Cleaning Up Your Beauty Routine in 3 Easy Steps

by Chinea Rodriguez

Clean beauty is all the rage right now. Brands are cutting ingredients and going greener and cleaner but what does clean beauty actually mean? In general, it has some pretty varying definitions since there’s no singular pathway to clean beauty, but the general consensus is cutting out ingredients or packaging deemed toxic or harmful to the environment. Before you rush to dump out your products, this mostly means you should be more aware and conscious of what is inside them. We believe you should be just as aware of what goes on your body as you are of what goes in it. So we broke down a few easy ways to get started on cleaning up your routine. 


1. Check Your Ingredients 


Just like you grab boxes and cans at the grocery store and scan the ingredients list for less than favorable additions, you should be doing the same to your beauty products. Here are a few standout ingredients many beauty brands cut and why. 



You’ll see plenty of beauty products that have cut parabens, so what are they and should we be worried? According to the FDA, parabens are chemicals commonly used as preservatives to protect against microorganisms that can develop in products. Parabens are usually easy to spot on your ingredients list, because paraben will be in the name, some common forms you might spot in your products are methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or ethylparaben. Extensive research is still being done on the effects of parabens but many are concerned parabens could possibly affect hormone function and can impact the environment as well, more specifically marine life.


Sulfates (SLS and SLES)

Sulfates are surfactants that you’ll typically spot in your shampoos and other cleansers since this causes that foamy lather. One concern with sulfates is that they can dry out your hair and irritate your skin but don’t worry you can still give you that squeaky clean feeling without sulfates. 


Mineral Oil

Derived from petrolatum, mineral oil is commonly found in emollients and moisturizers as it seals moisture into the skin but it can be found in many other kinds of products. Some concerns are that it might be pore-clogging and that it might be carcinogenic. 



This colorless gas is usually found in hair treatments and nail products like polishes and hardeners. Many nail care brands have cut this and many other potentially dangerous ingredients from their formulas. Some of the major concerns are that formaldehyde can cause skin irritation and possibly be carcinogenic as well.


2. Know Where to Shop

Some stores make shopping for clean beauty easy. Sephora has a dedicated clean beauty section and clear definitions of what clean means to them. You can also spot a similar section and shop affordable brands at Target and Ulta. BLK+GRN is an online marketplace offering clean beauty from Black-owned brands and Glory Skincare is another great option. An All the Pretty Birds favorite of our Executive Editor is Credo Beauty for their BIPOC brand category and mentorship program.


3. Know Your Brands 

Clean beauty is the M.O. for plenty of beauty brands. Here are a few of our favorites with picks from each:

Kosas 10-Second Eyeshadow, $28

Ilia Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask, $26

Redoux Turmeric Botanical Bar, $16

Hyper Skin Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum, $36

Hanahana Beauty Amber Vanilla Shea Body Butter, $30 


Thanks for keeping up with us Pretty Birds! Let us know in the comments how these steps helped clean up your routine!

 Leading Image via Sora Shimazaki

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