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What does clean beauty actually mean?

The recent years have given rise to a new beauty standard—Clean Beauty. Definitions vary depending on who you ask, also subject to marketing spin. But let us tell you what it means to JOMO.

To us, clean beauty is simple and honest. It is a movement advocating the use of beauty and personal care products that are mindfully created for you, not containing controversial ingredients that are proven or suspected to harm human health and are transparent in listing all its ingredients.

Whilst many beauty trends come and go, this one is much more than just a fad. It is a way of life—a step towards a clean and responsible life.

Hands Up Those of You Who Read Your Beauty Ingredient Labels

Here’s why clean beauty matters. The skin is the largest organ of the body, and it absorbs a great deal of what goes onto it. Like food, we consume a variety of beauty and personal care products every day. Little by little, the exposure adds up over time.

There are tons of studies around the harmful effects of chemicals used in beauty products, ranging from plain old skin irritation to cancer, developmental and reproductive harm, and hormone disruption. Yet there are inconsistencies as to how regulations around excluding these chemical ingredients are enforced around the world. For example, the FDA, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has banned only 11 cosmetics ingredients, while in the EU, over 1,300 ingredients are on the prohibited list. The truth is, in between the lines of these regulations, we don’t know what we don’t know, and our daily personal care routine unknowingly becomes a significant contributor to our toxic load.

Let Science Back Up Your Beauty Choices

At the end of the day, cosmetics is science, and all conventional products are made of chemicals. Some chemicals are more harmful than others, but do we know what they all are? It is impossible to know the safety or toxicity of every single ingredient. Plus, not all products are transparent about the ingredients they use. Beauty industry jargon can be confusing to decipher, masking a product’s true ingredients and its effectiveness. As such, we suggest that you turn to science to help you make your beauty decisions.

EWG (Environmental Working Group) Skin Deep database is a great resource for researching your favourite products. It contains information and online hazard assessments for over 74,000 beauty products. Their staff scientists compare ingredients on product labels to information in nearly 60 toxicity and regulatory databases, providing a score on a product’s overall toxicity concerns.

So, be a conscious consumer and start checking your beauty ingredient labels. Be aware of what goes into your products and what you apply to your skin.

Stay Away from These 10 Toxic Ingredients

Like many clean beauty advocates, JOMO has a list of ingredients that we avoid, but we do not believe in engaging in fearmongering. In this intelligent age, we believe in putting the information out there and let you, the consumer, make your own choice.

Here’s our cheat sheet for you, listing the top 10 toxic ingredient culprits we suggest you eliminate from your beauty routine for good:

  1. Parabens like Propylparaben and Iosbutylparaben
  2. Fragrance
  3. Chemical UV filters Octinoxate and Oxybenzone
  4. Diethanolamine (DEA)
  5. Triclosan
  6. Phthalates like Dibutyl phthalate
  7. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS)
  8. Formaldehyde
  9. Methylisothiazolinone
  10. Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate)

We strive to keep this list current, so check back frequently for updates.

Why Not Make Your Own Clean Beauty Products?

Here at JOMO, it took us years of experimenting and learning to switch to clean beauty, even more so when we became mummies and want the best for our little ones and their delicate skin. We discovered that the most empowering way to adopt clean beauty is to make our own products. In this way, we do not have to navigate all the greenwashing, guaranteeing ourselves 100 percent that no known toxic goes into what we make and what we use.

So, whilst other ladies were whipping up scrumptious meals and delicious cakes in their kitchens, we were concocting recipes for body scrubs, moisturisers, shampoos, conditioners, and lip balms—using only au naturel, plant-based ingredients, trying to make them look as delectable as food.

Henceforth our clean beauty journey began. As we worked towards perfecting our craft, we desired to share our learnings in a fun and inviting way, hosting our first workshops in 2019, driving home the clean beauty message and other ethical and environmental priorities amongst friends, friends of friends, and strangers-turned-new-friends.

So, here we stand today with our philosophy around how playful, clean, and noble beauty will prevail, debunking the stereotype of beauty trends that come and go—because healthy is beautiful.

We’d be happy to chat more or hear about your experiences with clean beauty. Connect with us on Instagram or drop us a message.