The 10 Most Important Clean Beauty Swaps You Should Make Now

We thankfully live in a time in which clean beauty is in. Whether you’re stocking up on supplies at your local drugstore or reordering your essentials online, you’ll be greeted by an abundance of clean cosmetics and skincare products that are helping to reshape the beauty industry for the better. Even products you might not know could be deemed ‘clean’ are available now, like nail polish and perfume, and they are at least as good if not better than their conventional beauty counterparts.

Whether you’re new to clean beauty or you’re already totally into it, we’ve curated a list of our current, must-switch-now favourites that will help you ease into detoxifying your beauty routine. The most important thing to remember is to start off slow and swap out products with the highest toxic-impact first.

So, sit back and relax and get ready to learn about our favourite clean beauty products that will leave you with glowing, healthy skin.


We all know the importance of wearing sunscreen. But what we might not all know is how toxic conventional sunblocks can be. Most sunscreens you find at the drugstore or grew up wearing contain a chemical called oxybenzone which is a skin irritant, hormone disruptor, and it can be harmful to the environment. Mineral sunscreen, on the other hand, calms the skin as opposed to irritating it and lasts until you wash or sweat it off. Plus, unlike chemical-based sunscreens, which absorb the sun’s UV rays and turn them into heat, mineral sunscreens protect you from UV rays by reflecting the rays off your skin. We recommend giving Canadian-made LASPA a try because not only is it made with 100% natural ingredients, but it’s also biodegradable, reef safe, and never tested on animals. Plus, this lotion keeps skin smooth and protected by using essential oils, plant materials, and zinc oxide to deliver a translucent and non-greasy application.


Conventional deodorants and antiperspirants are another product we use daily that we might not know to pose a serious threat to our health. Conventional brands are pumped with chemicals like aluminum, which not only block your sweat ducts but is also a hormone disruptor that has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. You should opt for an aluminum-free and natural brand like Kaia Naturals takesumi detox charcoal deodorant. Not only is it free from aluminum, but it also doesn’t contain synthetics fragrances, isn’t tested on animals, and is gentle on all skin types. But above all, it’s infused with activated charcoal which pulls impurities from your pores and helps to neutralize odour on a daily basis so underarms stay fresh every day.


When it comes to conventional exfoliators, they’re often filled with potentially toxic preservatives, texturizers, and fragrances, opposed to clean skincare products that often have higher percentages of the active ingredients it’s made with. The GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator, for example, is a dual-action microdermabrasion exfoliator that delivers the benefits of both physical and chemical exfoliation, so you’re left with glowing, smooth skin. Plus, instead of all the possible harmful ingredients, you might find in your go-to drugstore scrub, you get four different kinds of naturally exfoliating minerals, like quartz, garnet, alumina, and silica; glycolic acid, which removes dead skin cells and other debris and helps increase cell turnover; and Australian Kakadu Plum, superfruit that contains up to a hundred times more vitamin C than an orange.


Conventional-mass market cleansers can be pumped with a variety of harmful ingredients like surfactants that strip away and dry out the skin; sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), a detergent that makes products foam, lather, and in turn, cause allergic reactions and the disruption of the skin’s production of natural oils; and even synthetic fragrances which are also a potential hormone disruptor. For healthy, glowing skin, we recommend a gentle cleanser like Josh Rosebrook’s Complete Moisture Cleanse, which works by lathering and clearing away unwanted dirt, bacteria, and imbalanced oil for a moisturizing, and gentle cleanse. Made with antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and antibacterial plant and herbs, including argan and jojoba oils along with aloe vera, calendula, turmeric, and licorice, this cleanser helps to calm and renew sensitive skin while preserving the skin’s protective barrier.


Serums are easily the holy grail of any skincare routine because they deliver fast and noticeable results. However, this means that most conventional serums are often chock-full of fillers, such as silicones, which simply leave the skin feeling smooth while actually doing nothing to treat or heal the skin. We recommend switching to a clean serum that’s free from unnecessary and potentially harmful additives like Graydon’s Fullmoon Serum. Loaded with active ingredients to help visibly reduce signs of ageing, this 100% vegan serum is made with a skin-changing formula of botanical collagen, Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, oligopeptides and retinol, and anti-inflammatory blue tansy, an anti-pollution complex. But above all, the Fullmoon Serum helps to improve and protect your skin’s natural beauty, combat comprehensive signs of ageing, and shield your skin from everyday pollutants, while calming inflammation.

