The Ultimate Guide to Clean Beauty • The Blonde Abroad

Copy of the Ultimate Clean Beauty GuideYou may have heard the buzzword “clean beauty” in recent years, perhaps it was featured in marketing campaigns or used by your favorite blogger. *Ahem.*

While it may be a hot topic right now, it’s actually great that it’s coming to light as it’s such a critical topic in skincare, beauty, and wellness. In case you’re scratching your head and thinking, “Okay, but why?”

Here’s the truth: What really is clean beauty and why is it important?

Clean beauty refers to skin care and cosmetics that are made with ingredients that are not harmful to the consumer. Clean beauty products contain nourishing ingredients and are made from natural or safe synthetic ingredients. This is crucial as there are many products that can disrupt the endocrine system (your hormone factory!) and are not good to ingest… especially products that we use often on a daily basis.

The key to living a cleaner, lower toxicity lifestyle is understanding that education and avoidance are always the first steps and that avoiding some harmful chemicals is always better to avoid none. Do what you can!

And it’s important to note that there are many personal care products beyond just beauty or skin care products that are worth a closer look and may have high levels of harmful toxins, such as period products, candles, sprays, etc. , sunscreens, protein/fitness- related powders, and more.

While the FDA regulates some things, many ingredients that could be harmful are not controlled; hence the need to focus on “clean products” and check the ingredients yourself.

Here is my ultimate guide to clean beauty with some of my favorite clean beauty products!

Why is clean beauty important?

The world of cosmetics and beauty, especially in the United States, is not as regulated as other industries. This means companies can use ingredients that aren’t actually safe for the skin or body, or use higher concentrations of ingredients without much information about long-term effects.

And before you think “well, everything is a chemical, what’s the point of trying to avoid them?” or “everything is fine in moderation”, the truth is that with most of these newly developed chemicals, toxins and pollutants, we just don’t know what “moderation” really isor like everyone these chemicals REACT with each other when you are exposed to so many in your normal daily routine and for long periods of time.

The cosmetic and beauty products that millions of women and men use every day can cause cancer, infertility, endocrine disruption, and much more. Some products that people use every day, such as deodorants that include aluminum and zirconium, have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Carcinogens are cancer-causing chemicals found in many makeup and beauty care products. Many of these ingredients are banned in Japan and Europe, but not in the United States. To give you an idea of ​​how few regulations the US has on cosmetics, there are just over ten substances that are banned in the US, which is only a fraction compared to the 1,300 that are banned in Europe.

This post is not meant to scare you, I just wanted to highlight a few things I learned and get your attention.

You don’t have to throw away everything you use, if you can gradually switch to cleaner products, I would recommend it!

Clean beauty product sample

LOLI is a great example of a clean beauty brand. LOLI stands for Living Organic Loving Ingredients and is the world’s first certified zero-waste, organic and MADE SAFE® skincare brand.

LOLI Beauty’s multitasking products are recycled from the organic, waterless, vegan, non-GMO, and cruelty-free food supply. Going one step further, LOLI packs consciously using recycled, recyclable, reusable and compostable garden packaging. I love that most of the products are in glass containers, better for me and the environment.

You can find some of my favorite LOLI products below:

What to look for and avoid

When buying clean beauty products

There are some red flag ingredients to watch out for.


Fragrances can be made with many different substances that do not need to be listed as it is considered a secret ingredient and phthalates are chemicals that are added to make fragrances last longer. These are commonly found in shampoos, perfumes, candles, air fresheners, cleaning products, and scented personal care products. Phthalates can cause reproductive problems in both men and women, cancer, neurological problems, asthma, and diabetes.


Parabens act as preservatives in many beauty and makeup products, but have been shown to cause obesity, early puberty, and damage to the reproductive organs.


Phenacetin can be found in hair products. This chemical was banned by the FDA for use in medicines, but it is not banned in other products. Phenacetin may be linked to kidney damage, anemia, and breast tumors.

ethoxylated agents

Ethoxylated agents, which can be labeled as ceteareth, sulfates, or oleth, are often found in lathering hair products, but can be harsh on hair when stripping.


Formaldehyde is found in keratin hair relaxers, nail polish, and makeup. Japan bans formaldehyde entirely, while Europe states that there should be no more than 5% in products. However, the United States does not regulate the amount of formaldehyde found in products. Formaldehyde can cause cancer in humans.

Mineral oil

Mineral oils like Vaseline and paraffin are found in lip balms and face lotions and have been linked to cancer.


Hydroquinone is found in bleaches and has been shown to cause cancer, impaired immune responses, and skin conditions.

Unpurified talc

Talc can be in face powder and eye shadow. Purified talc may be safe, but unpurified talc may contain asbestos.


Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical found in hand sanitizers and body wash. It has been linked to skin cancer, liver fibrosis, and hormonal disruption.


Both perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are found in cosmetics and body care products; they are a giant class of chemicals known as “permanent chemicals.” They can affect fertility, changes in the immune system and development, and can increase the risk of cancer and disease.


While the FDA classifies PEGs as generally safe for both food and cosmetic production, the PEG manufacturing process creates toxic byproducts, including measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and dioxane. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies both as human carcinogens, so I always choose to avoid PEGs when possible.

endocrine disruptors

Although I switched to clean beauty products years ago, I became increasingly aware of “endocrine disruptors” once I started trying to get pregnant. Many chemicals, both natural and man-made, can mimic or interfere with the body’s hormones, known as the endocrine system.

Endocrine disrupting chemicals have been linked to weight gain⁠, hormonal imbalances, gut dysbiosis⁠, diabetes, infertility, reproductive and developmental problems⁠, all of which tend to affect women more!

For example, “BPA free” has become essential when buying plastic products: BPA is a known endocrine disruptor that can specifically affect birth weight, miscarriage, and undermine the success of IVF treatments. But many “BPA-free” products may still contain bisphenols, which leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

With that, it’s always good to go for non-plastic options (glass is my go-to) whenever possible.

Use EWG’s Skin Deep website

The Environmental Working Group, or EWG, is a community that strives to help protect the environmental health of all. EWG’s easy-to-use Skin Deep website and app allow consumers to search for products or brands based on their EWG rating.

The best rating a product can have is the EWG Verified Seal, while the worst is a rating of 10.

The website also has its own list of top products that includes baby shampoo, skin care, shampoo, cosmetic brands, and even baby diapers and wipes.

EWG Skin Deep

Do you have any favorite clean beauty brands I should know about? Let me know below in the comments!

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