Beauty / Sustainability Q&A

What’s the difference between clean, green, and natural beauty products?

The words clean, green, and natural beauty are thrown interchangeably all the time but do they actually mean the same thing? And which type of product should you be buying?

If you’re new to the world of clean/green beauty (don’t worry I am too), you probably started to realize how confusing the terminology is when you went to Google to search for new beauty products. 

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Let’s start with a quick breakdown of what each term means.

CLEAN BEAUTY – The focus here is on non-toxic ingredients. They can be either natural or synthetic. 

NATURAL BEAUTY – Again, the focus is on ingredients but in this case, ingredients are sourced from nature. 

GREEN BEAUTY – This relates to the impact a beauty product/brand has on the environment and planet. Sustainable ingredients and environmentally-friendly packaging are the key features this category offers. 

It’s important to note that none of these categories are exclusive. Many beauty products fall into two, or sometimes all, of these categories. 

Also, you might be inclined to presume that because a product is one thing, like “green” that it’s also “natural” or “clean” but you can never be sure without reading the packaging or website info.

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

Now that you understand the different terms, which category should you buy your beauty products from?

CLEAN BEAUTY – If you have sensitive skin or have experienced discomfort and irritation from using beauty products, you’ll want to focus on this category since it was created to help resolve those issues. Jessica Alba’s brand Honest Beauty is a popular choice in this category.

NATURAL BEAUTY – Are you a believer in the power of nature? This is the category for you! Personally, I don’t mind synthetic/lab-made ingredients as long as they are safe and don’t irritate my skin. The challenge is always understanding which products are “safe”. I switched to natural deodorant because of the health concerns around traditional deodorant.  I recommend checking out Native deodorant if you’re looking to make the switch.

GREEN BEAUTY – Where are my green queens?! This is the category for you (and all of us, the planet needs our help)! Green beauty products can help us reduce our eco-footprint but the term “green” is used all the time so you’ll need to take a deeper dive into a company’s FAQ or about page to understand the impact their products and packaging have on the environment.

Now that you understand the difference between green, natural, and clean beauty you can start shopping for the products that are right for you! 

Do already have some favorites? Share them with me in the comments! 

One of my favorite green and clean beauty brands, Kiehl’s, has a Midnight Recovery Concentrate that I highly recommend adding to your nightly skincare routine. (You can read my full review HERE)

I also wanted to share a few other brands that you might be interested in checking out. 

I’ll be sharing more reviews and tutorials soon for these brands so stay tuned!

Honest Beauty – Clean beauty focus, super popular!

Elate Beauty – Green and clean! I’m saving up to place an order, I’ve read great reviews!

100% Pure – Natural beauty brand. They pride themselves on having no synthetic ingredients.

Bite Beauty – Natural and organic. I love the colors and feel of bite lipsticks! 

Native Deodorant – Natural beauty. You’ll be so happy with the performance of this deodorant! If you have sensitive skin, I recommend avoiding the charcoal version as it might cause irritation (it did for me) but the other scents are GREAT!

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