The term ‘clean beauty’ is becoming more and more mainstreams (hoorah!) but there is still some confusion surrounding it all, especially when you first set out on your journey. We always recommend newcomers do their research so that they can fully understand what clean beauty actually means, and what ingredients they should be looking out for. With this in mind, this week we’re looking at clean beauty through the eyes of someone totally new to it all, and asking: what do all the terms mean? Hopefully this will help you decipher the terms we use here at Little Soap. Let us know in the comments if you haven questions!
Totally free from detergents
You’ll see this one on our product pages quite a lot, and on other clean beauty sites too. But what are detergents and why does it matter if our products are free from them?
Put simply, soaps that contain detergents are soaps that contain a chemical foaming/ cleansing agent that many manufacturers rely on to make their products ‘work’. So because we label our soaps as totally detergent free, you know that we most definitely have not used any of these artificial chemicals to make our soaps ‘work’. Instead, we use natural ingredients that work amazingly- and the same will go for other decent clean beauty brands too.
Free from SLS
We’re free from SLS here at Little Soap Company, and you’ll see that on our product pages too. Other clean beauty brands will steer clear of SLS also, and for a very good reason. SLS stands for Sodium Laurel Suplhate and it’s a chemical agent used for cleaning. It’s one of those detergents that makes your soap foam- it does a really good job of it too!
The problem though, and the reason why we don’t use it in our soap, is that SLS has a tendency to irritate the skin and eyes, so if you have sensitive skin you’re going to want to avoid it at all costs. Clean beauty brands worth their salt will use natural alternatives to SLS in their products- like we do.
You might notice lots of clean beauty brands also using the term ‘Parabens free’- and its another that we use here at Little Soap. Parabens are a real problem in the beauty industry because they’re so widely used. You can find them in cosmetics, skin care products, medications, foods and also in oils, fats, shoe polishes, textiles… the list goes on!
Parabens are basically preservatives, and they’ve been used in cosmetics for a long time- because they prolong the product’s shelf life. On the surface, parabens seem to be quite handy then, don’t they? Until you look a little deeper…
Clean beauty brands avoid paraben because studies have found them to be not only bad for the body, but bad for the environment too. Research has discovered that parabens can be absorbed by the body and are known to cause skin irritations and sensitivities. And when it comes to our planet, parabens are known to damage marine life too. Bad news all round- hence why we are definitely paraben free!
Free from alcohol
Alcohol is used in a wide range of products within the beauty industry- from shower gels to hand wash and shampoo to shaving cream. The function of the alcohol is many, but the reason why clean beauty brands avoid it is clear. Alcohol can be very damaging to the skin, causing it to dry out (as it strips the skin of its natural oils) and resulting in irritation and sensitivity. We do not use alcohol in our soap!
Sorbate, silicone and synthetic preservative free
When it comes to skincare, sorbates, silicone and synthetic preservaticves are all known causes of irritation, which is why we don’t use them here at Little Soap. You’ll notice that many other clean beauty brands also avoid these ingredients, preferring instead to use natural ingredients that work just as well.