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The health and wellness community has realized that a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be limited to only the food we’re consuming on a daily basis but also the products we apply directly to our skin every day. Since the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate the personal care and beauty industries, companies are free to create products with whatever ingredients they want. So, many conventional beauty products are full of preservatives, fragrances, stabilizers and other harmful ingredients that damage our skin and lead to a range of health issues. There are 82,000 ingredients in personal care products, and about 14,000 of them are pesticides, carcinogens or hormone disruptors.

Beauty brands are becoming more aware of the issue with toxic skincare ingredients and the gap in the skincare market, so they’re starting to apply wellness to the products they manufacture. More and more brands are introducing organic skincare lines, and clean beauty products are making their way into shelves at Target, Sephora and department stores.

But, because the FDA doesn’t regulate terms, such as “clean,” “organic” and “cruelty-free,” what constitutes a clean product is mainly up to companies’ interpretation, which makes it difficult to define clean beauty items. Usually, clean beauty and skincare products refer to products that contain nutrient-dense, naturally-occurring ingredients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are sustainably and ethically sourced. These products are free of toxins and harsh chemicals, such as parabens, phthalates, sulfates and triclosans, which can cause cancer, disrupt hormones and irritate the skin.

Many beauty brands are recognizing the negative impact ordinary skincare products have on our health, so they’re replacing toxic ingredients with natural ones. Since conventional beauty products are often full of chemicals, synthetic fragrances and fillers, they take a toll on your skin, causing redness, acne, roughness, irritation, oily skin or dryness. Skincare products with natural ingredients avoid harmful chemicals at all costs, so clean beauty products repair, rejuvenate, illuminate, hydrate and brighten your skin without that oily, heavy feel. Clean products support and strengthen your skin’s bacteria, which leads to a clear, smooth, radiant glow.

Not only do clean beauty products enhance your external appearance, but they also nourish your body on the inside. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so it absorbs more than 60 percent of the topicals you put on it. If you’re washing and moisturizing your face, arms and legs with hundreds of chemicals, you’re increasing your risk of health issues. The harmful chemicals and synthetic ingredients found in conventional skincare items threaten your health, wellbeing and longevity by contributing to reproductive issues, allergies and certain cancers. The organic and natural ingredients that comprise clean skincare products are healing and wholesome, so they enhance your health rather than weaken it.

While boosting your appearance and internal organs, clean products also keep the planet happy and healthy. The pesticides and chemicals commonly found in beauty products require a lot of energy to produce, and they increase our carbon footprint. On the other hand, organic products use sustainable manufacturing products and recyclable packaging, which both minimize our negative impact on the environment. They are full of non-GMO ingredients that are grown, raised, harvested, manufactured and preserved without any herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or antibiotics that damage the world around us.

There’s no question that clean beauty products are beneficial for your body and the planet, but with so many products on the market, it can be difficult to figure out which products are best. When buying clean lotions, moisturizers, face washes, body washes or makeup, look for products that have a clean beauty seal, such as “EWG Verified” or “Ecocert.” Before purchasing a beauty product, look on the back of the bottle and make sure the first ingredients listed are natural. Always buy local products with shorter shelf-lives because products that have been transported over long distances and last longer mean they’re full of additives and preservatives.

Investing in your health means consuming nutritious meals with wholesome ingredients and repairing your body with clean, organic skin and beauty products. When you transition to clean skincare items, you’ll replenish your skin, restore your body’s health and help save the planet.