Is my handmade soap considered Clean Beauty?

This question came up during a live broadcast and my immediate response was…It’s natural of course it’s clean. But, not so fast! If you are looking for a definition of Natural or Organic Take at look at this post …it may surprise you. Now we have a new term with Clean Beauty. Does it fit the soap industry? In short the answer is yes, but my soap, not so fast.

Clean Beauty SoapNatural, Organic, Clean and Green Oh My

When it comes to describing handmade soap and cosmetics there’s no shortage of buzzwords to choose from. The interesting thing about most of these terms is they were initially leveraged as marketing tactics until they took on a life of their own (this is my opinion only). These terms  transformed the way consumers looked at what they put in their body and on their body.

What is Clean Beauty?

According to an article in the February 2019 issue of Global Cosmetic Industry, there is no regulatory or standardized trade definition of clean beauty. Even though there is no standard definition it is generally agreed that Clean beauty falls under three pillars: safety, sustainability and ethics. When taking a look at these areas it becomes evident that clean beauty is a movement in the personal care industry driven by educated consumers. The tricky part is going to come down to trust and transparency with brands. Here’s an article that discusses testing for clean beauty standards. 

What makes a product clean?

  1. Is the product safe? This includes the ingredients and how it is formulated. What is the product made of? Does it contain any harmful or toxic ingredients? How are those ingredients sourced? Is it causing any damage to the environment or it’s natural habitat?  When attempting to determine what you will use in your products pay special attention to what you will not use and make sure your customers are aware because it matters! Check out the New Vegan Soap Cookbook for a ton of plant based recipes.
  2. Is it sustainable? There has been a long standing awareness campaign on irresponsibly sourced palm oil, microbeads and more. Does the packaging go overboard and create a lot of waste? What does this do to the environment. Taking a careful look at the environmental footprint on what you make and how you package it weighs heavily into the clean beauty claim. This is where I had to pause, all of the plastic I use to seal my soap would not be considered clean. Is there a better environmentally friendly packaging option?
  3. Is it ethical? This looks towards the sourcing of the ingredients and moreover animal testing. For most small handmade businesses we are pretty ethical with cruelty-free practices. So this one was an easy sigh of relief in the clean beauty standards for my products.

The Move to a Cleaner Greener Beauty Brand

So what’s the verdict for my products? I will need to reformulate one of my best selling recipes to eliminate the use of palm oil. While I use a sustainable palm oil I would feel much more comfortable if I eliminated the ingredient all together. You can read up on the palm oil crisis here. Also my packaging will need to be revamped for a more eco-friendly solution. With my move to a brick and mortar store I will definitely consider offering naked bars with no packaging. However a large percentage of my sales are shipped so naked isn’t really an option. I will spend some time looking for recycled option to continue my minimalist brand.

Are your products clean? Do your customers care? Do you?

Until Next time.