Clean skin care is the future of clean beauty

Florian Sommet / Trunk Archive

Jessica Richards, the founder of Shen Beauty, a Brooklyn-based convenience store, says her customers have expressed frustration over the past few years about skincare options: they choose a “clean” product or one that has clinically proven results but contains ingredients. potentially irritating like parabens, phthalates or sulfates? Although clean formulas are not regulated or defined by any United States government agency, in the beauty industry they are widely accepted as free from ingredients identified as potentially toxic by environmental organizations or that are made outside of the United States. United States in countries with stricter wording rules. “I usually find a brand clean from Europe or Japan because they actually have regulations and an ingredient blacklist,” says Richards.

Clean formulas have been marketed as being healthier for us and, thanks to the frequent use of greener botanicals, better for the planet. But there has also been a perception that these products are not as effective in treating conditions like acne or the signs of aging. This may change, however, with the introduction of cleanical (“clean” plus “clinical”) brands. “He’s like Bennifer,” says Richards, a blend of two desirable things.

“Brands are recognizing that consumers want to see real results, in addition to using ingredients they deem safe,” says Ron Robinson, a cosmetic chemist and founder of BeautyStat. The recent increase in revenue for cleanical brands confirms this, growing 55% from September 2020 to September 2021, according to NPD Group, a New York-based market research firm. Some of these brands, such as Biossance, Noble Panacea and Caudalíe’s new Premier Cru collection, are the brainchild of expert scientists who have skillfully combined cleaner ingredients with true scientific innovation. Another rapidly growing faction is led by doctors who have heard the demand drum of their own patients and have thought: who better than them to meet the need?

Augustinus Bader, a biomedical scientist and physician, created his famous namesake brand based on a complex called TFC8 which he had first developed to treat vulnerable and severely burned skin. Because the damaged tissue couldn’t tolerate anything irritating in the slightest, Bader says his brand was essentially “born out of bad things.”

Antony Nakhla, MD, a dermatologist from Orange County, California, and creator of Eighth Day skincare, says its clean formulas avoid the use of questionable fragrances, dyes, dyes, or preservatives and load up on a combination of herbal ingredients, such as manuka honey and ginger root extract, and clinically proven active ingredients such as the company’s proprietary peptide-rich plasma. Amir Karam, MD, a plastic surgeon from San Diego, created his simplified cleanical multitasking line, Karam MD, with the goal of simplifying his patients’ routines by using proven ingredients (retinol, vitamin C, peptides) that worked for everyone. “The idea of ​​creating something clean that was free of parabens, silicone or anything potentially harmful, as well as being vegan and cruelty free, was particularly important because we wanted formulas that everyone could use, even those with the most sensitive skin”, He says.

Joshua Zeichner, MD, a New York City dermatologist, says that when he and his wife, Cori, developed their new Jori Skincare adult acne line, they agreed it would have all the hallmarks of a cleanical line: would include clinically proven acne-fighting ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, and the best plant-based options: including saw palmetto and oil-control skullcap. And it would be “fragrance-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalates, and dyes,” because that’s what consumers want. “Consumers are now very aware of what they are putting in their bodies and on their skin,” he says. “And as a doctor, this is a philosophy that I subscribe to too.”

This article appears in the April 2022 issue of ELLE.

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