Today is National Clean Beauty Day — and what better way to celebrate than with a little lesson on what clean beauty really means, why it’s important, and the products we love that we’ve been making clean, vegan and cruelty-free from day one.
GENTLE INGREDIENTS THAT DO MORE
When we set out to expand Alo into wellness and build our beauty collection, there were a few things that mattered a lot. Glow System products contain naturally sourced ingredients like amla. This vitamin C-rich superberry can be found in every single one of our products, from Lasting Lip Balm to Shine Shampoo & Conditioner. A rich source of antioxidants, amla has been used in Ayurveda for millennia. Our Magnesium Reset Spray with arnica, magnesium, valerian, and soothing aromatherapy oils to help soothe and restore post-practice is fast becoming a clean beauty staple in our gym bags along with Supernatural Deodorant. Amla, aloe, probiotics, and hyaluronic acid hydrate underarms probiotics help to neutralize odor. Even our Daily SPF Face Moisturizer with zinc and squalane is clean. Among the many products being dragged for their harmful ingredients, popular deodorants and sunscreens are at the top of the list. But don’t get us wrong, it's not that all manufactured ingredients are harmful — our squalane is a manufactured vegan form of squalene, a hydrating ingredient made from shark fins (ick). This synthetic version is shark-free, and leaves your skin glowing with dewy radiance. What matters most to us is where things come from, how they are made, and how they affect the body in the long-term. This brings us to our impressive "no” list.
OUR “NO” LIST
We've built our beauty collection around safe, human tested, gentle ingredients that promote outer radiance and inner glow. If you've tried us, you know every product features an extensive list of "no" ingredients on its packaging, and today is the perfect opportunity for us to elaborate.
No Parabens: Parabens is the name used for a group of chemicals that act as a preservative in cosmetics, skincare products, and even food! The concern with these chemicals is that scientific studies suggest they can disrupt hormones in the body, harm fertility and reproductive organs, affect birth outcomes, irritate the skin, and even increase cancer risk.
No Phthalates: This family of chemicals is used to make plastics more durable. They are often called plasticizers. Some phthalates are used to help dissolve other materials, and many are found in common personal care products like moisturizers, deodorants, and sunscreens. If this sounds disgusting to you, you've got good instincts. In the past few years, researchers have linked phthalates to asthma, ADHD, breast cancer, obesity, type II diabetes, neurodevelopment issues, autism, altered reproductive development, and male fertility issues... It hardly seems worth it for soft skin and good-smelling armpits, right? We agree, which is why none of our products are made with these chemicals.
No Gluten: No shade to gluten, really. We love a flakey croissant, but many people are gluten sensitive, and we don't think it has any business in a topical skincare product.
No Animal Products: Gone are the days of covered wagons and using things like beef tallow or lanolin for dry skin—a substance made from sheep fat and found in hundreds of personal care products even today in 2022. With so many other beneficial ingredients at our disposal, there is no reason to use animal byproducts. We'll always be vegan and cruelty-free because our furry friends belong in our arms, not in a lab.
No Sulfates: A major ingredient in detergent, facial cleansers, and shampoos, sulfates are very harsh on the skin and hair, stripping it of its natural moisture and potentially causing major reactions in those with more sensitive skin. So we ditched them when formulating our Shine Shampoo, Shine Conditioner, and everything else we make.
No Mineral Oil: There is a lot of controversy over this ingredient in many personal care products, specifically makeup. Some say mineral oils are not necessarily always harmful to you, but recent findings from the Cancer Institute of America suggest exposure to mineral oils may be associated with an increased risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer — so we'll gladly stay away from this ingredient, thank you.
No Artificial Colors or Dyes: "But Red dye 40 is in everything, it can't be that bad". Oh, but how wrong you are, my friend. A common ingredient in everything from self-tanner to candy, fast foods, and even farm-raised fish, artificial dyes Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 may contain known cancer-causing contaminants. Although they have been deemed safe for all ages by the FDA in the US, they come with hefty warning labels in Europe and have been banned entirely in Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, and Denmark.
No Synthetic Fragrance: Many synthetic chemicals in fragrances are petroleum-based phthalates (discussed above) — so let’s stay away from these potential endocrine disruptors. Enjoy our delicious, naturally fragranced Head-To-Toe Glow Oil, Mega-C Body Wash, Superfruit Body Lotion, and Restorative Hand Cream scented with naturally sourced mandarin.
No Aluminum: The jury’s out on whether aluminum is harmful. Some studies show that people exposed to high levels of aluminum may develop Alzheimer's disease and cancer. Other studies have found neither of these to be true. Yet, with so much conflicting information circulating, you guessed it — it's a NO for us!
No PEGs: The FDA classifies PEGs as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) ingredients for food and cosmetic production. However, the process of making PEGs creates toxic byproducts that are harmful to humans and our environment. The best way to reduce the risk is to eliminate PEGs all together.
No Silicones: Silicone can cause significant buildup on hair, skin, and scalp, and is notoriously bad for curls. It may irritate sensitive, acne-prone or oily skin types.
No Propylene Glycol: Propylene glycol is found in thousands of cosmetic products and many processed foods and medications. The research is inconclusive as to whether it's a dangerous toxin or a mostly harmless compound. So, until we know, the answer is NO.
YOU MADE IT!
Hey, we applaud you for sticking around for this deep dive into clean vs. dirty beauty. We know it's a lot, but this isn't just beauty we're talking about. It's our health and wellness. We believe that with the state of the personal care product industry being so unregulated, it's up to us to make products that work without putting our long-term health at risk. So, on this beautiful day of beauty, we challenge you to look at the labels on your everyday products, educate yourself, and make the switch to clean.
Tag us @alo_wellness in your product clean out for your chance to be featured.