Face Cream

Sure, your go-to moisturizer or face cream might make your skin look and feel plump and hydrated, but what you might not know is it’s most likely filled with ingredients like petroleum, propylene glycol (aka antifreeze), and silicones to create the feeling of hydration. Clean alternatives, on the other hand, actually treat and protect the skin with natural ingredients. We’re currently loving Honest Beauty’s Deep Hydration Face Cream — which is founded by The Honest Company’s Jessica Alba. This rich face cream is formulated with jojoba esters and hyaluronic acid, which deeply soften and hydrate the skin while locking in moisture for up to eight hours so you’re left luminous and healthy-looking skin. Plus, this face cream is PETA-approved and free from harmful ingredients like hormone-disrupting parabens, phthalates (a group of chemicals used in plastics to soften and increase flexibility), synthetic fragrances, polyethylene glycol compounds (PEG’s), mineral oils, or dyes — which we can definitely support.


While we love the dark, dramatic lashes we get from our favourite conventional brands, what we don’t love is that these mascaras are often made with formulas that contain thimerosal, a mercury-based element that’s often used as a preservative, formaldehyde (gross), and even aluminum powder. If those ingredients don’t sound scary enough, just remember that you’re applying them extremely close to your precious eyes. Thankfully, clean mascaras are now at least as good as their conventional counterparts (if not better), and they are made free of the typical toxins. Right now, we’re loving Juice Beauty’s Phyto-Pigments Ultra-Natural Mascara, not only because it’s clean, natural, and organic, but it’s also extremely pigmented and has a serious volume-building capability that can give conventional brands a run for their money. Plus, one coat leaves lashes looking lush, long, and feathery soft without the toxic chemicals commonly used in conventional mascaras.


Another product that you should consider swapping once it runs out is the makeup you use the most on your face, whether that’s a tinted moisturizer or foundation. Unfortunately, these products are filled with harmful ingredients like parabens, synthetic colours, and coal tar dyes, which is why you should be using a clean and nontoxic product instead — like Beautycounter’s Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation. This lightweight and creamy foundation melts into the skin and can effortlessly cover imperfections and even out skin tone as you blend and build your perfect level of coverage. Available in ten shades — which have been formulated to work for an even wider range of skin tones — this foundation also contains sodium hyaluronate, a natural moisture magnet, to promote smoother-looking skin all while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


You unintentionally eat a large portion of whatever you slather on your lips, which, unfortunately, includes your lipstick. If you typically wear conventional brands, this means you’re unknowingly ingesting toxic ingredients like synthetic dyes, petroleum, animal by-products, heavy metals (lead, aluminum, nickel, arsenic, etc.), and endocrine-disrupting and potentially carcinogenic preservatives and fragrances — yum. That said, make sure whatever you put on your lips is clean. Your best bet is to find a brand that’s transparent and upfront about its ingredient lists so you know exactly what’s in the products you’re putting on your lips. Our go-to is Kosas’ Weightless Lip Color, which also happens to be one of the queens of lifestyle’s favourite lipsticks (aka Gwyneth Paltrow), so you know it’s gotta be good. This lipstick is the perfect blend of creamy and hydrating thanks to its blend of organic oils, botanical extracts, and shea butter and comes in eight universally flattering shades from beigey nude to a deep, purplish-red.


Don’t get us wrong, we love cult-favourite blushes as much as the next person, but after learning they often hide several nasty ingredients, it’s made us reconsider what we apply to our face. Common culprits include parabens, talc (which is said to be linked to cancer), preservatives, and mineral oils that have impurities. Thankfully you can still have rosy cheeks without having to apply those harmful ingredients to your face. We love Ilia Beauty’s award-winning Multi-Stick, which seamlessly blends into lips and cheeks thanks to a deeply nourishing blend of organic shea butter, orange peel wax, and avocado oil, which instantly melts into the skin upon contact.

Tags: Clean Beauty, Makeup bag essentials, Makeup bag update, natural skincare, top story, topstory

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