Decoding Clean Beauty Buzzwords


We hear clean beauty buzzwords all the time but what do terms like clean, natural and organic actually mean? 

Our mission to make clean beauty accessible to everyone means sharing our knowledge so you can make informed and confident decisions. If you feel overwhelmed and confused by skincare jargon, you are not alone. These terms are not regulated by government bodies so their definitions are subjective and are held to different standards by various brands. In this article, we break down clean beauty buzzwords so you can navigate the realm of clean beauty like an expert.


In essence, clean beauty products are designed and manufactured with consideration to human health and the environment. They are safe for both people and our planet. Luxury by Sofia takes it a step further by ensuring that our products are ethically sourced. Generally, clean cosmetics are formulated with plant-based ingredients rich in natural vitamins and antioxidants that nourishes your complexion.


Natural skincare and makeup products are deemed to have high levels of naturally occurring ingredients. These include plant extracts, essential oils and other raw produce harvested from our ecosystem such as Rosewater, Aloe Vera Juice and Argan Oil.


Green is an umbrella term which indicates that the beauty products afflict no harm to the environment. Sustainable sourced ingredients, biodegradable packaging and eco-friendly brand initiatives can enable a brand to label their products as green. However, we have to be wary of greenwashing where brands convey false or misleading information that cause consumers to perceive them as eco-conscious when they are not. For instance, using reusable glass bottles but shipping them with a high amount of plastic bubble wrap and packing materials is a red flag that shows the brand does not see their green commitment through.


Organic beauty products are not formulated with genetically modified organisms. They are plant-based ingredients sourced from nature and are free of toxic pesticides that may irritate and damage your skin.


Products labeled as nontoxic do not contain ingredients or chemicals that have been deemed toxic at any dose by a third-party organization such as the European Union and Environmental Working Group. This is an important aspect when it comes to skincare because compounds that come into direct contact with your skin may be able to penetrate it and enter your bloodstream, potentially delivering long-term impacts.


Sustainable products are those designed with ingredients and packaging that do not harm the planet. When we rinse off makeup or skincare, the products that are drained enter the water system. Unsustainable materials like exfoliating microbeads and toxic preservatives have been reported to harm marine life. Another key aspect of sustainability is ethical sourcing. Materials sourced should not involve unfair practices such as child labor.


Vegan cosmetics do not contain animal by-products or parts sourced from animals. Popular vegan ingredients include Beeswax, Honey and Lanolin. It is vital to note that a vegan product does not necessarily mean that it is clean as it can still contain harmful chemicals.


Cruelty-free products are not tested on animals when they are being formulated, manufactured and before being sold. A cruelty-free label does not mean that the product is vegan. It may still contain animal-derived compounds that were simply not extracted at the expense of the animal’s well-being.

Bookmark this article or print it out for your next shopping trip. With this dictionary of clean beauty buzzwords decoded, you will have no trouble cutting through the noise and finding the perfect addition to your skincare routine.

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