwashing” – when a company advertises its products in such a way that the consumer gets the wrong message that their product is good and safe for him and the environment – so many companies try to influence consumers who are aware and want to care for your health and the environment. Instead of companies trying to make actually good, healthy products, they spend money on marketing campaigns trying to get the attention of conscious consumers. Again, due to insufficient regulation also in the field of labeling of cosmetic products, the assessment of correctness, quality and safety is left to the consumer. The most common labels that can be misleading (not necessarily) are: organic, only natural, no harmful chemicals, hypoallergenic, not tested on animals,…

10 Ingredients to Avoid in Big Bow:

If, as a consumer, we wanted to study the safety profile of each cosmetic ingredient, we could spend a whole day doing just that. Unfortunately, we cannot trust even the tempting claims on the packaging, catalogs, leaflets,… But we can start with the listed 10 ingredients that we should avoid in the big bow:

Parabens such as propylparaben, isobutylparaben (Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben)
Chemical UV filters octinoxate and oxybenzone (Octinoxate, Oxybenzone)
Diethanolamine (DEA)
Triclosan (Triclosan)
Phthalates such as Dibutyl Phthalate
Sodium laureth sulfate (Sodium laureth sulfate – SLS)
Polyethylene (PGE), e.g. PGE-10 laurate (PGE-10 laurate)
Butylated hydroxyanisole (Burylates hydroxyanisole – BHA)

In the cosmetics industry, we hire a lot of inaccurate information. Clean products are NOT the same as natural, organic, green… Clean products are simply SAFE and TRANSPARENT. Due to the poor regulation of the cosmetics industry, also in the area of product labeling, we also cannot trust the labels on the packaging. Fortunately, more and more consumers are aware and demand quality and safe products from the industry. We are still far from global changes, but small steps in this direction are nevertheless visible. There are many organizations and websites that raise consumer awareness and where information on the safety/toxicity of individual ingredients can be found; more and more companies are also focusing on CLEAN industy, and so NABIE follows this – not because it’s a trend, but because we care.